Spooky Games Five: A New Beginning

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It is with great pride and anticipation that I welcome you to this, the fifth year of our haunting celebration. Every year since 2014 I have lined up a minimum of 31 horror games to play and review during the month of October, and this year is no exception. The subtitle is not just a cheeky reference, either, as this year marks a turning point for my work. The majority of the games I’ll be reviewing have been graciously given by their developers or publishers for review purposes, and I’m also streaming a large number of the games on this list.

For reviews, you’ll find a brand new one waiting for you every day at 8am PST. I’m covering an excellent cross-section of major releases, indie gems, and general weirdness that should include something for everyone. Check the website daily for your horror fix!

My streams are also horror-heavy this month, and if you’re interested in tuning in here’s the schedule:

  • Mondays (9pm PST) – The Evil Within 2 full playthrough
  • Wednesdays (9pm PST) – Indie Horror Night featuring 2-3 games from the list
  • Fridays (9pm PST) – Indie Variety Night including some horror greats from previous years

Below you will find a helpful wall of links to our Twitch and YouTube channels, our Steam Curations which will help you find solid deals on solid games, our Discord server for spooky chats, and more. And below that will be the grand list of reviews once we kick things off on October 1st! Turn out the lights and grab your safety blankets, because there’s a whole month of scares ahead!

Frightfully Useful Links:


1. Little Nightmares

2. OK/NORMAL

3. Unforgiving – A Northern Hymn

4. Rise of Insanity

5. Paratopic

6. Rusty Lake Paradise

7. Cube Escape: Paradox

8. INFERNIUM

9. Dead Secret

10. All Haze Eve

11. Welcome to Hanwell

12. Gray Dawn

13. The Last Cargo

14. Observer

15. Dark Deception

16. Cultist Simulator

17. House of Evil

18. Nevermind

19. CONCLUSE

20. Sagebrush

21. The Painscreek Killings

22. A Room Beyond

23. The Evil Within

24. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows

25. Dead Secret Circle

26. Disturbed: Beyond Aramor

27. Lucie

28. Play With Me

29. Darkwood

30. The Evil Within 2

31. Call of Cthulhu


 

And so the end has come, but not without 31 games fully reviewed and mostly streamed. This year has seen some particularly high highs, along with the usual lows, and hopefully you were there to see them happen in the moment. If not, don’t forget about our YouTube channel where all of our streaming exploits will remain forever and ever. But as far as reviews go, we can break them down right here, as we always do.

The Top Five

  1. Sagebrush
  2. The Evil Within 2
  3. Darkwood
  4. Little Nightmares
  5. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows

It’s honestly hard to limit this year’s premium selection to just five, but these are absolutely the five games that I want everyone to be aware of from our adventure. Sagebrush is simply one of the best walking-sim-style horror games I’ve played, making incredible use of its aesthetic and narrative beats to create an atmosphere of dread that’s all in the player’s head. In contrast, The Evil Within 2 is probably the most fun I had this month with its open-world trappings. Darkwood is a high-water mark for the genre in terms of style, and Little Nightmares is not far behind in the same area. Yomawari isn’t quite going to be for everybody, but if it is you absolutely should not miss this excellent mix of Japanese cuteness and darkness.

The Treats

If you need fresh spooks this Halloween, any of these should do the trick. We’ve got lo-res weirdness with OK/NORMAL, Paratopic, All Haze Eve, and CONCLUSE, each of them a unique take on the genre. The recent Rusty Lake games are both very high-quality and should not be missed IF you’re already deep in that lore. Observer is a big improvement over Layers of Fear in both pacing and story, and Nevermind is a surprisingly effective indie take on psychological horror. Speaking of first-person games, Unforgiving is one of the most creative and scary I played this year, while Painscreek and the Dead Secret games will scratch your investigative itch.

The Tricks

We all know how wrong horror games can go, and this year we had quite the spread of ways it can go wrong in. There were boring titles like Rise of Insanity, insane ones like Gray Dawn and House of Evil, and infuriating ones like Dark Deception and Play With Me. A Room Beyond was a particular disappointment, as I tend to love lo-fi adventures like that, but alas. The biggest disappointment of the month though goes to Call of Cthulhu, which sets up a perfectly promising cosmic horror adventure and then fumbles every chance it gets.

In any event, we did it. We survived. Year five of our spooky soiree is in the can, and hopefully it’s been just as illuminating as the last four. As always, you have my undying thanks for following along and tuning in as I worked through this wall of horrors. I’ll look forward to seeing you for our next seasonal series in just over a month, and until then, may your scares be plentiful and thrilling.

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