So last year, I did an article titled “TOP 5 Games to Play For Halloween”. I had a good time making it, so I figured a sequel was warranted, especially now that we’re in the middle of Spooktober season. This time though, I wanted to get a bit more variety with the genres, including some games that you may not expect to see on a list like this. With that said, here are 5 cool games to play for Halloween listed in no particular order. Some of these were sent to me by their publisher (all aside from Corpse Party and Kara no Shojo) so thanks to them for that.
So I’m gonna start this list off with an indie horror classic: Corpse Party. For those that somehow haven’t heard of this little gem of a game, it’s one of the most popular and influential RPG Maker games ever created and has since spawned numerous sequels, spin-offs, and re-releases. It even has a couple live action movies and an anime adaptation, it’s pretty big for what was originally a small indie horror game.
It follows the story of a group of friends who perform an occult ritual for fun that ends up trapping them in a rundown elementary school in another realm. Their sanity and very lives are then threatened by the spirits and other entities that roam this school, with a dark mystery tying it all together. Half of the game is presented in visual novel format to tell the story, while the other half is you exploring this dilapidated schoolhouse, solving puzzles, and trying to locate your friends before the spirits do. It’s simple in its design for sure, but it’s a fun and spooky little game and definitely worth a look.
Ring of Pain
And the award for most addictive game from this list would have to go to Ring of Pain. It’s a roguelike card battler where you advance along a ring and battle enemies, pick up a bunch of loot, and follow along a dark, cryptic storyline. And the game isn’t kidding around with its title “Ring of Pain”, there is a lot of pain and suffering along this ring, the game even lists that as one of its features. As a roguelike though, it’s actually a very well-developed game. The gameplay itself is simplistic in that most of it revolves around picking the right cards, but there is a lot of strategy in setting up combos and figuring out the best path out of each dungeon.
There is also a ton of variety with regards to enemies, items, and rooms – in fact there are over 25 of these different rooms, much more so than what we usually see in the genre. And the game does all of this with a dark, creepy art style and matching music, a perfect complement to how brutal the gameplay can be at times. And despite it fitting the theme of Spooktober, this is definitely a game I can see myself returning to outside of it, it’s just that fun.
Given that I just played this classic recently, it would be wrong not to include it here. Diablo is the one that started it all, redefining the action RPG genre and cementing itself as one of the most important and influential games ever created. So of course it only took me about twenty years to get around to playing it, and during Spooktober at that. Its setting is perhaps one of the purest examples of horror that one can find in the medium: that being a small town built around an old monastery that just happens to house one of the lords of Hell.
Of course, it is up to you to travel through the catacombs beneath that monastery in order to face that lord: Diablo himself. The gameplay is pretty straightforward for a hack and slash (at least, by modern standards), but it’s definitely not bad. The procedural generation and spell system are definitely pretty cool, especially considering the age of the game. It got a re-release on GOG last year and supports modern resolutions and hardware, so do check it out if you’re interested.
BPM: Bullets Per Minute
Now for something a bit different. BPM is not your traditional horror game, rather it’s an action roguelike FPS where you shoot, jump, and dodge to the beat of a heavy rock soundtrack. It’s basically what you would get if you took DOOM and added a rhythm element to it, and the end result is actually pretty cool. Dodging, shooting, and even reloading are all tied to the constantly moving music, and if you time everything right, you can get off shots every half-beat and it’s really satisfying when that happens.
Outside of being a rhythm shooter, the game also has a good grasp on what makes roguelikes fun. It’s got a bunch of upgrades to find, some really cool randomized room layouts, and good enemy variety as well. And of course, the art style is definitely notable too. Most of the levels take on a hypersaturated red shade, which kinda gives the game this demonic feel. Pair that with some heavy rock and you’ve got quite the combo, enough so to earn it a spot on my list.
Kara no Shojo
And of course, it wouldn’t be a video of mine if I didn’t include a visual novel in some form, so here we have one that perfectly fits the Spooktober experience. It’s called Kara no Shojo, which in English translates to Girl in the Shell. Unlike most visual novels, the protagonist is actually an adult, a private detective living in 1950’s Tokyo where a series of bizarre murders are taking place. Women are disappearing and turning up dead with their bodies maimed and their wombs torn out. The protagonist eventually gets involved in this case and slowly uncovers a darker secret surrounding it all.
It’s a visual novel full of twists and turns, and it even uses its multiple route structure to its advantage. Although the game only has one true ending, each route fills in gaps in the story and really highlights the inherent benefit to telling a story in visual novel form. And of course, this is all done with a heavy horror atmosphere, one of constant suspense and even outright dread at times. It can definitely be a difficult game to stomach , but if you’re into visual novels, there’s no better time to play it than during Spooktober.
And that’ll wrap up my list. A couple cool indies, a couple classics, and even some recently released ones, quite the variety to check out for this year’s Spooktober. Thanks again for reading and see you guys in the next one.