Looking for an appropriate game to play on Halloween? Here are picks from the staff, some scary, others just appropriate for the holiday.
Hang on to your sanity with Eternal Darkness
Eternal Darkness is a game that has yet to be trumped in regards to its mechanics. This brilliant horror title that goes above and beyond what most horror games attempt to do. What makes it stand out is the sanity meter, which, as you may know, can produce some of the most terrifying, clever, or downright bizarre things to happen in any game like this.
Those who have played this know all about some of the more memorable ones, although even during repeated playthroughs I found myself discovering (or being surprised by) new sanity effects that really drove home just how unique this game is. The amazing story, fantastic characters and brilliant atmosphere don’t hurt either. This is one of the best horror titles around and a perfect candidate for a game to play through in October. – Andrew Passafiume
Get frightened by the disturbing, subtle Limbo
Limbo is frightening, but subtle. It won’t make you jump back from the screen in horror, nor does it have any cheap scares or loud noises designed to shock you. Limbo is quiet. Limbo is an oddity. It is also haunting and, yes, beautiful.
You won’t want to put it down because you’ll never feel safe. What really gets me is that most of the time I feel like I need to protect Clementine from other people rather than zombies. It’s heartbreaking and depressing, but everybody should play it. – Justin Last
You play as a nameless boy. There’s no narration or instructions. You just walk, run, jump, grab and evade in a relentless effort to survive. It will be difficult. A giant, persistent spider will make great arguments as to why you should be dinner instead of alive. Worm parasites will guide you in the wrong direction. And the locals? Shockingly unfriendly. The gameplay works, but isn’t anything special. Some puzzles are neat, some are tired, but it’s the setting that takes the cake.
The ending is ambiguous and hopeless. The last scene is a soft, brilliant reminder of the kind of game you’re playing. It’s a platformer, yes, but a dark and disturbing one. One you can play with your significant other and take turns and never be bored. Watching and playing bring equal pleasure thanks to the foreboding tone and stellar graphics. Perfect for a dark, rainy night. – Henry Skey
Gather around the table and share some Ghost Stories
This cooperative board game could merit inclusion on this list just for its name alone, but there are all kinds of thematic elements that really turn playing Ghost Stories into a memorable Halloween experience, win or lose.
An unrelenting barrage of creepy ghosts, a hopeless fight against impossible odds, a village under siege, and maybe — just maybe — a happy ending after all is said and done. Of course, most real ghost stories end with the protagonist(s) meeting a grisly fate and never being heard from again, and Ghost Stories can (and often will) provide that as well. – Chris Ingersoll
Embrace the magic of childhood in Costume Quest
Halloween to me was never about scaring people or being scared myself. However, I loved making costumes and running around the neighborhood with my friends. It was great fun to know that nobody else’s costume looked quite like yours. Costume Quest manages to capture that feeling and let me experience it whenever I want.
Controlling Reynold and watching his robot costume transform from cardboard that he cut and painted himself into the giant mecha suit that it always looked like to him is wonderful. It also helps that the combat is fun, the graphics are stylish and the whole story is a feel-good affair where a kid and his friends are questing to save a lost younger sibling. – Justin Last