Cheap Horror Games We Played in October that You Should, Too – The Daily Utah Chronicle

 

Geekwave is your one-stop shop for anything and everything related to games at the University of Utah. On our podcast, Crimson Gaming Corner, we chat with random guests like you to let everybody know about upcoming events, news and deep ventures into some of our favorite games.

Listen in on Spotify, Amazon or Google Podcasts to hear Zach and Jaxson talk more in-depth about horror games, featuring a deep dive into one of the games mentioned in this article!

 

During the month of October, we decided to take a look at a couple of games that provide the most amount of scares for the least amount of money. Whether it’s the deceptively cheery “Omori” and “Doki Doki” or the downright disturbing “Outlast” and “Scorn,” here are all the notable games we want to shout out. 

The following games are all on Xbox Game Pass, a service that gives you over a hundred games for $10 per month.

‘Back4Blood’

Those looking for an intense and stressful experience with friends are sure to love co-op horde shooter “Back4Blood.” Playing with friends is easy thanks to well-designed crossplay and a fantastic lobby system where you can try different weapons, upgrade your abilities and play with other characters. The chaos begins in the zombie-filled streets where you and your team work together to take down hordes of zombies. Thanks to some excellent enemy variety, this 12-hour campaign will ensure you stay on your toes the entire time. 

‘Omori’

“Omori” is a rather deceptive indie game, best appreciated without much prior knowledge of what it is. That being said, if you want more convincing, feel free to continue reading.

On the outside, “Omori” looks like a cute game where you roam around with your group of childhood friends, playing kid games like tag and hide-and-seek, or having fun picnics in the playground. The gameplay consists of using your emotions as turn-based combat moves to defeat bullies and nearby snakes. However, despite the colorful art style and cute characters, there is a surprisingly deep and frightening story that explores mental illness, trauma and so much more. 

‘Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice’

Continuing with horror games about mental illness, “Hellblade” is easily one of the best depictions the video game medium can offer. You play as Senua, who struggles with psychosis in a Norse Mythology-inspired world. Senua battles monsters and solves puzzles while dealing with internal voices of doubt, anxiety and fear constantly pressuring her. The most noteworthy feature of this game is how “Hellblade” showcases psychosis to its players. When using headphones to play the game, you genuinely feel surrounded by different voices all overlapping, creating more stress and anxiety. The graphics and environmental design are also particularly impressive and add greatly to the horror nature of the game.

‘Scorn’

“Scorn” is the most controversial and subjective game on our list. This game came out just a couple of weeks ago after nine years in development and received very mixed reviews. The overall consensus of this game is if you like it, you’ll love it, but if not, you will have one of the most uncomfortable experiences of your life.

Instead of featuring your traditional style of horror, “Scorn” is heavily inspired by Swiss artist H.R. Giger, the same artist whose work inspired the “Alien” franchise. Much of the game revolves around disturbing imagery, body horror and overall just feeling “squeamish.” While the horror, art design and puzzles are very well done, the combat is seemingly where the game falls short. Despite the underwhelming combat, the rest of the package is a very well-done and beautiful experience that does a great job of capturing Giger’s art and horror. 

 

The following games are not on Game Pass, but are sure to keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat despite the more expensive price tag!

‘Doki Doki Literature Club’

You might wonder why we put an anime dating simulator on our horror game list, but don’t be fooled, dear reader, this game shouldn’t be glossed over. More subversive than “The Last Jedi,” Dan Salvato’s psychological horror experience will stick with you for days after playing it. You play as a high school boy who joins an all-girls literature club. Every member has a crush on you and love triangles ensue as is typical with haram dating games, but not everything is as it seems. If you haven’t already gotten the twist spoiled for you, the best advice we could give is to go in expecting what’s advertised. It’s far more rewarding that way. The cherry on top? “Doki Doki Literature Club” is free to play on Steam.

