Horror Games - Graphic by Vaadin Icons, Modified by Hunter Huffman under Creative Commons 4

It’s almost time for Halloween, and everyone knows there’s nothing scarier than spending money. Because debt is much too terrifying and realistic for the average individual, why not  scare yourself instead -- with some recently released free horror games? This is exactly what a friend of mine and I did.

With each game played to completion, below are my limited thoughts on each. Are these games actually spooky, or is the scariest part about them the viruses I probably directly installed onto my computer because of them?

'Swallow the Sea'

"Swallow the Sea" is… something. Clocking in at a measly 15 minutes, my friend and I still have no clue what we witnessed after we finished playing. In the game, the player controls an egg cell and eats the creatures around them in order to grow bigger. Describing anything more than that would ruin the absolute insanity that quickly rears its head. While the game isn’t scary in the traditional sense, the true horror lies in the dark, ominous atmosphere the game presents.

...Well, that and the big worm. I didn’t like the big worm. 

'Ann'

"Ann" is terrifying if you happen to have a blistering fear of pianos. Unfortunately, I don’t, so the game wasn’t all that scary either. And yet, despite the lack of any substantial spooks, my friend and I still trekked through this two-and-a-half-hour homage to old indie horror games, not because of the scares, but because of the story. 

Although short, "Ann" provides a decently touching tale featuring multiple endings, all accompanied by a soundtrack that really doesn’t have any business being as good as it is. Unfortunately, it also was pretty tame for a horror game, so we’re batting 0 for 2 on delivered scares right now.

'Dagon'

I didn’t initially do any research into what "Dagon" was, which is why I was surprised to find that it was barely a game to begin with. The experience was much more akin to a visual novel, as Dagon is just H. P. Lovecraft’s short story, “Dagon,” is told through a visual medium. 

All players can really do is look around and take in all that existential dread at their own pace, which generally takes about 30 minutes. Despite this, the game’s atmosphere encapsulates the cosmic horror Lovecraft was known for. 

So yeah, this game wasn’t all that scary either, and 0 for 3 is not a great record. So I guess this just goes to show you should do research before downloading a bunch of random files onto your computer. 

But all these games still are a good time if you have a hankering for some spooky atmospheres, so those viruses I probably got were all worth it.

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