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Favorite Horror Games

Recommendations by thecanvasrose

The horror IF that I most love and enjoy!

(I generally prefer narrative over puzzles and scare-factor over narrative.)

Ranked from least to most favorite.

For a list of other horror games with good ratings, see my other horror games list: https://ifdb.tads.org/viewlist?id=5885mj6icegla9og

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1. Divis Mortis
by Lynnea Dally
(2010)
Average member rating: (31 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A medium/slightly largish Inform parser. No fancy build/implementation.

What it's about: A zombie apocalypse game where you work at a hospital where the zombie virus has broken out.

thecanvasrose says: Solid play, decent puzzles. Worth your time.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.7/5 stars. (+) Strong environment that's fun to explore. (-) Leans heavily into worn-out tropes.

2. the uncle who works for nintendo
by michael lutz
(2014)
Average member rating: (72 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A Twine game with a colorful interface.

What it's about: You're invited to a sleepover at a friend's house. His uncle, who works for Nintendo, is going to come for a visit that same night.

thecanvasrose says: Not scary, but definitely creepy and ultra creative.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.7/5 stars. (+) Smart motif and effects. (-) Finding the winning ending requires repetitive replays.

3. Horse Master
by Tom McHenry
(2013)
Average member rating: (59 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A Twine short with an 8-bit motif and illustrations.

What it's about: You live in a futuristic dystopian world where one's survival depends on their ability to raise "horses."

thecanvasrose says: Maybe it isn't necessarily a horror game, but boy, it sure scared the **** out of me.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.7/5 stars. (+) Original, offbeat and visceral. (-) Too short.

4. Wretch!
by Josh Labelle
(2018)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A slice-of-life type Twine game with fun illustrations.

What it's about: You're a teenaged Frankenstein's monster who wants to experience the human world for a day.

thecanvasrose says: I'm genuinely angry that this lovely, short little game isn't LONGER. (It's feel good - not scary.)

thecanvasrose rates: 4.7/5 stars. (+) Feels like a John Hughes movie. (-) Feels like a John Hughes movie.

5. First Times
by Hero Robb
(2012)
Average member rating: (11 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: An impressive Quest parser game with music and sound effects.

What it's about: You wake up in an unfamiliar body in a neglected hospital filled with fleshy mannequins.

thecanvasrose says: This isn't the most fluid nor intuitive game, but it's the scariest text adventure I've ever played.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.7/5 stars. (+) The seriously freaky effects and story! (-) Few verbs implemented.

6. Draculaland
by Robin Johnson
(2016)
Average member rating: (20 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A custom made parser with a unique graphic interface.

What it's about: You play a vampire hunter on the lookout for Count Dracula.

thecanvasrose says: Campy, kid-friendly fun. A+ for nostalgia and novelty.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.8/5 stars. (+) Silly, quirky, easy to understand. (-) Likely a little too simple for some.

7. Leadlight
by Wade Clarke
(2010)
Average member rating: (33 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A modern retro-styled game (originally made for floppy disk use I think) that requires the use of an Apple II computer or an emulator (easy to install).

What it's about: You're a teenage student who wakes up to discover herself in a warped, corrupted (zombified?) version of the dance conservatory she attends. aka Ballerina kicks butt

thecanvasrose says: A narrative strong combat/puzzle fest which genuinely pulls some spooky punches.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.8/5 stars. (+) Strong tone, fun combat and easy to navigate. (-) Extremely difficult to win.

8. The House Abandon
by jonNoCode
(2016)
Average member rating: (2 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A parser game built in Unity with stong visual elements.

What it's about: You visit your childhood home to discover a gift from your father: an old text adventure.

thecanvasrose says: It's a one trick pony, but it's a great one trick pony. Good for a single playthrough, but memorable.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.9 stars. (+) Boundary-pushing form, smooth integration. (-) The parser will feel a bit too simplified for those used to parsers.

9. Cannery Vale
by Hanon Ondricek (as Keanhid Connor)
(2018)
Average member rating: (14 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: An intricate parser-like gamebook built with the AXMA storymaker.

What it's about: You play a famous but creatively struggling novelist whose reality and fictions mirror one another.

thecanvasrose says: Freaking clown. I laughed so hard, and yet I was so terrified.

thecanvasrose rates: 4.9/5 stars. (+) Inventive plot with unique logic. (-) Tricky to learn to play, repetitive at points.

10. Anchorhead
by Michael Gentry
(1998)
Average member rating: (309 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A legendary, massive parser built in Inform and filled with hard puzzles. The newest edition includes cool visuals.

What it's about: You move into your newlywed's childhood town, which is possessed by the influence of an eldritch evil.

thecanvasrose says: If you're going to play a Lovecraftian puzzle fest (oddly common in IF), this is the one most worth playing!

thecanvasrose rates: 4.9/5 stars. (+) Extremely meticulous and impressive build and prose. (-) Very hard and slow paced. Some language reflects H.P. Lovecraft's infamously racist views - not by protagonists or in a way that the game approves of it, but is unsettling even so.

11. Bogeyman
by Elizabeth Smyth
(2018)
Average member rating: (43 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A minimalist Twine game with music and a couple illustrations.

What it's about: You are a child abducted by the Bogeyman, and he won't let you go unless you be "good."

thecanvasrose says: "Bogeyman" shows that horror can be emotionally moving and literary like nothing else.

thecanvasrose rates: 5/5 stars. (+) Poetic, smooth flow. (-) Will make you sad.

12. One Eye Open
by Caelyn Sandel (as Colin Sandel) and Carolyn VanEseltine
(2010)
Average member rating: (38 ratings)

thecanvasrose says:

What it is: A large Inform parser game; plot-heavy with puzzles.

What it's about: You're a volunteer telepath at a research facility. The building comes to life and begins consuming its inhabitants.

thecanvasrose says: My favorite computer game of all time, hands down. Just try it.

thecanvasrose rates: 5/5 stars. (+) Atmosphere, texturing and pace. (-) Difficult, too gory for many.


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