Insert Disk collects 5 Free Horror Games for the PC.
Today’s retro game review is 5 Free Horror Games for the PC. We all love horror games and we love them even more when they are free to play. This Halloween take a look at these 5 free to play horror games. Some will entertain you and at least one on this list will scare you.
Greetings collectors and welcome to today’s retro game review. OK, scrap that it’s not at all retro or really even a review today. Instead I thought I’d take a rather informal look at 5 free to play horror games this Halloween. In these uncertain times a lot of gamers finances have been affected. So, if you’re gaming on a budget this Halloween or just a bit of a cheapskate here are a few of my picks for a spooky night in.
Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion (Spooky’s House Of Jump Scares)
Up first, Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion or Spooky’s House Of Jump cares as I first reviewed it back in 2015. Developed and published by Lag Studios Spooky’s House of Jump Scares quickly gained a strong fan following for its quirky game style. This one is best described as a rather stylish walking simulator with an element of puzzle solving. The premise is fantastically simple in that you must navigate 1000 rooms of the jump scare mansion.
At its most basic you’ll simply walk down a corridor to the next room.
In the later rooms though the game throws in a bit more sinister jeopardy to accompany your decisions. The game has a rather cute aesthetic and is instantly likeable. The scares themselves start off as rather mundane but do build to a more sinister climax. I won’t spoil anything here as the fun of this one is all in the journey. Needless to say though that it is fun and even better, it’s free.
The developers seem to have had some great fun making this one. To break up some of the repetitive nature of the game there are a few additional features scattered around the rooms such as the arcade machines. Why not enjoy a bit of Mrs Spook or Spooky Cart. Or how about Mall of the spook in which you simply build up a stabbing run. Yes, the game does offer some unusual bonus content. The game manages to conjure up a decently creepy atmosphere whilst also holding the gamers attention for the most part. I have to say though that it’s only at a few hundred rooms in that the game really gets going. Although there is clearly a lot of repetition in the game play there is enough here to warrant calling this a horror title just about. Occasionally you’ll find items such as phones. Do they add anything to the story, do they mean anything at all? It’s up to you to decide.
For those that enjoyed this instalment there is DLC in the way of Karamari Hospital. It’s a similar premise although this time the game takes on a rather clinical feel. Definitely worth a second look for fans of the free edition. As of this October the Doll House release is also on the market. Perhaps worth a look for those that enjoyed this entry. You’ll be able to find this on the Steam platform. Well worth looking in to if you’re a fan of jumps care style games.
For those of you that like a little more action in your horror games you may be interested in a 2010 release by none other than Valve. It’s Alien Swarm. This one is all about the alien hunting. As a highly skilled marine it’s your job to go in to a base that has been overrun by aliens. You’ll need fast reflexes and also a good co-op strategy to get the best out of this one. Graphically this one still looks rather good, running on the Source SDK. There’s a decent array of lighting effects, the sound is appropriately toned and the gameplay will be enough to keep you coming back for more.
The game features a class system, over 40 unlockable weapons and 8 characters. And when you’re done with all that why not try the level editor that is included in the download. Alien Swarm is a real treat for co-op play. Your team will typically be made up of different classes. Whether that be a character stronger on offence, a medic or a tech guy. And you’ll be needing different those skills too. Low on health, call in the medic.
But to progress you’ll occasionally have to hack security systems so switch to the tech guy. You’ll have to trust your team to cover you whilst you align code and hack doors. This feels like a very solid offering that harks back to a time gone by. There’s a dash of Gauntlet in here mixed with an obvious inspiration from the Alien Breed games. It really is top notch for a free game.
Out of the five games on the list today this is perhaps the one with the most replay value and overall the most like a traditional commercial game that you might purchase. The animations are smooth and the action feels well paced. You never quite know how tricky the next room will be and it makes for some great game play. I really enjoyed my time with Alien Swarm. Its controls are intuitive to simply pick up and play whilst the co-op elements of the multiplayer definitely add to the longevity of the game.
It’s fun and frantic and a solid entry on todays list. Head over to Steam if you like what you see here and download for free.
My next recommendation comes in the way of Medusa’s Labyrinth by Guru Games. As the developers put it: Medusa’s Labyrinth is a very short mythological first-person horror game set in ancient Greece. It takes myths and legends that have stayed with us for over 2000 years and mix them together in a game that blends horror with stealth. Now this is a game that really has legs, or at least a slithering body. It was clearly planned to be a much larger title but was released as a free to play experience. Revenue from the game coming from the DLC pack in the collectors edition that expands the game. Or why not check out the VR edition if you have the means. There’s something quite charming about this one. It has a dash of action, a sprinkle of puzzle solving and a suitably creepy environment.
