Announcing the Horror Community Game-Along

When deciding October’s Community Game-Along, I’ll admit I was a little selfish. Halloween is up there with my very favorite holidays, and I love nothing more than an excuse to cover my apartment in creepy cute bats, pumpkins, and ghosts. How, then, could I turn up the chance to tie the October Game-Along in with the holiday festivities?

Corpse Party

As such, October is going to be all about horror games! Japanese games, western games, console games, freeware PC games – everything’s included, as long as it falls under the horror umbrella. Now, I understand that not everyone can handle a good scare (including yours truly on most occasions), so in the interest of getting anyone and everyone to participate, games with Halloween-related themes and aesthetics are also acceptable!

The “rules” of the Horror Community Game-Along are the same as always: pick a game (or games) that fit the theme to play, and share your experiences however you see fit. On social media, please use #horrorgemonth to tag your posts so everyone can see! For the curious, “horrogemonth” is what you get when you take “horror geemu” (Japanese pronunciation of “game”) and smash “month” on the end. Do you know how difficult it is to create a unique horror-themed hashtag to use during the month of October?

Here are a few titles to get you started if you’re stumped with what to play:

Corpse Party

Corpse Party series (PSP, iOS) – I had to include Corpse Party on the list, as it’s the series that really got me into horror games after I told myself I couldn’t handle playing them for many years. The visual novel style of much of the game, combined with some pretty brutal puzzles that almost necessitate using a guide, may mean that the original Corpse Party might not be for everyone. I’ll be the first to tell you, though, that the game’s story and sound design is more than worth the game’s lack of polish in other areas. I suggest playing the original on the Vita, but if you don’t own a Vita or a PSP, there is also an iOS port of the game (that unfortunately had its fair share of technical issues which may or may not be resolved at the time of posting). XSEED Games announced earlier this year that they would be bringing over the original PC version, so hopefully that comes out in time for the October Game-Along for those who want it!

Ib

Japanese freeware indie games (PC) – Okay, this isn’t one suggestion, but I really wanted to highlight a category of horror games many people overlook. Not only are they free (legally) and available in English thanks to fan translators, but I have it on good authority that many of them are actually quite good! Definitely check out Memories of Fear and the horror section of Games vgperson Translated for a whopping 24 games to play for the wonderful price of nothing. My sources tell me Ib and The Witch’s House are two standout picks, but if you want to check out some Corpse Party spinoffs or the infamous Ao Oni, Memories of Fear has you covered. Be warned – while many of these games have a “cute” graphical style, that doesn’t mean they don’t tackle some pretty brutal themes!

Penumbra

Penumbra (PC, Mac, Linux) – Almost everyone who calls themselves a horror fan has played Amnesia, but what about Frictional Games’ episodic horror title Penumbra? All three episodes are available together for only $10 on Steam, and while it suffers from the kinds of control issues that tend to bring down a lot of horror games with combat, Penumbra stands out among fans for its tension, Lovecraftian premise, and focus on stealth to survive.

Cursed Mountain

Cursed Mountain (Wii, PC) – Cursed Mountain shares some similarities with Penumbra: both take place in snowy settings (cold locations are always good for a spook), and both feature a protagonist who is searching for a relative. Cursed Mountain sets itself apart from other horror games, however, by its focus on Buddhist Culture and desolate Himalayan setting. The game was panned by many for its waggle controls on the Wii, but considering it can almost always be found in bargain bins at game stores, it’s definitely worth checking out. The PC version is available for $10 on GamersGate and should satisfy those allergic to Wii motion controls.

Of course, there are many classics that I haven’t mentioned here, such as Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Fatal Frame, Siren… or even more recent offerings such as Dead Space and the Silent Hills teaser PT (I know, I have a bit of a Japanese horror bias). The possibilities are nearly endless, though the horror genre often gets a bad rap for having poor quality games, so be sure to choose wisely!

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.

  • TheGameroomBlitz

    Sorry, but I observe Oktober-Fist! It’ll be a month of my favorite fighters for me!

  • apricotsushi

    Haha, have fun!

  • apricotsushi

    Oooooh if you could stream it *____*

  • apricotsushi

    Marcus, when I think of your gaming tastes, horror is right at the top of the list, haha! Would you say that’s accurate?

    Really excited that you’ve got a bunch of stuff lined up! I’m hoping to get some obscure recommendations from you. For once I think I’ll also be participating (for months I’ve only organized but not had time to join)

    And thanks for the PixelPacas post! I’m going to check it out now!

  • Jade

    I’m almost done with Corpse Party! I love the Fatal Frame series and much replay one of them.
    Also I completely with you about Halloween, though I do confess I keep my decorations year round lol.

  • Yes, that’s 100% accurate. Horror and rhythm (although you rarely see those genres combine) are my top favorite genres :P.

    The hope is that I can publish at least one horror review each week this month, although if I had all the time in the world it would be so many more, haha. There are just too many horror games I’ve never played!

  • apricotsushi

    Ah, I can totally get behind keeping Halloween decorations up all year! I should start doing that 😉

  • I absolutely recommend all the RPG maker games on the list. Even the worst ones are super interesting as experimental games.

    They also go a long way in proving that you don’t need high fidelity graphics to scare the living hell out of someone.

  • Halloween is also my favorite holiday! Even though I can (and do) fuss with horror media at all times during the year it’s during October that I absolutely wallow in it :P. A few weeks ago my list of “to play” games for this event were already selected! It’s going to be a very fun/creepy month.

    PS: I made a little post about your game-along on PixelPacas to help spread the word!

  • Riven

    Amnesia! I never finished it; I should get back on that….

  • Zeria

    Corpse Party is such a fantastic series! For a sprite-based game it’s pretty effective, as outside of the occasional stills and pixellated blood it leaves a lot to the imagination. Plus it has some pretty scary moments…usually involving people or ghosts following you everywhere.

    The music, too! It’s so deceptively light-hearted to start with, and then it justs ridiculously overdramatic towards the end and it’s pretty powerful. Plus there was that lone piano in the music room…

    • The music and sound design is so good! Walking down that hall and hearing the flies buzzing… ahhhhh!