With Halloween just around the corner and the nights getting longer, we start looking for something to send the chills down our spine. Well, video games, with their immersive nature, are a medium that perfectly fits the bill. The latest generation has produced some outstanding games, with promising titles like Immortal Darkness joining the ranks soon. However, I would like to take another look at the old gold, which still radiates dazzling light. These are the retro games sure to give you a bunch of wonderfully horrifying moments.
Alone in the Dark
Lauded as the first ever 3D horror survival, Alone in the Dark certainly paved the way for later horror classics. It basically locked players in a haunting mansion teeming with sinister creatures and vengeful ghosts. Moreover, it pioneered many gameplay mechanics that would become genre staples, most importantly puzzle-solving and inventory management. Attempts to reboot the franchise were not overly successful, failing to capture the eerie feeling of the original, which was the true stuff of nightmares.
Ooh Aah Dracula
The Halloween spirit possesses the online gambling sector as well. Ooh Aah Dracula is a most vivid manifestation of this trend. Namely, this Dracula themed slot game by PlayOJO combines elements of comedy and horror to a great effect. Potential bonuses and rewards are hidden in every dark corner of the OG vampire’s castle. My favorite feature has to be the Heart Attack bonus, which literally bleeds free spins for you. Oh, and just try to loot the accursed graveyard, if you dare.
Capcom has hit the home run with the first entry in the coveted Resident Evil series. There was something utterly terrifying about that damned mansion infested with zombies and twisted monstrosities. I still remember the moment when the first dog showed up crushing through the window, nearly knocking me off my chair. Jump scares were one of many elements that contributed to the feeling of hopeless dread. Today, one can even try out an HD Remaster, which updates controls and graphics.
If you are looking for NES horror games, you are in luck. There is plenty of worthy titles and one that stands out in my book is Castlevania. After a short opening, you stand on the doorsteps of an ominous gothic castle. A peculiar mix of fear and excitement comes over you. And over the course of the game, you have to make your way through it, fighting cohorts of demonic creatures. The players absolutely loved it. This title from 1984 was so successful that it spawned the entire series still going strong today.
A point-and-click adventure Sanitarium is one of those hidden gems of the old-school horror genre. I am simply enthralled by how well it explores the psychological depths of horror. The player wakes up in a mental asylum after a car accident, with a serious case of amnesia. How convenient! From that point on, you have to collect the pieces of mysterious past through bizarre encounters and uncanny puzzles. Many don’t know that there is also a mobile re-release that is more accessible to players.
The darkness beckons
Timeless classics had more to them than gore and jump-scares. They oozed unsettling atmosphere, utilized designed features of the time to their maximum, and championed gameplay mechanics that defined the whole genre. In recent years, technological advancements have pushed the boundaries and now we have everything from online horror games to titles that implement Virtual Reality. But, revisiting the classics remains the horror benchmark. So, it’s time head to the dusty old library again and try your luck against forces of the dark.