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13 indie horrors you need to know about this Halloween

Written by Ryan Noble

Happy Halloween! By law, I must now write a list of 13. It doesn't matter what's on the list, exactly, as long as the list is spooky as hell. How does a list of 13 indie horror games sound? I love shining the spotlight on the independent developers out there, and is there a better time to do it than when that spotlight is flickering and shining from the mouth of a pumpkin? I think not.

Some of these games have already been released, while others are still hiding out there in the dark a little longer, but all of them of guaranteed to get you hyped and horrified for Halloween.

Since I know you're itching to get back to your snacks and scares, here it is...

American Angst
Developer: Misha Verollet
Platforms: PC
Release: Out now

Only released five days ago, American Angst is a text-based survival horror that has been written and developed solely by Misha Verollet. Set in a dystopian United States (which we're all hoping remains purely fictional), this title has a choose-your-own-adventure style with added RPG elements such as stats, turn-based combat, and a branching narrative with multiple endings. To truly understand everything that plays out in American Angst, you'll need to play through multiple times, which should be perfectly pleasant given that the estimated playthrough will take 45-60 minutes. Treat yourself to some textual scares this Halloween, I dare you.

Studio: Bloober Team
Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1
Release: Out now

I haven't been very observant of late, because >observer_ almost completely passed me by, despite being a game that I was especially hyped to play when it was first announced. Developed by the team behind the mind-bending and nightmare-inducing Layers of Fear, >observer_ places the player in 2084, a future where the masses have turned to drugs, virtual reality, and neural implants as a way of avoiding a bleak reality. In this first-person psychological horror, you'll find yourself exploring the minds of suspects and criminals, accessing their darkest fears before beginning to question reality yourself. This game is welcome to hack my mind any time.

Until Dawn / Hidden Agenda / The Inpatient
Studio: Supermassive Games
Platforms: PS4 (PSVR)
Release: Out now / Out now (US), 22 November (Europe) /

I'm a little bit in love with the experiences that Supermassive Games create. Starting with Until Dawn, we have an interactive teen slasher with multiple choices, multiple endings, and a star-studded cast of teen horror stereotypes. The game was better than many people were expecting, and that's why it's getting a prequel called The Inpatient developed exclusively for the PlayStation VR, which you can find the trailer for above. Go and play Until Dawn to keep you entertained until then if you haven't already.

Then, while you're at it, check out their latest interactive title, Hidden Agenda, available in the US now and coming to Europe on 22 November. This game takes the interactivity of Until Dawn and brings it to groups via PlayStation's PlayLink technology with a second-screen app for some teamwork and backstabbing between up to six friends. Find out more about Hidden Agenda in my recent news article.

Studio: The Deep End Games
Platforms: PC
Release: Out now

Perception has been out for a little while now and sees players exploring an abandoned mansion where something paranormal (and a little pissed) presides. As the protagonist is blind, players must see the world around them using echo-location. This lends an eerie quality to the environment as everything is seen in fleeting flashes of blue light as sounds echo back to you. While this is your most powerful asset in traversing through this horror, you also never know who else might be listening in...

Remothered: Tormented Fathers
Studio: Darril Arts and Stormind Games
Platforms: PC, PS4 
Release: 31 October 2017

The third-person survival horror from Stormind Games and Darril Arts releases on Steam Early Access today, following the journey of Rosemary Reed in the first game of a trilogy. She arrives at the house of Dr. Felton, a retired notary who is stricken with a mysterious illness, and once she reveals who she is everything takes a turn for the worse. Rosemary is soon fighting for her life without any weapons to her name, relying on wits and exploration to stay alive long enough to uncover the truth behind the Felton family's web of lies. I'll be looking to get my hands on this one to tell you more.

Studio: Ebb Software
Platforms: PC
Release: 2018

Scorn is a first-person horror adventure that first captured the public's attention with its nightmarish settings and creatures, which look like they could have fallen right out of Stranger Things' Upside Down. The studio wants players to feel as they have just been “thrown into the world, isolated and lost” as they explore unsettling locations, solve puzzles, meet unusual characters, and fight off the aforementioned nightmarish creatures with limited weapons, skills, and items. The game will be released in two parts, with the part one slated as releasing early in 2018.

