LB’s Top Games for Halloween
LB’s Top Games for Halloween
By: LB Chambers
Halloween is without a doubt one of the best times of the year for gaming. October’s dark and spooky nights, especially with Seattle’s foggy background, are just begging for a little game time. With some hot cider (or caramel apple cider, or irish coffee, or hot punsch!), caramel apples, and a good video game- I’ve wondered for the last ten years what people see in loud Halloween parties when there is so much creepy fun to be had at home with friends and family, or even alone!
So for those of you looking for a video game to fill the October’s last few dark nights, or even Halloween eve itself, look no further! I have compiled my most favorite Halloween games (organized by the company of those playing) right here, and highly recommend any of the following to anyone looking for to geek out a bit in the Halloween spirit!
Playing with friends and (adult) family? In my opinion, nothing beats playing a scary game with friends! Be it an intense action, fast-paced shooter, spooky mystery, or fun puzzle game, having a group (or couple) work through a horror themed game is a great way to spend an evening! Try these on for size…
Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2
These fast paced horror first person shooters make great entertainment for the players and the observers! Players choose from four playable characters, then work together to survive a campaign usually consisting of three to five levels. With various weapons (Left 4 Dead 2 features melee weapons in addition to firearms) players rely on one another to escape and destroy hordes of zombies, often featuring special zombie types with unique high-damage attacks.
The great thing about these games are the team camaraderie it inspires- you literally need your companions to have a worthwhile time. What’
s also fantastic is how easy it is to get more than a handful of people involved; checkpoints provide excellent moments for switching remotes between players and observers, and the gameplay is so intense and exciting that you can’t help but be immersed in the game regardless of whether you are playing!
I know, I know- Resident Evil 4 is supposed to be the good Resident Evil release, and Resident Evil 6 is the new one. Well I’m happy to report that Resident Evil 5 is a great co-op game in itself, far surpassing Resident Evil 6 in gameplay, story, and overall spookiness.
Yes, this game has some objectionable content, it’s fairly negative and incorrect portrayal of what I assume are Western Africans for example, but the game itself is great. So if you can overlook that I say go for it.
In this action adventure third person shooter, Resident Evil staple Chris Redfield is sent to a fictional region of Africa to explore a possible terrorist threat. There he joins up with Sheva Alomar and uncovers a government/ pharmaceutical conspiracy that threatens the world.
It’s an engrossing game with plenty of unexpected twists and sudden scares!
State of Decay
Ok, so this game isn’t so much a multi player game as a single player game where you pass back and forth a controller, but trust me the patience is worth it! I’ve had up to four people playing this game together, each waiting their turn as the current player exhausts their chosen character, and it only makes this fantastic arcade game all the more enjoyable.
State of Decay explores what society would be like after a zombie plague, and what the survivors would experience in their desperate state.
Gamers begin the game with Marcus, a man camping during the zombie apocalypse who returns to society as it is already broken down. Quarantined in a small rural area, Marcus and his camping buddy join a group of survivors and they all work together to find resources, protect their home, and deal with the military and other survivors.
Gamers don’t stick to Marcus throughout the game.State of Decay features a realistic daytime tracker, and characters become fatigued, tired, and injured depending on how hard they are pushed and how often they fight.
The game, unlike most zombie games, doesn’t focus on fighting zombies but rather surviving in a broken down society. The gamer works to create the most stable society possible by improving the home base with upgrades (such as beds, gardens, libraries, workshops, etc.) gathering resources (building materials, fuel, food, medicine, etc.), destroying zombie hotbeds, and recruiting new society members (who the gamer can then play). Additionally each member of the society brings certain needed skills to the group (like gardening, shooting, research knowledge).
There is also a storyline that the gamer follows, which is excellent in itself. If you are looking for a game that a handful of people can play together with one remote, everyone strategizing and working together, then look no further than State of Decay!
Playing with kids? This can be difficult, most horror video games are rated M for mature and therefore are really much to scary for little ones. However, here are a couple great video game options if you’re looking to entertain and have fun with your little ones on Halloween!
Mario Party 8, Mario Party 9
Both of these Mario Party installments have great Boo levels (you know, that cute little ghost king who can’t look at you) which make for a fun and scary game that can be played with younger children!
The games are fairly simple; up to four players choose a Mario avatar and then race around a board shaped like Boo’s castle by rolling a dice block. Landing on various spaces gives prizes, special dice blocks, or triggers mini games. All of the mini games are simple, quick, and fun for kids.
Most importantly the game is less about who gets to the end quickest, but who collects the most stars along the way. This keeps things interesting and competitive in a good-natured way, and makes the game less of a race and more of an experience.
