Help fund your own terrible death in Agony’s bloody vision of hell

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a warning label at the beginning of a videogame trailer. “WARNING: This trailer contains violent footage and flashing images that some may find disturbing.” That’s how the Kickstarter trailers for Agony open up, before each of them start smashing heads open with fists—one is two minutes long, the other 16 minutes long, select your poison. That’s the kind of warning I mostly associate with Resident Evil 2 (1998). That game came out a tender age for me, eight years old, when I wasn’t allowed to play horror games and therefore grew an obsession…

And thus

Making a survival horror game without all the clichés

Narayana Walters, a computer science student at Appalachian State University, is fed up with seeing the same old designs in horror and survival games. But rather than sticking to moaning about it, Walters is doing the admirable thing of making his own: a non-linear, open-world survival horror game called and thus. While it may be a little much to call and thus a reinvention of the survival horror template it does strike you at first glance. From what he has outlined on the game’s TIGSource thread so far, there are no zombies, no guns, none of the usual sights that might immediately turn you…

Devil May Cry

All hail the ultimate videogame devil

“Dull” reads the game’s judgement, punched across the top-right corner of the screen in a disappointed font. Dante throws his shoulder, thrusting his blade into the marionette a second time. “Cool!” Later, once Dante has become a proper daddy’s boy, he’ll impress the game he’s trapped inside to the highest tier of its letter-based rating system. Devil May Cry (2001) is a game in pursuit of being “Stylish!” As a theater of aesthetics, Devil May Cry cares little for anything else. The stage is an ancient castle dressed up to the nines: Gothic arches, cobwebbed corners, eerie portraits, phantom doorways.…

Tonight You Die

20 free horror games you should play on Halloween

There is no short supply of free horror games. Hell, the rise of reaction videos in recent years has actually brought a surge of them. People have raced to to make a videogame that’ll scare the pants off their favorite YouTubers so they can watch. But that’s also a problem: a lot of these small, free horror games go for the cheapest thrill to achieve their goal. Yes, the jump scare. It is with that in mind that the 20 free horror games below have been selected. We prefer creep outs, an intense sense of dread, the kind of horror that…


Horror comedy in videogames isn’t given enough credit

He recently passed away, but in his 90 years on earth Herschell Gordon Lewis claims that he had been approached on two occasions to direct a snuff film. The idea didn’t amuse him. During an interview with Alexandra West from Diabolique Magazine, he said such a thing wasn’t “worthy of a thought.” “I regard that as too far back in organized society,” said Lewis in his genuinely golden voice, which narrates some of his films. He expressed that even seeing bodies on the evening news was tested his sensibilities. To Herschell Gordon Lewis, death did not appear entertaining. It would…


Game Boy-style visuals are too good at being creepy

The Game Boy is an icon of ’90s innocence. It’s a kid playing Tetris (1984) while sprawled across their bed. Or a bunch of kids trading Pokémon (1996) in the sun with a Game Link Cable. Nintendo’s original grey handheld is not typically a vessel for horror. But you try telling that to the people who participated in the fifth Game Boy Jam earlier this month. The challenge of the GBJam is to create a game with the small resolution and limited 4-color palette of the original Game Boy. That means there’s a bunch of green-and-black games ready for playing right now. Most are…

Hello Neighbor

An upcoming game about finding out your neighbor’s darkest secrets

You might be lucky enough to live in a lovely neighborhood, surrounded by friendly people who help one and another and come together during times of grief. However, even among these quite communities (perhaps especially so) there is that one person that always seems to be hiding something from everyone … something out of the ordinary. You might be too shy or too scared to ask them directly, but you can break into their house and investigate for yourself in Dynamic Pixel’s upcoming stealth-horror game Hello Neighbor. Hello Neighbor has been in the works for a little over a year but recently reached a good enough position that…

Five Nights At Freddy's: Sister Location

Five Nights At Freddy’s: Sister Location is a glorious return to cheap, nasty horror

One can only sympathize with Scott Cawthon. Once a struggling game-maker, he seems concerned that, just as unexpectedly as it arrived, his recent success might disappear. So he’s been working it while it’s hot—inside two years, he’s put out six different Five Nights at Freddy’s games. But 2, 3, and 4 were all poor. To keep his audience hooked, Cawthon introduced side characters, back stories, and vague, irrelevant mysteries. He created a lore. FNAF became turgid. And its original, wonderful premise and mechanics were drowned by arbitrary plot twists. The newly released Sister Location marks yet another chapter in the Freddy’s…


The Outlast 2 demo made me scream in front of my dad

Red Barrels Studio decided to suddenly release a demo for its upcoming survival-horror game Outlast 2 yesterday. It’s available now, for free, via Steam and the Xbox One and PlayStation Stores. And it’s scary as shit. Outlast 2—as you might have guessed by the name—is the sequel to the relatively successful Outlast (2013). It puts you in the role of Blake Langermann, a cameraman who, after wrecking with his wife Lynn in the Arizona desert, finds himself frantically evading a twisted religious cult. This sequel is set in the same universe as the first game, and still keeps its found footage-style of presentation (i.e. you’re…