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Game On: Horror Edition


Written by Mateo Biggs

As October brings autumn changes to Roanoke College’s campus, you can see the atmosphere begin to match the dark ambience of the spooky season, from the falling leaves to the chill that settles deep in your bones. There are many different ways that students on campus can celebrate the most haunted month of the year, like enjoying hot drinks on the back quad or pulling the squad together to enjoy scary movies while respecting COVID-19 restrictions.

However, a big joy of the scary season is the many horror games that emerge during this time. Interest in horror games always peaks during the Halloween season, as it is a tradition for many to play these games during the month of October. While horror is a genre of game all on its own, there are many subdivisions of these creepy games that can scratch whatever itch you’re feeling. From psychological terror to pure mindless gore, this article will explain and give examples for each type of game, for whatever mood you and the gang are in come Halloween.

Psychological horror, as the name implies, is a brand of horror that twists the mind and sinks its claws into your fears, even those you didn’t know you had. “Outlast” and “Amnesia,” besides both being developed by indie game developers, both jump into your deepest fears and make you wonder if what you hear is truly real or simply a piece of your imagination—especially as both take away the common theme of light being your friend.

Pure survival horror games are the ones that give spikes of adrenaline that fuel you to keep going, filled with jump-scares and even a speeding flow to make you wonder how to slow down as the game progresses. A lot of classics fall into this category, such as “Slender: the 8 Pages” and “Five Nights at Freddy’s.” Both games take childhood fears and magnify them, while you attempt to survive the experience that gets more difficult as you go on, going so far as to spook you with jump-scares.

Then there are the full-on horror games—games so twisted they are sure to make your stomach lurch with disgust as you attempt to push through, either because of the gore or the disturbing storyline that makes you pause. These games consist of “Fran Bow” and “Among the Sleep,” or even “Layers of Fear.”

No matter what mood you’re in for Halloween, there is a game to fear.