We’re just days away from another frighteningly ghoulish Halloween and while we’re all watching The Craft, The Frighteners, and Hocus Pocus, there is tons of fright to go around.
And so, we’ve shared some titles available now that are sure to both fright and delight in the final few days before All Hallows’ Eve. Of course, we’ve thrown in a couple of our recommendations just for good measure!
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo
When you start Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo you control protagonist Shogo Okiie who quickly comes across a cursed stone with his friend Yoko Fukunaga. As recent acquaintances, it’s clear the friendship is fresh, and there’s a lot of work to be done here. Both being in Kinshibori Park, Yoko will tell you about the Seven Mysteries of Honjo as well as the Rite of Resurrection, which is, in theory, urban legends. However, not long after the beginning of the chapter, Shogo Okiie realizes that the legend of the cursed stones is natural due to the death of Yoko.
In my review, I said “I went in blind with Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo, and it has quickly become a must-play title for 2023. Going in with as little knowledge as possible is the best way to play this brilliant and engaging new series. Japanese folklore is easily some of the most exciting fiction you can utilize for a video game, and it is smartly adapted with a constant sense of dread permeating through the campaign.”
It’s been a long time since there’s been a proper 2D experience in the Metroid franchise. Bobby called Metroid Dread “hauntingly beautiful and dreadfully terrifying, giving us one of the best experiences on the Nintendo Switch.” So if you are going to play anything new on Switch to get you ready for Halloween, you probably don’t need to look any further than the front page of the eShop. In this roughly five to nine-hour experience — give or take the amount of time you run around endlessly — you’ll descend upon planet ZDR to inspect a mysterious transmission, only to find that it’s become overrun with vicious alien lifeforms and one-helpful-now-murderous robots called the E.M.M.I.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed
Illfonic’s recently launched Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is one heck of an asymmetrical experience. One that is a lot of fun with friends and strangers but not so much fun with AI. It also launches at the perfect time with October being one of the best months of the year.
Illfonic also recruited some incredible talent behind the mich including Ernie Hudson and Dan Akroyd returning to voice the characters. Did I mention it is set after the events of last year’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife? With more support the game could thrive with some of the greats – as it is now, Spirits Unleashed has a lot of potential in the long run.
I wrote in a recent news article that sophomore projects are hard to get right. They are especially harder when you are Playdead, and the game you need to improve upon is the multi-award-winning classic Limbo. But Inside manages to stick the landing in terms of being just as good — if not better — than what came before it. There’s a little more colour and depth this time around, but just as many challenging puzzles and moments of absolute dread!
Little Nightmares Complete Edition
If there’s another eerie adventure platformer that rivals Inside. In this tale of terror, you are tasked with escaping a doll house by playing one hell of a game of hide and seek with creatures spawned from some of our greatest fears. Play both of Tarsier Studios‘ adventures together and in a way tailored specifically to use the best aspects of the Switch. You can also pick up the sequel, which is even more terrifying than its predecessor.
The Dark Pictures Anthology/The Quarry
Supermassive Games has been on a streak as of late, betweenThe Dark Pictures Anthology and The Quarry, the studio knows how to frighten its audience. Man of Medan is a great way to become acquainted with the series as it is set in the South Pacific Ocean and stars a group of friends on a vacation. Little Hope sees another group of students and their teacher become stranded in the town of Little Hope. House of Ashes is the third title starring a military unit who are in the middle of a search for chemical weapons. Of course, things do not go as expected and they unearth something far more diabolical buried in a Sumerian temple.
The Quarry is the biggest project from Supermassive Games since Until Dawn. This one is set at Hackett’s Quarry and it follows a group of teenagers attending a summer camp. Our review even says that The Quarry feels more like an expertly executed one-season, 10-episode series on your favourite streamer service.
Dennis says that Supermassive Games presents its version of a summer camp thriller with moments of horror as it brings justice to a classic universal monster as a real threat with a more modern twist. If you’re looking for a classic horror take then this is probably right up your alley.
Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
Now, here’s a bit of a wild one! Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzletakes one of the most famous creepy killers in popular culture history and turns some of his more fantastical variants into a mobile puzzle game where you solve puzzles to bring death or life to the counsellors of Camp Crystal Lake. There’s a lot to love about this charming little mind-tickler… oh and over 150 puzzles to keep you busy!
Resident Evil series
No matter what game you play, Resident Evil is perfect for Halloween. Sure, some games become a bit too indulgent (looking at you, Resident Evil 6), but the recent remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 are some of the best experiences you can have.
A pharmaceutical company develops a virus, dubbed the T-virus, that will bring the dead back to life. This causes the downfall of Raccoon City, the iconic city where some of best entries have taken place. The rest of the series takes a more action-oriented turn until Resident Evil VII and Resident Evil Village, taking us back to the series’ roots.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
How can we not add one of the best games to play around Halloween? That’s right — Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a game everyone with a Switch should experience at least once. If you’ve already played it then you know how much fun it is playing as the older Mario brother who has to clear the Last Resort of all supernatural maladies. With King Boo haunting the top floor and your friends all under his control, it’s up to Luigi and Professor E.Gadd to make things right. It is available on Switch’s eShop and is one of those games where with every replay, the game becomes even more fun to play.
Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift. It’s from Night School Studio, which was recently acquired by Netflix, and is the same studio that released Afterparty. There’s also an Oxenfree sequel currently in development starring a new cast and location and is one of those titles you need to keep an eye out for. Why do we recommend Oxenfree? It’s a deeper game than it looks from first impression and one that will truly move you, but not before it also gives you some scares.
