5 Scary Good Games for Halloween You Never Heard of

bloody pumpkinLists. Everyone loves a good holiday list. The problem is that a lot of them all look the same. Take the Halloween gaming list: Console kiddies run to Silent Hill and Resident Evil; Old PC farts have their Undying and System Shock 2; Even the Indie hipsters can immediately point to Penumbra or Amnesia. Boooring!

Here are GUO we wanted to get off the beaten path and show you some stuff you may not be familiar with of to get your scare on this Halloween. October isn’t just a great time for horror themed gaming, its your last chance to try something different before the winter rush of AAA game sequels keeps our fingers tied up until next March.

 

1) Rebuild 2

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Don’t let the browser based Flash window scare you! If this were the 1990s, the Rebuild series would be sitting proudly on a shelf alongside Sim City and X-Com. Rebuild is a turn based strategy game that tasks you with the rebuilding society in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. Tasked with managing housing, morale, and ever shrinking food stocks, you’ll assign your ragged group tasks such as scavenging for supplies, clearing out zombies, or searching for more survivors. Your goal is to expand the barricade of your walled off city block by block while dealing with local traders, gangs, illness, and, of course, the zombie horde.

Rebuild provides a stunning zombie movie atmosphere with great writing (special kudos for allowing swearing to be toggled off and on!), a licensed soundtrack from The Talking Book, and slick, graphic novel style zombie art. Random events, multiple endings, and a random map generator make Rebuild 2 a brains-tastic look at horror in a genre that usually gets little zombie love. Turn up the difficulty for best results.

You can play Rebuild 2 for free using any Flash capable browser at Armor Games.

2) Papa Sangre

papasangreThere is an old saying in horror movies that the monster you don’t see is scarier than anything you can show on the screen. Papa Sangre proves this idiom works just as well in interactive arts. This title takes the video out of video games and paints its horrorscape using a rich audio environment. Lost in the pitch black world of the dead, you are out to rescue lost souls from… Well, the same things someone should be rescuing you from! You tap two buttons on the touch screen to activate your left and right foot to walk. Go too fast or loose the rhythm and you will trip and fall, giving ample time for the hungry darkness to claim another victim. Papa Sangre is a terrifying experience and a revolutionary new way of gaming.

Papa Sangre is available for the iPhone 3GS or newer for $4.99 on iTunes. Sadly, at the time of this writing it is not compatible with iOS 5. A fix is coming. Update: iOS 5 compatibility fixed

3) Necrovision

NecroVisioN 2011-10-22 21-58-58-66Not all horror is scary in the traditional sense. Like the Italian horror movie scene of the ‘70s and ‘80s, there are just some pieces of media that take the clichéd blood and skeletons of the mainstream and twists it into mind snapping knots of WTF. Enter Necrovision.
In order to explain why Necrovision is so amazingly “brilliant”, I am going to spoil the whole bloody plot to this 2009 Polish first person shooter. Those wanting to savor every surprise should skip the rest of this section and proceed to #4. Everyone else: Grab a bag of popcorn. Or better yet, a bottle of scotch.

NecroVisioN 2011-10-22 23-04-30-91It is 1916 and you play as Simon Bukner, a young American soldier from Texas fighting with the British on the smoky battlefields of World War I. After a failed charge into No Man’s Land where he dies (maybe), Simon awakens to begin a nightmarish journey through the trenches, occasionally stopping to chat with crazed German and British soldiers alike. Opening a barricade that was holding back a horde of zombified soldiers, you soon end up on the trail of a German necromancer named Zimmerman. Simon battles through swarms of giant monsters, ghosts, German soldiers, and the undead to reach, what else, an old castle on a hill. In the basement he finds… (Drink now. This is where we REALLY go off the rails) A magic powered steampunk battlemech (!). Using the ancient war robot, Simon does battle against Zimmerman at Stone Henge (?) one who drives… Yep, you guessed it: A giant mechanical scorpion (!?!). Duh! What else would a WWI German scientist turned necromancer be cruising around in?

NecroVisioN 2011-10-27 02-59-59-29While the death of the Zimmerman would mark the ending for most games, Necrovision’s cacophony of coo-coo is just getting tuned up. You see Zimmerman was actually working for the  the vampires (?!) who have been fighting a war against the demons of Mephisto  (??!) to keep them from destroying the world. Zimmerman was the Chosen One and raising an army of zombies as manpower in order to fight the demons and keep the world safe (?!?!). Now you’ve gone and buggered the whole thing up! So… Simon agrees to become the next necromancer.

Thus donning a magic, possessed, talking gauntlet of butt kicking (+3), he begins the trek through the giant, steampunk, underground city of the vampires to finish this war. The vampire/demon war, not the World War. Teaming up with, obviously, an ancient dragon (!!?), Simon battles his way through the portal to Hell. Merging with a giant golem (&#@%), he confronts Mephisto on his own turf for the requisite prolonged boss battle. Following the demon leader’s defeat, the player is treated to one of three possible endings based your difficulty level:

On easy, it was all a dream and you wake up in the hospital; On Medium, you agree to join Mephisto’s army, but throw a magic rock through a portal buying humanity 100 years to prepare for a threat no one knows about; On hard, you are consumed by bloodlust and take Mephisto’s place as ruler of Hell.

I have neither made up nor embellished ANY of this! I… couldn’t! Where do you go from here?!Preaching the horrors of war one minute, cracking Evil Dead one liners the next; Using every stereotype possible, yet never clichéd; Necrovision is ultra-violent insanity on every level.

It gets better: There is a sequel, Necrovision: Lost Company. Except it’s not a sequel and has nothing to do with the Lost Company (which was only mentioned once and doesn’t matter anyway). It is a prequel where you play the German necromancer, Zimmerman.

Nercrovision firmly establishes The Farm 51 as the Lucio Fulci of the video gaming world. Or maybe Uwe Boll. Regardless, it will make you scream for oh, so many reasons.

You can get Necrovision on Windows PCs for $13 (THIRTEEN!!!) from Steam or Gamer’s Gate.

4) Soul Tax

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In the Flash game Soul Tax, you are dead. Have been for quite some time now. You’re hanging out at the office just poltergeisting it up when The Big Guy in the black robe with a sickle comes knocking. It turns out that, thanks to an afterlife bookkeeping oversight, you owe eight years worth of back taxes. Due now. Payable in human souls.

Soul Tax is a puzzle platformer where you control a ghost possessing people to make them kill each other, and themselves, in order to stay one payment ahead of the tax man. Packed full of inventive mechanics, devious puzzles, and laugh out loud dark humor, Soul Tax proves that there are things scarier than death. Like taxes.

Soul Tax is free to play in any Flash capable browser on developer Jarod Long’s website or via Kongregate.

5) Home: A Ghost Story

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Our final selection is not actually a game. Home: A Ghost Story is an augmented reality experience that has just been released in open beta from Fourth Wall Studios. Using streaming video, text messages,email, phone calls, and even a Wikipedia link, Home pulls you into the story using all aspects of your wired world. For those not possessing the proper devices (or who simply do not wish to log in), Home can display the relevant media in its video player as well.

Due to its short run time, I have decided not to summarize the plot or setting. I think the title says enough. It’s quick; It’s free; Take a look for yourself.

Home: A Ghost Story can be experienced at homeaghoststory.com.

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