Kyle Atwood is a published horror author who plays too many video games and watches too many horror movies to be of sound mind.
The horror genre is home to many frightening and obscure things, especially in the gaming world.
Horror games that have flown under the radar and are filled with disturbing, obscure and genius creativity, are games that you will find on this list from the PS1 to the PC, I will try to leave no stone unturned in this article.
5. Near Death Experience
What if Silent Hill turned into one of those many, many defenseless horror games? You know, the ones where you have to run from some panic-inducing monster as you scramble to collect various items to progress through the story? Well, Near Death Experience is just that. Players are tasked with a number of puzzles and chase sequences as our protagonist tries to navigate through a number of twisted corridors as they try to escape a "dark presence".
Players take the role of a car crash victim that has lost his memory and finds himself in a terrifying, twisted nightmare of a world.
I really enjoy this one because it's a solid, atmospheric horror game with some really amazing map designs and creature designs. You are given a real sense of danger and foreboding about 99% of the time in this one.
Hellnight is one of the few PS1 horror games that holds up today and, in fact, its age only greatens the sense of repression and danger. Heck, even in the first few minutes of the game we see the protagonist being chased by a mysterious, evil cult.
Players experience the game through a first-person perspective, much like an FPS game, only in Hellnight the player is given no means of defense. Sound familiar? Now, I know that I mentioned that I'm not usually a fan of these types of games but Hellnight does it differently. There's a monster that's chasing you through all these different labyrinth-like tunnels and, of course, it's not your average run-of-the-mill chase for very long. The farther you progress in the story, the more evolved the monster becomes.
Hellnight has a lot of really cool dystopian cyberpunk elements that work really well with the overall experience. The level design never really feels repetitive and is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
3. Ikenie no yoru (Night of the Sacrifice)
Another defenseless ghost story, Night of the Sacrifice is perhaps one of the most original horror games of this type because it utilizes all aspects of the Wii from the Wii Remote itself to the Nunchuk attachment and even the notorious Wii Balance Board.
Night of the Sacrifice places a heavy emphasis on exploration of the digital world and exploitation of the player's panicked movements.
Honestly, the overall design of the game is what really drew me in, from the Fatal Frame inspired design of the ghosts, to the numerous cramped corridors of the maps, the solid sound design and finally, the creative scares all make for a pretty beefy horror adventure.
Uninvited is one of those charming, early ghost story point and click games where the most simple task, or lack thereof, could wind up getting you killed.
Players take control of an unnamed protagonist that has just awakened following a car crash. The player then finds themself inside of an abandoned home from the late 20th century, looking for their supposed lost sibling.
I really enjoy this game for how retro and simplistic it is, really drawing on the imagination of the player and the actions they take. I also love the gritty detail the game hits you with when you die or when encountering one of the undead inhabitants of the house. You can try the Macintosh, Apple IIgs, or NES versions depending on whatever you want to experience it on, but, personally, I prefer the Mac version. You get to experience all of the unfiltered gore this game has to offer and the black and white style makes it a bit more frightening when playing in the dark.
1. Garage: Bad Dream Adventure
How could I possibly describe this game? I don't own it myself and there is only a handful of videos on the internet and even fewer of those are translated to English. Garage: Bad Dream Adventure is frightening in, well, every single aspect. From the soundtrack to the design, and even to how it was conceived. Yes, it is based on a nightmare, as if that wasn't obvious from the get-go.
Garage: Bad Dream Adventure is a point and click adventure game about a robot/alien thing that travels by railroads and talks with other robot/alien things about something that I have no idea about. Other than the immensely unsettling visuals and sound design, the game plays just like a regular point and click adventure albeit with less space to move.
This game is also incredibly rare. I'm going to be honest, humble reader, I have been on a quest for this game since I started gaming, way back when I was a young lad. However, whenever I somehow, amazingly, stumbled across a copy of this very limited game, it was usually around the $1,000 USD price range.
I'm just a huge fan of the aesthetic and mystic, morbid feeling I get when taking a look at a screenshot or a clip of this game.