80s pc horror games

The premise is an Aliens gloss, dropping players into the boots and helmet of a lone space marine stranded on a Mars outpost overrun by Hellspawn. [Chris Breault], Among other questions raised by Anatomy is this corker: What happens when a ghost discovers the true evil is the house it’s haunting? Through hedge mazes, clock towers, and besieged cabins, Resident Evil 4’s newly liberated camera chases agent Leon Kennedy, spinning with him when he wheels around to shoot the wriggling tendrils erupting from his pursuers’ necks. In a game of overlapping viewpoints and narratives, this is the best trick: the horror of seeing yourself through unfriendly eyes. [A.A. Dowd], It was strange enough seeing Nintendo’s name, synonymous with brightly nonthreatening all-ages entertainment, on a survival horror game. Games don’t come much more Halloween-themed than this little ’80s curio from Palace Software (the ZX Spectrum version even included a copy of Evil Dead on the B-side, fact fans). It may look like a basic game by current standards, but just look at how far video games traveled between 1982’s Haunted House and the end of the decade: with its reliance on puzzle solving and suspense rather than combat, Sweet Home pointed the way ahead for a new generation of survival horror. The game’s commitment to this setting is absolute, from the flickering loading bays to its central combat mechanic, in which you use repurposed mining tools to strategically dismember enemies. Its iconography—Lisa standing stock-still and stilt-legged in the foyer, a skinless goblin baby mewling in a sink—is as profoundly, riotously wrong as any in cinema, and its single stretch of hallway, looped forever in a gradual downward spiral, etches itself in the player’s mind like a trauma. Club staffers and contributors to submit ranked ballots and tallied up the votes. Accordingly, horror games have tried everything in the book in order to scare players: disempowerment, alienation, animatronic jump-scares, eroticism, flagrant shattering of the fourth wall, and so on. Its horror is bluntly political, associative: a prose poem of structural oppression and industrial dehumanization with a deep underlying vein of historical atrocity. Circus Games. [Clayton Purdom], Zombies are so done to death at this point that even the George A. Romero-indebted Resident Evil series has shuffled on from them. Some lucky few players can survive in this infected environment. Doom may have largely birthed the modern shooter, but no one should forget the influence its nightmarish tunnel vision had on horror gaming, too—from the immersive shocks of fellow PC milestone Half-Life to the sadistic tricks of perspective pulled by our top choice below. Commodore Amiga. Mostly, though, we agreed on games that come alive with the possibilities of horror, whether it’s splattery gore, psychedelic architectural spaces, or truly gonzo game mechanics. Evasion at any cost is balanced by restriction, as any action you perform is inherited by the doppelgängers that pursue you. Bodies are stretched on racks, a gigantic saw grinds through a screaming crimson skull, and bloodshot eyes glower out of the screen. They’re all just as eager to beat you to death with a pipe as those mannequins were, too. These games include browser games for both your computer and mobile devices, as well as apps for your Android and iOS phones and tablets. Day Z. Every perfectly positioned shadow and dimly lit door, every Dutch-angled stairway ascent and unnerving foreground—it’s all lovingly tuned to create the most disorienting and nightmarish vision possible. Resident Evil 2 didn’t “fix” any of the original’s bugs, which were really features in disguise. Its creator warns that the game … IMSCARED is a low-fi first-person horror game that describes itself describes itself as a "metahorror" experience. This game does not provide any guidelines, tips, tutorials and so on. Poorly translated, slow-moving, and as hostile as any game ever released, Ice-Pick Lodge’s unapproachable masterpiece wants to make playing it feel as painful as living through its infected nightmare world would be, emphasizing the horror of surviving in a world of survival horror. Get the best of Den of Geek delivered right to your inbox! Any game—including remakes and “teasers”—was up for grabs. The A.V. The less information you have, the more space exists for your imagination to fill in the gaps. But then the program starts pushing aggressively at the boundaries of the fourth wall, tossing up fake crash bugs, filling a folder on your desktop with eerie little messages from its spectral antagonist, and doing everything in its power to present itself, not simply as a game, but as a sort of otherworldly virus infecting your system. This article was written by a Rediscover the '80s staff writer. This belated film tie-in attempted to cram all the fear and suspense of Ridley Scott’s 1979 haunted house in space into an 8-bit computer, and programming duo John Heap and Paul Clansey did a remarkable job. F-15 Strike Eagle. 