Following up on its predecessor, Night School Studios delivered Oxenfree II earlier this year, and it was critically successful for Netflix Games’ first studio acquisition. You play Riley Poverly, an environmental researcher who has returned to her quiet, quaint, and sometimes creepy hometown of Camena. Some odd things have been happening with radio signals and frequencies, and she’s accepted a new job to check it out.
In our review, Dave said “If a haunting, small-town setting with incredibly well-acted and written characters sounds even remotely interesting, you owe it to yourself to seek out Oxenfree II: Lost Signals. It isn’t essential to play the original 2016 title, but I believe it will deepen the experience if you have the chance to.”
Dead By Daylight allows you to be in your favourite horror movies. The multiplayer game features some of the biggest and most iconic enemies from nearly a dozen different horror films — Hellraiser, Halloween, Saw, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, and more. How can we not add one of the scariest games on Nintendo Switch?
Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror game capturing the fear and tension evoked by Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic film. Players find themselves in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger as an unpredictable, ruthless Xenomorph is stalking and killing deep in the shadows. Underpowered and underprepared, you must scavenge resources, improvise solutions and use your wits, not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive.
So, what are you going to be playing this Halloween? Are you ready to be scared or are you ready to do the scaring? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best games to play on Switch this year and with Halloween looking like it’ll be back on track this year, there’s time to go trick-or-treating and play spooky video games to get the most out of the season!
Before Double Fine joined Xbox Game Studios, it worked on some incredible indie games, including Headlander. However, it’s the Costume Quest series that sticks out as being a perfect addendum to the Fall season.
Playing as fraternal twins Reynold and Wren, the pair are in a new neighbourhood about to head out on Halloween night to trick-or-treat. However, a monster kidnaps your sibling so you must save them while still exploring the community and collecting candy from all the neighbours.
A sequel followed a few years later and improved on several aspects of the original Costume Quest. In the sequel, an evil doctor opens a portal that leads to a future where Halloween is outlawed, and it is up to you and your friends to return things to normal.
Night School Studio tends to deliver thoughtful but often spooky games, and Afterparty is the ideal title to do both in synchronization. Following an accident, friends Milo and Lola find themselves in the afterlife. Only it’s Hell, and the two best friends are stuck in hell for eternity unless they can outdrink the Devil. This simple premise extends to excellent storytelling and performances that help each character confront their demons while making friends with the locals.
Players can use an intelligent conversation system to change the story and relationships based on choices made. Afterparty includes over 30 types of libations, which affect player choice and personalities, and there is a wide array of people to interact with as you travel the underworld in an interconnected network of islands via the River Styx.
Afterpartyis on sale for 50 percent off until November 1, 2023.
Gearbox and Gunfire Games delivered an incredible follow-up to Remnant: From the Ashes, and the sequel has all the makings of a spooky game. Remnant II improves on its predecessor in almost every way. Despite a modest beginning, the sequel arrives and doubles down on the Souls-like mechanics made popular in the original. Gunfire Games delivered an exciting cooperative action game with remarkable insights, interesting mechanics, and a community that has continued to thrive. No wonder, then, the arrival of this sequel, but the challenge of a sequel can be like quicksand, but the studio has shown that they understood what a sequel required even if there are several lingering issues.
Have A Nice Death
Magic Design Studios released Have A Nice Death earlier this year, delivering a fantastic roguelike where you play as Death looking to take back Death Incorporated, overrun with rogue employees. To reel in his unruly employees, Death sets out to cut his workforce filled with Sorrows, the various ghouls and monsters acting on Death’s behalf. Having done their jobs a little too well, Death is now stuck with eliminating Sorrows within Death Incorporated at every level of the business. That entails travelling throughout the company and cutting down Sorrows, who runs the various departments, essentially trying to ebb the flow of souls pouring in.
Cult of the Lamb
Cult of the Lambis the perfect game in October as Devolver Digital and developer Massive Monster knows how to make a moody game.
One day, several demons sacrifice all the lambs of this world to avoid a prophecy that will prevent the lambs from rebelling against them. You are the last of your kind, and at the time of your sacrifice, a demonic entity known as The One Who Waits will ask you to create a cult in its name in exchange for your resurrection to take your revenge. You will have to create a cult while taking your revenge through dungeons. In total, there are four dungeons to travel to and defeat the Old Gods
EA Motive delivered one of this year’s most terrifying games, improving the original Dead Space by making the environments far more wretched and haunting for protagonist Issac Clarke, who is left on the abandoned USG Ishimura to fend for himself against Necromorphs. In my review, I said, “In this whirlwind of events that throws you into an abyss of horror with the deviant aims of a religiously motivated organization, intrigue and the discovery of a mysterious artifact are ready to be introduced. Just like in the original Dead Space, the story intelligently exploits the clichés of the genre, which become the building blocks of an effective and articulate experience, enriched by a wide assortment of text and log files.”
If a franchise like Dark Souls or Elden Ring is your cup of harsh tea, Nightmare Creatures could be a perfect retro game alternative. The game goes back to the late 1990s when 3D action-adventure games were all the rage. But here, it’s mostly about creepy and atmospheric environments filled with massive creatures waiting to claw at your neck or beat you down on the streets and back alleys of 1800 London. This game is challenging. Part of that is due to the dated controls and layout on the PS1 and N64, but the mechanics are all about timing, opportunity, and planning your attacks and defences. Sure, it may not be the most excellent game on this list, but it is worth digging into if you’re in for a dark, retro challenge this spooky season.