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4 Free Indie Horror Games You Have To Play
Indie developers have time and time again proven that you don’t need flashy graphics or a big budget to capture the hearts of the gaming community. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. When everything isn’t being done according to charts and statistics, true creativity has a chance to shine. And best of all, many of these little gems are either very cheap or completely free. Two years ago I found myself drawn to the fascinating world of freeware indie horror games. Now it is time to look back and talk about the ones that have stood out the most.
I will keep the descriptions brief and spoiler-free because these are games I hold in high regard and think should be experienced first-hand. The gameplay for all four titles is combat-free puzzle solving and running from enemies, so there will be little to say in that regard.
- Witch’s House
The Witch’s House is notable for its sudden and unexpected deaths caused by several unforgiving traps inside the titular mansion. Without giving anything away, it took me about two seconds to die upon setting foot in the Witch’s House on my first playthrough. The blood-splattered Game Over screen immediately sets the oppressive mood for the rest of the game. For the record, I find it very doubtful that anyone can beat this game without dying at least a few times (provided that they have not watched a walkthrough beforehand).
However, the most memorable thing about this little masterpiece is its shocking “True Ending” that can be viewed by meeting certain requirements at the last part of the game. It is without a doubt one of the biggest twists I have seen in any indie game to date and should be experienced by all supernatural horror fans out there.
- Mad Father
This is the game that introduced me to the whole RPG Maker horror scene. What makes Mad Father extremely engaging is its demented story that follows a young girl who’s trying to figure out whether her father is a deranged maniac or a victim worth saving from the wrath of his deceased wife. The story really is too much fun to give away any more. It’s an emotional rollercoaster with plenty of surprises and developments that keep creating new questions all the way until the end credits roll. It will leave you craving for more breath-taking insanity.
Did you ever think it was possible to make an art museum a scary setting? Neither did I until I played Ib. It manages to take a very mundane place and turns it into a creatively creepy exhibition. For such a short game Ib has a lot of touching moments and interesting characters. It is also memorable because it has no real villain, and all the endings are tragic one way or another.
- SCP Containment Breach
What I like about SCP Containment Breach is that it forces you to work against your better judgment and stay calm when facing a murderous enemy. In most horror games the player would just start to run for his life, but in this one, turning your back on the main monster will cause it to kill you instantly. When the monster is in the room with you, the only thing you can do is avoid panicking and literally stare the problem between the eyes. The playable character blinks at regular intervals, and every time you blink in the line of sight of the otherwise statue-like monster, it teleports closer. The trick is leaving the room while maintaining eye contact. Good luck with that when the door is closed…