Top 10 Underappreciated Indie Horror Games

Tags: #Horror ,   #HorrorGames ,   #videogames ,   #horrorfan ,   #IndieGame

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-10-24 10:43:45

Most gamers can quickly identify the horror's biggest names. Therefore, they often have series like Resident Evil and Silent Hill on their minds. But despite what some may not realize, this genre is incredibly diverse. Unfortunately, with so many titles available, many masterpieces get overlooked. Therefore, it would be a mistake for players to ignore this top-ten collection of fun horror indie games.

10. Murder House

Imagine the absurdity of being killed by the Easter Bunny

Puppet Combo's creators routinely produce genuinely disturbing horror games. Instead of ghosts or other fantastical beings, their titles usually include more sobering settings centered on serial killers. Murder House has perfect pacing, building creepiness and tension to a fever pitch before the killer shows up to smash everything.

Speaking of the murderer, this particular adversary operates in a bloody Easter bunny costume. Seeing that apparition emerge from a dim hallway makes our hearts race. The PS1 visual works well for the ambiance, giving everything a pixelated appearance and frequently leaving the player wondering what they saw.

9. Iron Lung

Depths of the ocean are a terrifying place

The ocean's deep, ominous depths can be terrifying. Yet, it's even more unsettling when the water is made entirely of blood. In the short indie horror game Iron Lung, players control a submarine while taking pictures of various underwater sites (of blood).

The setting is flawlessly captured, as it is eerie to hear anything hidden swimming close to you. On a fundamental level, the bizarre glimpses of something horrible that fans might catch in their photos are equally effective. Not all horror games manage to make the most of their brief playtime, but Iron Lung does.

8. White Day: A School Called Labyrinth

Survival in high school never looked creepier

In 2017, White Day: A School Called Labyrinth received a brand-new coat of paint. Thus, it added many new features and substance, making the game scarier than the 2001 version. While touring the ghostly high school, there are yet more gruesome encounters. After all, there's a janitor with a baseball bat to dodge along the way.

A wide variety of spirits overruns the corridors and classrooms, not all of whom are evil. Some people may occasionally make noises like a chalkboard being used or turn off light switches (which is quite unsettling). Others take a more overt tactic, approaching the player directly to frighten or even hurt him.

7. Observer

Cyberpunk horror is a rare combination, but it's great

The psychological horror game Observer makes use of an imaginative cyberpunk setting. In a way that is somewhat evocative of Soma and even Blade Runner, it combines a future look with elements of the horror genre. The main protagonist is given a terrifying arsenal of tools to use and investigate crimes, raising several moral dilemmas.

In the universe of the Observer, a tool known as the Dream Eater makes it possible to break into someone's head. With it, one's darkest intentions and most intimate secrets surface. It challenges the player to consider the potential risks and perils brought on by the unchecked development of technology.

6. At the Dead of Night

This game will make you avoid hotels at night

Hotels are frequently unnaturally unsettling places. That notion truly applies to the establishment that At Dead of Night portrays. Given the Full Motion Video production, this specific game is stunning. FMV was seldom used in video games in 2021, but this game does it masterfully.

A deranged killer prowls the dim, abandoned lodge. Of course, the player must stay as far away if possible. To do so, you need alert eyes and receptive ears. The murderer may occasionally be seen by the player peeking around corners or casting a shadow on the floor. This is a straightforward but quite powerful approach. When danger is known to be around, catching sight of movement out of one's peripheral vision is tremendously anxious.

5. Welcome to the Game 2 

Witness how Dark Web pours down into the real world

Video games drastically underrepresent the home invasion genre. Therefore, the Reflect Studios' Welcome to the Game series tries to close that gap. Unsettling as it may be, the thought that someone nefarious is hiding out in one's home or apartment might be frightening. Consequently, this game does an excellent job of driving your anxieties home.

To find hidden codes in Welcome to the Game 2, the player must scour the Dark Web and locate a missing woman. However, the threat is posed by assassins, serial killers, and kidnappers. All of these people have the capability and motivation to enter the player's residence and will do so. Effectively, this game makes watching your back into a gameplay mechanic.

4. Song of Horror

Spooky thriller inspired by the genre classics

Song of Horror by Protocol Games is a spooky suspense thriller from beginning to end. Its gameplay elements, such as its fixed camera angles and inventory management, are heavily influenced by the first several Resident Evil games.

The main objectives here are object collection and problem-solving. Of course, avoiding the menacing foes in your path is also critical. It's interesting to note that a protagonist murdered by one of these foes dies forever. Consequently, the tale must move forward with a new character.

3. Visage

The game that came closest to canceled P.T.

Many game designers tried to fill the void left by the unfortunate P.T. cancellation news. Over the years, numerous so-called P.T. "clones" would be published, many of which were terrible endeavors. But Visage perhaps came the closest to utilizing all that P.T.

The game's setting is a gloomy suburban home, and the goal is to solve the riddles surrounding the house's terrible past. Soon after, the player character experiences unsettling supernatural encounters while fighting for his sanity.

2. Northbury Grove

A typical 70s slasher movie turned into a game

A ton of slasher movies came out in the 1970s and 1980s, most of which featured teenagers dying violently. It was evident that Northbury Grove is an homage to horror films like "Friday the 13th" and "Halloween." Instead of going to the rock concert, the player character runs into a murderous fanatic who is masking himself with an animal skull.

The simple objective of Northbury Grove is to go away. However, that's very tough as the killer hunts the player down with extraordinary speed. Usually, trying to outrun the demon in a small place doesn't go well. A considerably more effective, albeit nerve-wracking, survival tactic is hiding.

1. Bloodwash

Retro-style graphics turns horror up to eleven

Bloodwash should also provide some thrills for viewers of the previously mentioned Murder House. A trip to the laundromat may seem innocent enough, but things quickly turn peril when the notorious "Womb Ripper" shows up.

Once more, a faction of players who appreciate the retro style will be drawn to the PS1-inspired graphics. This game's "creep factor" is at the maximum; thus, Bloodwash will appeal to players who like a long buildup of tension before the blood starts to flow.

Video games are ideal for the horror subgenre. Nothing compares to the thrill of being pursued down a hallway by a psychotic killer or the subtly creepy ambient atmosphere that makes a player's hair neck stand up! Many excellent indie horror video games receive the praise they merit. However, the genre is vast, especially considering the independent market. As a result, not all outstanding horror games receive the credit they deserve.

Have you played any of these games? Which ones appeal most to you?

Cover photo: TopTens/Midjourney



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