Looking for some soft Halloween fun?
Throughout the years, game developers have taken nuanced approaches to the horror genre; what used to be only slashers and jump scares has now become mixed in with everything from comedy to cuteness! Today, I'll be sharing some of our favourite titles that I like to call "Horror Lite", as in you won't need to have guts of steel to enjoy this spooky season! As a friendly warning, we'd like to give a trigger warning for arachnophobia. Now, in alphabetical order, we begin with…
#1 — Beacon Pines
Genres: Story-rich, Emotional
At first glance, Beacon Pines doesn't look like anything scary at all, but this cute-looking title that takes place in a mysterious book will take dark turns and twists as you uncover the truth. Multiple paths to take, a handful of interesting characters, and a nuanced mechanic to rewrite the past await you! It's perfect for everyone looking to experience an unsettling story without any jump scares.
#2 — Bramble: The Mountain King
Genres: Atmospheric, Adventure
Bramble is a great option for fans of cinematic and atmospheric adventures who are looking for something dark and gritty but not too much adrenaline, especially thanks to the art style that looks like it was made for Halloween. The story is inspired by Nordic fables and centres around the protagonist, who goes on a crazy (and slightly terrifying) adventure to save his sister!
#3 —Happy's Humble Burger Farm
Genres: First-person shooter
This next title amps up the fear factor a bit, as it's neither as cute nor as fantastical as the previous two, but it definitely isn't as terrifying as the usual horror title seen in October. Just by the premise itself, you can already tell the comedy relief, as the game puts you in the shoes of a new employee at the titular restaurant. The catch? Mess up enough times, and the mascot — a usually cute-looking cow — will come and try to kill you. This is a great option for those who want a vibe similar to Five Nights at Freddy's but with more action!
#4 — Hello Neighbor
Genres: FPS, Stealth
Hello Neighbor hardly needs an introduction, as this game blew up when it first released back in 2017. In it, we have to sneak into the house of our creepy neighbour to uncover their secrets. Get caught, and it's game over! With the cartoon-y animations and overall silly graphics, it's perfect for giving you some scares but not enough to send you up to the ceiling like a cat.
#5 — Kill It With Fire
Genres: Action, Comedy
Another cartoon-y game that is perfect for some laughs and scares is Kill It With Fire — a first-person title that'll have you chasing after spiders and trying to kill them. Although most people aren't the biggest fans of spiders and would feel uncomfortable just having one nearby, the game really softens the blow by giving you increasingly ridiculous weapons! Explode them, burn them, or just wack them with a book the good ol' fashion way!
#6 — Layers of Fear
Genres: Psychological Horror, Atmospheric
As I said earlier, horror has become somewhat of a mixed bag; inside the matching of genres is an interesting mix of horror and walking simulator, which ends in a pretty great experience. Although Layers of Fear isn't only about walking around — you also have to solve a few puzzles here and there — it's mostly about strolling around unsettling areas and uncovering the narrative. Any of the entries you choose from the trilogy will be a good time on an October night, as they each have intriguing stories!
#7 — Lucius
Genres: Anti-Christ Simulator
Another title that has nothing to do with jump scares or scary enemies is Lucius. In this franchise, you'll be the bad guy as you take on the role of the son of the devil himself and watch as he murders everything from the maids to his parents! Figure out how you'll do it, use your special powers, and become stronger with each kill.
#8 — My Friendly Neighbourhood
Genres: FPS, Survival Horror
This next game is what happens when you have a nightmare with Sesame Street! In it, we go head-to-head against murderous (and apparently cannibalising) puppets! The lack of gore and the great humour really help you stay at a safe distance from terror while still enjoying some jump scares and challenges!
#9 — Oxenfree
Genres: Choices Matter, Mystery
And lastly, we have Oxenfree, a perfect game if you're looking for less action but creepy atmospheres! In this 2D story-rich game, you'll step into the shoes of a teenager as she and her group of friends end up stumbling into a terrifying mystery that'll definitely satisfy your horror needs this Halloween.
I hope you found at least one cool new game to try out this October!