Studio: Madmind Studio
Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1
Release: 30 March 2018

Agony looks messed up in the best kind of way. This first-person survival horror follows the player as they try to escape the depths of hell. You don't remember much about who you are, but in your journey back to the surface you'll be able to control other tormented souls like yourself, and even demons, in order to survive. Footage so far has been extremely visceral and that's just the way we like it. Check it out for yourself in the video above.

Allison Road
Studio: Lilith Ltd
Platforms: PC
Release: TBC

Pegged as the game to fill the void left by the cancelled Silent Hills, Allison Road brings the hyper-realistic horror vibes to a British townhouse. You wake up in the middle of the night and don't remember a thing about who you are or what's been going on. Over the course of five nights it will be your job to figure out where your family are, if you last that long. A dark entity known only as Lily might see to it that you never find the truth. There is no release date yet, but the 14-minute gameplay video shows how this game could be more than worth waiting for.

Studio: SadSquare Studio
Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1
Release: TBC

Here comes another potential spiritual successor to Silent Hills – what can I say, hyper-realism is hyper trendy... Players will explore a large house in a secluded town of the 80s, and many of its previous inhabitants met their demise here. Exploring will reveal the deaths of these inhabitants first-hand, bringing with them a different visage for each death. Not sure it's a house I'd want to spend much time in, but at least everyone receives their own personalised bringer of death. Similarly to Allison Road, you'll find an atmospheric gameplay video waiting for you above. I'd highly recommend watching it.

Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1, Switch
Release: TBC

If you've been on the lookout for a game that channels serious Dead Space vibes, look no further. Hollow has players drifting around Jupiter on a cargo ship, where a nameless pilot wakes up in an emergency capsule. The lights are all out and he isn't alone. Like in Dead Space, there will be puzzles to solve and blood will be spilled. Hopefully not yours, but the multi-limbed enemies swarming your way may have other ideas. Hollow also deserves a massive shout-out for bringing its Jupiter-orbiting horror to the Nintendo Switch.

Last Year
Developer: Elastic Games
Platforms: PC
Release: TBC

Asymmetric multiplayer horror games are extremely popular right now, and the trend continues with the crowdfunded Last Year, which sees one player as a murderer trying to murder five students with a variety of skills and traps. The team working on the game has been keeping backers up to date with the game's development since the Kickstarter campaign ended, and looks incredibly promising for fans of intense multiplayer horror, despite several delays to the upcoming beta. One to watch out for.

Dead by Daylight
Studio: Behaviour Interactive Inc.
Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1 
Release: Out now

The second of three asymmetric multiplayer survival horrors in this list, and a game that I have been obsessed with for quite a while as a player and a writer. One killer hunts down four survivors as they try to fix up generators hidden around procedurally-generated levels, powering gates that lead to sweet, sweet freedom. Not only is this game an absolute blast, with varied killers, survivors, powers and perks, but the studio have also brought in classic slasher franchises such as Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street as DLC. That's one way to keep the fear alive. 

Friday the 13th: The Game
Studio: Gun Media and Illfonic
Platforms: PC, PS4, XB1 
Release: Out now

And, in its rightful place as 13th in the list is Friday the 13th: The Game. I've written about this asymmetric multiplayer about as many times as Jason Voorhees has risen from the dead at this point, but I would be doing this list an injustice if I didn't include one of the biggest indie-horror releases of 2017. The game may have a few bugs here and there, though there's a lot of fun to be had in chasing down counsellors as the masked killer himself, or working together as a team of counsellors to escape the slaughter. For lovers of this slasher franchise, there won't be a more faithful re-creation than this.

Now... go forth and knock on the door of all those games. I'm sure they'll only have treats waiting for you, even if they are terrifying treats that keep you awake at night for months to come. That's what we're here for though, right?

I could have written about 30 horror games, or 300, rather than 13, but I'm only one man... If you're still looking to scratch that itch after reading through, head to my pinned tweet where you'll find a thread of horrifying game trailers that'll keep you going right up to the witching hour.


About The Author
Ryan Noble
Staff Reviewer
If Ryan isn't watching, reading or playing some form of horror, he's probably writing about it. He used to be an Editor at Indie Game Magazine so he has a soft spot for independent creators, especially when they're creating fear. Whether you're one such creator, or a fellow horror fan, let's speak about spooks on Twitter or email.
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