Anurag loves playing video games. His guides and listicles revolve around popular iOS, Android, PC, and console games.
Slender: The Eight Pages is one of the scariest experimental psycho-horror titles I have ever played. Featuring the unusually tall, pale-faced Slenderman, the game can really scare the daylights out of you. The scary entity is actually an urban legend based on various other urban legends, ghost stories and horror movies. It was first mentioned in Something Awful forums. The name went viral on the Internet, spawning a few horror games, including a Minecraft horror mod.
The experimental psychological horror title is one of the most unsettling games of all time. However, there are several indie games like Slender that are equally frightening and give you plenty of fear-inducing moments. All are played in first-person mode. Some are puzzle-based, while others boast innovative gameplay. Here are some of the creepiest games that truly match the horror of The Eight Pages.
A scary first-person survival horror game, Anna provides plenty of panic-inducing moments. Its creepy abandoned house setting is reminiscent of haunted mansion movies.
You step into the shoes of a girl who wants to know the mystery behind her terrifying nightmares. To solve it, she enters an abandoned house only to find a secret that’s scarier than her nightmares. To her horror, the house is alive, ready to engulf her into its madness. You will need to help her find a way out of the house.
Anna has a point-and-click gameplay mechanic. Players will need to interact with objects or solve intricate puzzles. While solving puzzles, you will encounter troubling apparitions and scary ghosts. There will be many unsettling scenes where you will be forced to hide or run away from a frightening entity.
The game has three endings and only one of them is a good one. The good ending shows the girl escape from the madhouse. Anna is a terrifying atmospheric horror game and must be played at night for maximum scarefest.
If you thought only ghosts and gore can scare your pants off, think again. Some games can easily frighten you with darkness and eerie sound effects. Slender follows the same technique to give you the creeps. Another game called Candles does the same, but gives you an additional task. Not only do you have to survive a night in your room, but make sure your home is lightened up to ward off creepy little imps. These imps have invaded your house and are averse to light, but become stronger when darkness strikes.
To get rid of these scary monsters, you will need to light all candles and make sure the cold strong wind does not blow them away. While doing this, you also have to start the electric generator to turn on lights and permanently drive away imps. Now it’s up to you, either keep lighting candles or find a way that leads to the electric generator. And if you get engulfed in darkness, then it’s game over.
The developers of Candles did a brilliant job with lighting and sound effects. Getting stuck in the dark will certainly make you feel a bit uneasy and panicky. Sound effects do enhance the scare factor, the blowing winds, the sudden silence and the eerie imp laughter can really scare the candlelights out of you (pun intended). It's a must-play indie horror game, and did I tell you it’s free?
3. The Path
The Path is one of the most ground-breaking indie horror titles to date. A short PC game, The Path is a dark version of Little Red Riding Hood. The outcome of the game totally depends on the actions chosen by the player. There is a good ending and a bad ending associated with your actions. The good ending gets triggered with the girl safely reaching her grandmother’s place if the player chooses to stick to a “safe path”, but a scary ending is around the corner if she gets a bit wayward and encounters a wolf.
There are six girls to choose from, and each girl encounters a wolf much different in appearance and quite scarier than the previous one. So if you choose an 11-year-old Rose for your dark red riding hood adventure, then expect a frightening humanoid wolf. This will usually happen if you wander around the dark forest instead of choosing a safe path.
The game is on the shorter side, but does give you the thrills. The creepy forest and the equally scary grandmother’s house can be quite a frightening gameplay experience. The game is played in third-person and can roughly be called a survival horror game.
4. The Corridor
The Corridor is another brilliant, experimental horror game created by a Russian game developer Al Exe. Like Slender, the indie horror title is a scary survival horror and takes place inside a dark hotel hallway instead of a spooky forest.
In the middle of the night, you wake up for no apparent reason, only to find trapped in a long dark corridor. The hallway slowly turns into an endless maze, giving you plenty of tense moments before you find a way out of the corridor.
The best way to experience the endless maze scare-fest is to play the game with your headphones on. Check out the first few moments of unadulterated horror in the trailer video to your right.
5. Among the Sleep
Nothing can get scarier than witnessing horror from a toddler’s perspective. Among the Sleep puts you into the booties of a two-year-old and presents a never-before-seen survival horror experience. The scary adventures of a defenseless baby wandering around an abandoned house, its dark attic and a surreal, but eerie Alice in Wonderland-like environment is truly unimaginable.
