Ah, Halloween! The time of year when the air turns crisp, leaves turn orange, and a good horror movie can turn anyone into a wussy. Feeling like getting in the spirit of the season? Check out our top picks below for Halloween games!
Okay, so Costume Quest isn’t scary unless you have a fear of small children dressed as candy corn. But it is one of the most fun Halloween games you will ever play. It’s easy enough that it’s playable for almost all ages and hilarious enough to hold everyone’s interest.
Playing as one of twin siblings Wren or Reynold, it’s your mission to save your stupid brother or sister! Who happened to be kidnapped by dimension-hopping goblins because he or she was dressed as a piece of candy corn and these greedy goblins are out to steal all the candy they can get their mitts on in one night. Whichever sibling you choose to play as is the not kidnapped one. Teaming up with allies Lucy and Everett, you must save your sibling using all the powers of Halloween! Transform and change your costumes to fight the monsters, collect candy and treat cards and curb stomp goblins as a 50 foot Transformer-esque robot or as a giant, glittery rainbow unicorn.
Costume Quest is available on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android systems. There is also a sequel, Costume Quest 2.
What’s scarier than dead children and Lovecraftian-esque demons who only speak in riddles? Umm, not a whole lot. Goetia is the story of Abigail Blackwood, a young girl who fell to her doom from a window in her parents’ mansion when she was only a few years old. Fast-forward 40 years and Abigail is resurrected as a ghost at the now-abandoned family manor with no idea how she got there, why she is there or any knowledge of the past 40 years. After conversing with Malphas, a demon locked into the walls of the house, you are imbued with purpose – to exorcise Malphas and the other demons and to unravel the mystery of the family at the same time. Other than the demons there are no other characters in the game and the feeling of abandonment is profoundly creepy. It’s clear that whatever happened was bad, but until the end of the game it’s not clear why a small child was brought back to deal with the aftermath of it.
A point and click sidescroller, Goetia is definitely HARD, even for the genre. There are very few hint available, and even those aren't usually as helpful as you'd like, but thank god for the map. It is possible to play through the game without searching for hints online, but there is an unfairly difficult musical puzzle required to complete the “true” ending of the game that you should watch out for. Still, ghosts of dead children and demon birds, all in the spirit of the season right?
Goetia is available for Mac, PC and Linux.
Evil Pumpkin: The Lost Halloween
I have been disappointed in the past by point and click games marketed with a Halloween theme (not naming names, that wouldn’t be nice). But Evil Pumpkin was a very pleasant surprise. From looking at the trailers and screenshots I was expecting an enjoyable experience but nothing to blow it out of the box. Instead, I find myself sucked into the story of Dern, a town where Halloween doesn’t exist. After the slightly mad Lemuel Barnabas comes to you spinning fantastical tales of this holiday that involves candy and pumpkins, you begin to investigate. Of course, being young, no one will tell you anything which forces you to unravel this myself yourself.
Evil Pumpkin does have some rough edges, gameplay isn’t always the most intuitive and the story isn’t always told as clearly as it should be. But one major thing that the game does have going for it is the ability to switch between point and click adventure style and hidden object adventure, which is done quite seamlessly. Bottom line, the story is always fun and the change of location every chapter ensures the game doesn’t get boring or stale. If you’re looking for some good natured Halloween fun, Evil Pumpkin is right up your alley.
Evil Pumpkin: The Lost Halloween is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Our Darker Purpose
I’m beginning to think that I have a thing for creepy rogue-likes with interesting stories. But no matter, because Our Darker Purpose is another great one. Taking place at the Edgewood Home for Lost Children, which I suspect was named by Lemony Snicket, you play as Cordy, a girl whose teacher went missing a month ago. Fed up, Cordy decides to venture forth into the unbridled chaos of the school to find the school administrator’s office.
Obviously, there are lots of hidden twists and it wouldn’t be called Our Darker Purpose if there wasn’t a creepy and sinister heart of the matter for you and Cordy to find. Much like other rogue-likes, the levels are proceduraly generated and death is all but guaranteed in the game. However, you will earn upgrades as you play through that can be carried over from the afterlife. Think Egyptian pyramid “buried with all your greatest belongings” style. Only no dead servants, just lots of dead school children and monsters.
Our Darker Purpose is available for Windows.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Originally released in 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS, Revelations is a separate spin-off series set in between Resident Evil 4 and 5 in the main storyline. It follows Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as they try to (once again) save the world from a zombie virus.
Who doesn’t love fighting more zombies? It’s a great game, and it’s included on this list because of the different play tactics and strategy to the main Resident Evil games. Instead of being an action-packed shooter, Revelations focuses on exploration and survival above all else. The game is still fairly fast-paced, but it’s a different feel to the other games. If you’re looking for something more in line with the main games, it does also offer Raid Mode where you must get through a set area from the single player campaign in bite sized pieces.
Resident Evil: Revelations is available for Nintendo 3DS, and in a remastered HD version for Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii U and is being released November 28, 2017 for the Nintendo Switch. It was followed by a sequel, Resident Evil: Revelations: 2.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
It wouldn’t be Halloween without VAMPIRES! And Castlevania as a series is one of the best video game depictions of that.
I realize that choosing Lords of Shadow for this list is a controversial choice. The 2010 series reboot featured 3D action, as opposed to the game’s usually “metroidvania” 2D style and also reboots much of the pre-established mythos from previous installments. It’s actually for that reason that I’m including it – it’s a great place to start playing the series without having to dive into loads and loads of lore. Basically, all you need to know going into it is that there will be vampires and there will be Dracula. And, if you like the game, there's always the back history of the series to then delve into. Or the sequel. Or the midquel. There's a lot.
Lords of Shadow is just as spooky as the previous installments in the franchise and the 3D combat and puzzle solving is an interesting challenge to players who are accustomed to the metroidvania style of playing. The game is available on Windows, PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms and is followed by two sequels.