Kyōfu no sekai

A cosmic horror game inspired by the work of manga artist Junji Ito

The cancellation of Silent Hills, the horror game sequel that was to be led by Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) director Guillermo del Toro, was a shame for a number of reasons. Primary among them was the fact that one of the collaborators on Silent Hills was legendary manga artist Junji Ito. Ito’s artwork often explores two areas: a disturbing style of body horror that is unique to him, and the existential inevitability of one’s demise. These interests shape his manga with horror stories that are hard to get out of your head, not merely for the strange ideas he thinks…


Sylvio’s bringing its ghostly screeches to consoles this Friday the 13th

Can you hear it? The moans in the static. Yes, it’s unmistakable. It’s saying the esoteric, analog-horror game Sylvio is ghosting its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this week, on Friday the 13th to be precise. Weird message to pick up on an oscilloscope, that. It’s not quite the original version of Sylvio that we praised so lavishly back in 2015, but a remastered version that is heading to consoles—the tweaks and improvements have already rolled out on the Steam version of the game. The changes include the ability to revisit areas in the game, better hand animations…

A House of Many Doors

Weird fiction continues to invade videogames with A House of Many Doors

It was going fine until the Gangleman came. He arrived in the total darkness that my crew and I had been plunged into after the Heartlight had gone out. As Captain, I had made the decision to not sacrifice my own heart nor that of any of my crew to restore the light, and so we made haste towards the City of Keys, the closest refuge to our desperate position. That’s when he came, to the tune of “Gangleman, Gangleman,” a portentous poem written across the ages about his infamous acts of terror. And with that he stole one of my men…


Virtual pets get the creepy game they deserve

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Tattletail (Windows, Mac) By Waygetter Electronics The ’90s had a lot of creepy toys. Remember the adverts boasting that a new doll would actually crap in its diaper? What about those gross snot monsters that were made to let kids shoot slime at people? There were also virtual pets and Furbys. Remember those? A new horror game called Tattletail does. In fact, it has you looking after one over the nights leading up to Christmas. You have to feed and groom it, even play hide-and-seek, all…


Surreal horror game OMORI won’t be a recluse forever

OMORI isn’t dead but it has been delayed again. The team behind the upcoming “surreal psychological horror RPGmaker game” has released a new trailer and explained why the game isn’t out yet. To make a long story short: the team admits it “underestimated the amount of time to create a video game.” The original estimate for the game’s release date when it was funded on Kickstarter was May 2015. That means that prediction is drawing close to being two years early. But there’s more to it than mere naivete. One of the major setbacks for the OMORI team has been…

Dead Static Drive

Dead Static Drive to be a road-trip horror in vintage Americana style

Watching the R-rated horror classic The Evil Dead (1981) when you’re about seven years old leaves a lasting impression. Mike Blackney can vouch for this. He can trace his fascination with a distinctly American strain of horror “set in rural areas or suburbs” back to that seminal viewing. It carried him through the works of authors such as David Morrell, Joe R. Lansdale, and T.E.D. Klein, and now it’s what’s shaping his road-trip horror game Dead Static Drive. Due to Blackney’s interest in “horror in mundane settings,” the main mission in Dead Static Drive is to go on a “road trip to…

Exit 19

Ambient Mixtape 16 is a superb collection of eerie games

Ah, it’s so good when this happens. What am I on about? Oh, you know, nine independent game makers decided to get together and make a game each, then package them all under the title Ambient Mixtape 16. The idea was for all of them to use the same tools and format—a First Person Camera controller made by Alex Harvey for Unity3D—and to see how their individual styles interpreted the theme “After Hours.” For the most part these are mood pieces, focusing on broadcasting a sense of unease, often using a choppy or distorted visual effect with killer sound effects…


Sara is Missing is some good text-message horror

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Sara is Missing (Windows, Mac, iOS) BY MONSOON LAB Films like Unfriended and the recent Blair Witch have tried to bring the found footage genre into the digital age with varying success. But the attempt seems much more at home in Sara is Missing, a free game by Monsoon Lab. In it, you come upon a phone with an Intelligent Recognitive Iconolatry System (I.R.I.S.) that takes you through its owner’s last known whereabouts and moments. Best played on an Android device (but available otherwise), Sara is Missing…


There’s a good reason you don’t know much about survival horror game Routine

It’s been four years since first-person, survival-horror-in-space game Routine first pinged on my radar, and I barely know more about it now than I did then. This isn’t due to negligence on my part—Lunar Software, the team making it, have been very stringent on what info they put out into the wild. This hasn’t changed with the latest update on the game’s progress: specifically, a trailer and the reveal that it should be out in March 2017. There’s little in this new trailer that we haven’t seen before, including an abandoned lunar base, the handheld scanner-cum-gun, and a nasty man-robot…