It's getting on that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer (and colder!) and a young gamer's fancy turns to thoughts of unspeakable terror. For some of us, we take The Nightmare Before Christmas's "This is Halloween" song to heart and life really is no fun without a good scare! With Halloween stealing up on us, it's time to pull out three spooky games, ranging from "Okay, that was kind of creepy" to "I didn't need to sleep tonight, anyway".
- The tin Soldier - Alejandro Iglesias's point-and-click adventure isn't really scary, but it does give off the same sort of unsettling vibe you'd get while rooting through your old toys in the basement to find them all dusty and falling apart with disuse, giving you faintly accusatory stares with their soulless button eyes. The game plays like a spin on the classic tale as you direct our one-legged hero on a quest to save the toys (and get the girl) from a malicious evil, and despite some awkward puzzles, succeeds largely on the strength of its off-kilter atmosphere and clever storytelling. It won't keep you up at night, but it's just the right speed if you're looking for less terror and more "weird and surreal".
- Dark Cut (1 & 2) - If you like your sim games gory and "OH NO OH NO WHAT DO I DO" freaky, then Armor Games and jmtb02 have you covered and then some. You'll be playing the role of distinctly old school doctors in both games (medieval and civil war respectively) where you'll be called upon to perform gruesome procedures and surgeries on your patients with crude tools appropriate for the time period. It's bloody, it's intense, and it will make you glad you live in a time where the most you have to whine about is the antiseptic you just put on your paper cut maybe stinging a little. Wuss.
- Intruder - Sugarqube is the mastermind behind this unbelievably tense point-and-click adventure that's packed with both jump scares and fear that hits close to home. In the game, you receive a panicked phone call from your friend Sarah one rainy night, who says the power is out and there's an armed stranger inside the house she and Scott are hiding from. You'll need to find a way to get inside and rescue them... but the catch is, you can't let the titular intruder know you're there. The game balances breath-stealing atmosphere with terrifying moments where you're forced to react quickly to hide as you furtively find a way inside the dark house, and then to where your friends are hiding. It's a cinematic, scary experience... just don't lean too close to the monitor if you're playing alone in the dark.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!