‘Nightmare of Decay’

Looking for an experience that’s a little creepy but not creepy enough to make you pee your pants? Look no further than “Nightmare of Decay.” A modern take on games like “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” and the original “Resident Evil” titles, “Nightmare of Decay” is a short, albeit nostalgic experience any horror fan is sure to love. You play as a no-name protagonist who wakes up in the graveyard of a hellish manor house infested with zombies and other terrible creatures. You make clear to every monster you encounter that you want to escape, but not all of them take nicely to your plea. While not nearly as intense as other entries on the list, the game’s decadent, retro charm will captivate any horror fan for hours to come. “Nightmare of Decay” can be found on Steam for $4.99.

Any ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ Title

Ah, who could forget about “FNAF?” This series set a new standard for indie horror when its first title was released in 2014. All entries of this franchise aren’t created equal, but for the most part, developer Scott Cawthon has done a terrific job creating solid, atmospheric horror games. You play as a graveyard shift security guard at a Chuck E. Cheese-type establishment called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The animatronics that entertain the children by day roam freely at night, and unfortunately for you, they have a murderous edge. It’s up to you to not get caught by the animatronics, or you’ll be stuffed into an animatronic suit. Some titles in the franchise stick closer to this model than others, but for the most part, it’s pretty consistent.

I mentioned earlier that not all “FNAF” games are created equal. Fans consider the original “FNAF,” “FNAF 2” and “FNAF: Sister Location” to be the best in the franchise, but anything that catches your eye is worth playing. All main story “FNAF” games are $4.99 on Steam and mobile platforms, but two entries of the franchise, “Pizzeria Simulator” and “Ultimate Custom Night,” are free to play.

‘BioShock’

While not technically classified as a horror game, the grotesquely stylized atmosphere of “BioShock” is guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine. A first-person shooter unlike anything you’ve experienced, “Bioshock” is a perfect blend between action-packed shoot-and-loot gameplay and enticing, morally ambiguous narratives from your favorite noir movies. Set in a city called Rapture located at the bottom of the ocean, you play a no-name protagonist tasked by a mysterious figure named Atlas to kill the city’s founder, Andrew Ryan. Guarded by the nightmarish horrors of his creation, it’s up to you to weather their blows, save Rapture and escape the God-forsaken city. Since “Bioshock” is backward compatible with Xbox One and Series X, it’s easy to get your hands on an Xbox 360 copy for less than $10. Avoid remastered ports like the plague, they’re notoriously glitchy.

‘Inscryption’

“Inscryption” is a pixel art-styled card game sure to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout its 10-hour campaign. Mixing card games with escape rooms and a bit of Dungeons & Dragons, you come to in a wood cabin as a man across from you asks you to play a card game. This highly acclaimed game constantly surprises and creeps you out. One of the most notable mechanics is how you can leave the table at any time and explore the room, which offers many puzzles and rewards that influence the card game. While this is one of the most expensive entries on our list at $20, there is a free demo to see whether this game is for you and if you enjoy the demo, the full game has much more to offer.

‘Outlast’

Last and possibly the scariest on our list is “Outlast.” A first-person survival horror game with grisly attention to detail, “Outlast” is an experience that can make even the most seasoned horror veteran squeamish. Disgustingly graphic imagery fills the halls of Mount Massive Asylum and the terribleness only devolves over the game’s five-hour runtime. You play as a freelance investigative journalist, Miles Upshur, who received an anonymous tip regarding the state of a remote psychiatric hospital in Lake County, Colorado. Miles soon discovers that the staff of Mount Massive are all dead, and the murderous patients freely roam the halls of the asylum. Miles intends to survive the onslaught of psychiatric patients and perhaps uncover the hospital’s dirty history while doing so.

Another $20 entry on our list, “Outlast” is well worth the price of admission with plenty of lore, collectibles to find and areas to explore. It’s also available on any platform, making this game the most accessible on our list. 

 

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