The game starts off at a fairly slow pace. You’ll be reading the notes left by previous adventurers and putting together a picture of what happened here.
The graphics look particularly good for an indie release and I really enjoyed my play through. The game is written on the Unreal engine so the game feels very smooth. Although if I’m honest some of the assets do look rather generic in places. This is a free indie game though so I’m sure we can all appreciate there were initial budget limitations. It’s not all out scares but there was a lot of attention to detail here in the development so can recommend this one for the curious. It reminds me partially of the Ocarina of Time temples in its puzzle elements and has subtle elements akin to the original Amnesia title. It even seems to borrow the lean mechanics.
Expect to be lighting torches that will expire, using your trusty bow and hiding when necessary. The game isn’t going to give you too many shocks and I’d describe it best as a slow burner as it rarely reveals the enemies for too long. Instead opting for that unpredictable sense of dread from the player. Your character will walk and even sprint at a snail’s pace but it does add to the tension of the experience.
In a indie horror scene awash with generic corridor walkers and jump scares Medusa’s Labyrinth really stands out as something a little bit different. If you enjoyed Amnesia but also crave a more mythical setting then this Medusa’s Labyrinth will have you covered. Either way, check this one out for some mythological scares.
But what if you’re just not in to action-stealth games? Well, this next one might just be more your pace. It’s a game by Pixel Maniacs and I would urge you to give this one a go. It’s obviously the most low budget production on this list but perhaps the most fun.As any parent will tell you, meal times are often fraught with challenges when you have young children. But what if you happen to be a family of zombies? Dip & Flip sees you portioning out Brain Loop cereal to your four zombie children.
The controls are as basic as they get, although I’m yet to master this one.
Right click will see you delve in to the cereal box whilst holding down the left mouse button and pulling back slingshot style will allow you to fling the cereal pieces. The aim being to land the cereal in to the children’s bowls. It’s all rather whimsical and light hearted. There’s a good chance that you’ll find this one frustrating but it’s all part of the charm. Getting the distance spot on is a real challenge but incredibly addictive.
Shake your fingers too hard and you’ll lose them. It’s all nonsense but I just can’t help but come back for more. I had some great fun with this one and was just what I was looking for, for something a bit different to play.
You can download this one or simply play in your browser. I’ll add the links in to the description below. Scary stuff.
Of course, this one is all very cute and family friendly. This is Halloween though so I just had to throw this next game in to the mix. A game simply known as September 1999. As the game’s description says, it’s A free, VHS styled, first-person found footage horror game, which runs exactly for 5 minutes and 30 seconds. I remember being absolutely intrigued by this one as it just looked so different from other games due to its VHS aesthetic.
Now, the game only lasts 5 minutes and 30 seconds so I really don’t want to show you too much at all as pretty much showing anything is a spoiler. This is definitely one you simply have to play. What I can tell you though is that there’s virtually no context and no clear goal from the start and that’s how you should approach this one.
It’s simply you, whoever you are, in a room and a corridor. You can stagger around, view the hallway and zoom the camera in with the right mouse button and that’s it. Could it be that things are not all as they seem though? It really is your job as the player to work out the real meaning of the game.
In an over saturated market of found footage horror movies and endless corridor walking indie games I was prepared to quickly dismiss this one. However, I would have been wrong to do so as September 1999 somehow manages to shake off the oversaturation of both markets and stand out as its own entity and feel somewhat fresh and original.
September 1999 is perhaps more of a simulator or even better described as an experience rather than a game but well worth the five and a half minutes of your time. It’s by far the creepiest game on today’s list.
This one is definitely not for younger gamers. Not that the game is particularly explicit in its gore, you will see far more blood and guts in many mainstream titles. Instead September 1999 has a strange quality about it that attempts to unnerve the player and the real menace of this on lasts long after the five and a half minute run time. It’s a game that will have you thinking about what you just saw. The real horror from this one comes from piecing all the information together. I dare you to play this one in the dark with your headphones turned up if you want a genuinely unsettling experience.
So, there you have it. 5 free to play horror games for you to enjoy this Halloween. I’ve added all the relevant links in the description below. Which will you be trying as the nights draw in? and do you have any recommendations of your own? What are the scary hidden gems that we should be playing this Halloween?
Until next time, happy gaming and happy hauntings.