Anthology of Fear
A demo for the upcoming full game on Steam, Anthology of Fear is probably the most polished of the demos on this list. It took me awhile to progress at the beginning, and there is quite a bit of backtracking in the apartment, but I really like this game. The full version is slated to come out in March, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for hopefully good reviews.
Out of all the simple games on this list, Bleakshore might be the simplest of them. Without spoilering anything, I’m not sure you could even categorize this as a horror game. Up until the ending, however, you wouldn’t know that, and the Silent Hill-like fog and the very unsettling sound design is top-notch. While it can be very easy to get lost walking around, and wishing for a faster walking speed, it’s still a fun game to try out.
A very short game that also features the creepiest atmosphere and graphics for a seemingly-abandoned house, Driving Home has a lot of potential. Walking up to the house certainly instilled a sense of unease in me, especially seeing the open door around back and immediately noticing no-one around. The ending was quite disappointing, but for such a short demo it still works. I do hope more games from Gemezl are fleshed out a little bit more.
Fears to Fathom – Home Alone
The first game in Rayll’s Fears to Fathom series/anthology, Home Alone is a great first taste of what these games will entail. Thanks to both polished game design and popularity on YouTube, these games are likely much more well-known than others on the list. I like the graphics and music a lot. I’m curious what the final entries in the series will be, and if Rayll will continue with another series or try something different.
A very short game, Forest Dungeon excels in retro graphics and quality sound design. I really liked the level design and atmosphere of this game. I hope to see more from bliK!
A short and simple concept game, The Hall impressed me with its graphics and atmosphere. I’m not big on (nor very good at) maze puzzles, but I’d certainly would like to see more from Softeismann!
My favorite of the three games currently available from Spring Rabbit, The House is a great game in the style of Puppet Combo.
The House in the Woods
While it has quite a few more jump-scares than the others on this list, there’s no doubt The House in the Woods excels at atmosphere and fear. The graphics and audio are top-notch, and I’ll admit the jump-scares got me every time.
Our Lady of Sorrow
While a little heavy-handed on the VHS effects, ToothandClaw’s Our Lady of Sorrow is a great example of the atmosphere and hints of story these games can offer. There’s not much gameplay besides fetching a couple of items and a bit of backtracking, but it definitely left me wanting more.
A short horror game doesn’t usually include much of a story, however Within manages to quickly introduce and immerse the player in a tale of finding a lost sibling and discovering something quite sinister instead. The sequences within the computer were very immersive.
In addition to Within, their latest, Crux Game Studios has released several other games, including my personal favorite The Babysitter. It’s a visual novel rather than 3d/walking simulator, but the story and atmosphere are great.