Developers did a great job bringing something innovative to this genre. The game’s scare levels is similar to games like Slender or Amnesia, but it’s more frightening because it presents horror through the eyes of a helpless toddler whose only way of tackle is either to run away or hide behind an object to avoid getting spotted by creepy strangers.
The game focuses on object-interaction, which will help a toddler escape. You don’t have any access to weapons, so there’s a total survival horror games on our hands.
6. Penumbra: Black Plague
As one of the best run-and-hide survival horror games, Black Plague can make your skin crawl if played at night. The game is an exploration-based, first-person survival horror game that totally focuses on a player’s wit to survive a monster menace. Taking advantage of mechanical puzzles and using stealth tactics, the player must confront the darkness and avoid monster attacks at all costs.
In Black Plague, there aren’t any traps to make or weapons to collect; you will need to find the best possible way to avoid getting in a monster’s line of sight and only then you can succeed in finding an escape route. If you love survival horror games that focus on stealth and not mindless gun-play, then you should play this game.
Pixel horror can be scary at times, especially if it is backed by an eerie background score and some real scary sound effects. Hide is one of those games that guarantee a terrifying few minutes of play even though the visuals are not that excellent.
I won’t reveal much of the game premise because it is too short (only 10–15 minutes of gameplay). Like The Corridor, Hide’s scariness can be best experienced if you wear a good pair of headphones while playing it.
The visuals, although pixilated, gives you the old video cassette archive look, with a grainy filter to increase the scare levels. The sound effects are top-notch, the distant church bell rings, muffled footsteps on a snowy area and wind. You can download Hide from Super Friendship Club for free.
There might be very few indie horror game titles out there, but all are downright scary. Erie is an experimental horror game that does not disappoint at all. It gives those heart-pounding moments from the very first scene.
Presenting different survival horror scenarios, the game takes place in Lake Erie, where a strange incident is suspected to be the cause of deaths and disappearance of locals. As part of your rescue mission, it is up to you to find out the cause and look for survivors. But things start to become unsettling and you find yourself being followed by strange creatures. Now it’s you who has to survive from the scary menace.
Erie’s visuals are just too good for an experimental survival horror title. Built using the Unreal Engine 3, the game’s first-person perspective is truly mind-blowing. When you run from danger, the camera jumps and shakes. The camera shakes, together with heavy breathing sound effects, gives you the feeling that you are running just as you would run in real life. The game is totally free and can be downloaded at Desura.
9. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia is a survival horror masterpiece from the makers of the Penumbra series. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s works, the game offers plenty of spooky moments. Your character, an amnesiac patient, suddenly finds himself trapped in a creepy castle. You will need to help him find a way out, but things get scarier once The Gatherers start stalking you. These monsters are some of the grotesque entities you may have ever seen. You just cannot escape their wrath and the best way to avoid them is not fall in their way.
Like Penumbra: Black Plague, Amnesia is a survival horror game and so combat is something you want to avoid if you encounter a monster. These Lovecraftian monsters are scary and will rip your body apart if you are found unarmed. The first-person gameplay adds more creepiness to the entire game. Don’t miss this survival horror title.
Outlast is one of the scariest games like Slender. The game is set in a spooky asylum (one of the best creepy places in most horror games). You play the role of an investigative journalist on a mission to find out the mystery behind strange occurrences at an asylum.
If we go by the trailer, then we can see that the game boasts terrific graphics. The blood spatters, graphic visuals and the unsettling fear that creeps in when you see someone trapped in a haunted asylum is perfectly captured in this game. Looking at the trailer video, This game might be one of the scariest indie horror titles of 2013.
All Indie Horror Game Screenshots, Courtesy of Their Respective Game Developers/Publishers
Samuel Franklin on September 13, 2014:
Love the list of horror games you've put together here. Anna and The Path seem like my sort of game.
Anurag Ghosh (author) on October 11, 2013:
Brendon Thomas from Cape Town, South Africa on October 11, 2013:
Quite a few titles that deserve to be investigated and appreciated. Thanks. I simply love this genre.
Anurag Ghosh (author) on December 05, 2012:
Chace from Charlotte, NC on December 05, 2012:
OOh, thanks for this list! I love scary games and, besides Amnesia, I've never even heard of these! Voted up and awesome/interesting.
Anurag Ghosh (author) on November 30, 2012:
Morgan Sheridan from Illinois, United States on November 30, 2012:
I've seen some of these on youtube. Your hub makes me wanna play some!! Nice hub!! :)