What’s special and spooky about Boo’s levels (aside from it’s haunted house appearance and the fact that it’s owned by a ghost) is that going into certain rooms makes the game restart (Mario Party 8) or landing on certain spaces triggers ghosts who follow and try to bonk coins out of players pockets (Mario Party 9).
All in all it’s a darling game, and one that can be played with any age group!
This puzzle platform adventure game is a perfect way to not only spend time with your children, but encourage their problem-solving abilities in a great Halloween setting!
Choosing three of seven available characters, players work together to delve into and explore a magical talking cave. The cave presents simple challenges that are difficult enough to entertain and feel rewarding. There are certain parts of the cave that can be explored by certain characters, which is meant to highlight the idea that the cave reveals the inner secret desires of each character. All in all it’s a great game that explores a fascinating concept to children that encourages deeper examination of surface truths.
Working together while uncovering mysteries really appealed to my younger nieces, and I highly recommend it to anyone with children over seven looking for a great way to play with their child while encouraging team work and higher thinking skills.
Playing alone? Really, there are so many great horror games to choose from that you’d be hard pressed to find a horror game that isn’t worth playing. Bioshock, Bioshock 2, Alan Wake, Dead Space, Dead Space 2, Dead Space 3, Batman: Arkham City, Dark Souls– these are all amazing options. (And I could go on and on with this list…) But for those looking to be really chilled this Halloween, here are my top three.
This interactive action drama adventure mystery game will have you gripping the controller throughout the entire thirty hour gameplay, no joke.
A mystery surrounding the disappearance and murderous drownings of several young boys brings together four strangers, each of whom the player navigates at certain times throughout their lives.
The players can explore thoughts, make decisions, and even kill these characters- all of which effects the story’s narrative, experience, and ending. The choices are timed in a realistic way (so that the player can’t hum and haw over accepting a drink from an NPC for several minutes) which places a real time reward or consequence at the end of every choice.
As a result every fight, conversation, or stand-off is made that much more intense and realistic.
Possibly the most interactive and immersing game I have ever played, it is a tradition that I replay Heavy Rain every year before Halloween for a different ending. Needless to say, I am highly looking forward to my replay this year, and would recommend this game to anyone looking for a truly suspenseful and scary evening.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Made famous for it’s dark elements, mysterious storyline, horrifying creatures, and terrifying psychological effects, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is everything a gamer could wish for in a horror game.
Waking up with no memory, the gamer plays a man trapped in a castle. Scrapping together notes and journal entries, the player must solve the mystery of why the man is there, who the man is, and how to escape with his life.
Of course, there are monsters. And these monsters are no laughing matter. They shuffle through hallways, searching for your character who is unable to fight back or even defend himself. All he can do is run. Just looking at the monsters provokes them, so even an accidental glimpse from peeking into what you thought was an empty room can mean instant death.
The psychological effects are phenomenal- mimicking the real effects of fear on the mind. As the man becomes frightened (due to being chase by a monster, going too long without light, or simply witnessing some of the haunting activity in the castle) small bugs crawl across the screen, the darkness ebbs and flows, and high pitched crackling drowns out any other noises. This means sanity is low, and must be brought back to prevent any damage to the character.
With a fantastic story, challenging puzzles, and unforgettable gameplay, you couldn’t find a better Halloween game if you are looking to be terrified.
Now the new release in the series, Machine for Pigs? Ehhh…just stick to the original.
The Walking Dead arcade game is truly a game that can’t be missed. Featuring interactive choices that change the game for each play through, realistic and lovable (and some familiar!) characters, and terrifying situations, The Walking Dead is an unforgettable game.
This episodic horror adventure game begins with the player as Lee Everett, a man in police custody when the zombie apocalypse hits. Shortly after an accident he find a young girl, Clementine, and together they try to escape the horrors of zombie attacks, limited supplies, starvation, and survivor deceit and attack.
But there were points that I BAWLED during this The Walking Dead. Not even out of sadness, but out of just straight FEELINGS; overwhelming intense emotions and thoughts for fictional characters in a fictional universe that made me super confused to the point that I had to put down the controller and just sob for a minute. Again, I’m not a crier. This game is just that good.
So, if you’re an emotionally balanced human being who, unlike myself, can handle multiple intense emotions at once and who loves a great horror game with fantastic characters and amazing gameplay-look no further.
Those of you like me, I still recommend this game. I just also recommend tissues.
And that’s all! Let me know if you have any Halloween gaming suggestions for me- I’m always looking for a new great scary game!