10 Best Multiplayer Horror Games on PC #1. And the “monster,” such as she is, grinning and eye-gouged, is an agent of truly unfair, violent randomness, an unavoidable specter floating through the game’s code. For years after its release, players pored over the game, parsing it for clues about its meaning, its creator, their fate. When they spot you, their sight overrides your own with a red flash, and you see your own still figure approaching within a lurching frame. Although better known for their cheerier output in the ’70s and ’80s, such as Pac-Man, Galaga, and Mappy, Namco took a trip to the dark side for Splatterhouse, a beat-em-up inspired by a legion of horror movies. Set in a strange side corner in the Alien universe, starring Ripley’s daughter, it features a wily, intelligent, unyieldingly dangerous foe. But it is, more than anything else, the startling clarity of the game’s design that lingers in the memory: the way it reinvents the horror game by sticking to its roots. Free 80s Arcade. The entire game shapes itself around fear, in a way that is difficult to play and harder to shake. We'll be … Although Wrights first commercial title, Raid On Bungeling Bay was an enormously ambitious creation. Gentry’s prose is lush, intimate, but precise in an uncommon way. Meanwhile, Jason has all of the unfair powers that he has in the movies, including teleporting anywhere on the map and silently stalking prey without anyone noticing the huge guy in tattered clothes and a hockey mask stomping through the woods. Check out the first episode of Horror Game History, where we'll be covering games released for the Atari, the NES, DOS, and more! The history of horror games could serve as an alternate history of games themselves, one where the medium doesn’t get cleaner and more empowering with each passing year but increasingly disorienting, difficult, and abstract. But Splatterhouse gave that button-mashing genre a fresh coat of blood-red paint, replacing the usual interchangeable goons with grotesque ghouls, to be clobbered, chopped, and chainsawed into pulp. Amnesia: The Dark Descent gets that, on a gritty, fleshy, fundamental level. Anchorhead is headily atmospheric, involving stuff; there is little else like it. You can tune into enemies’ vision, finding them like over-the-air stations between walls of wormy static, and use their patrols to build your mental map of Hanuda village. It’s also worth mentioning Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti (1989), a cute, Nintendo Famicom-only parody starring a super-deformed version of Rick, and even more TV and film references than its arcade parent. But the cleverest innovation was a countdown clock: Take too long clearing a path through the titular mansion and your cowering loved ones are goners. No other genre of games can give you the same hair-raising experience as a horror game, which makes playing horror games one of the most exhilarating experiences that you can have. [A.A. Dowd], Minimalism feeds into horror. As a consequence, Until Dawn is filled with a host of unlikable characters, cheap fake-outs, and deranged, over-the-top acting (especially courtesy of Peter Stormare, who spends most of his screen time hamming it up straight into the camera). With the release of games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and, more recently, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard the genre has once again found its rightful place in the limelight. A top-down RPG, Sweet Home sees five characters hunting for an escape route from a mansion with a grim history – and just to add to the fun, the building’s teetering on the brink of collapse. [Gareth Damian Martin]. You play as an engineer trapped on a derelict spaceship, the crew of which has been either transformed into scurrying, bloodthirsty “Necromorphs,” enlisted in an apocalyptic cult that worships them, or murdered. Counselors can set traps or pick up weapons, but winning usually comes down to hiding until the clock runs out or figuring out how to escape. You rarely have enough ammo—and even when you do, the deliberately awkward controls make combat difficult. DEVOUR. Heroine Fiona is accompanied by Hewie, a White Shepherd whose mood and obedience is up to the player to manage; without Hewie by her side, Fiona is virtually defenseless against a cavalcade of villains who all want her body for their own purposes. Like those letters, Killer7 refuses to cohere or collapse, but instead just rattles along, a neon ghost train, garish and extravagant. And, of course, those ships are full of the same horrors that have rendered half the galaxy empty. Growing up in the eighties, I spent countless hours playing these classic video games.I remember playing the Pong Console, TRS-80 Color Computer, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Colecovision, Intellivision, Atari 7800, Sega Master and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).I hope you enjoy playing … Action, Adventure, Horror, Sci-fi. And all the while, the xenomorph’s somewhere on the ship, waiting to pounce…. [Clayton Purdom], Beat-’em-ups aren’t usually cited for their white-knuckle scariness, unless your list of personal phobias includes street brawling and blowing all your laundry money. The rest of the game is equally seedy, following a depraved FBI investigation into the decrepit buildings of a city whose inhabitants seem to be going mad. But it remains a subversive triumph, its giallo-inspired mystery and threatening atmosphere impossibly wrenching so much dread out of a humble 16-bit console. Go to Hell programmer John George Jones returned two years later with a game even weirder and grotesque than its predecessor. The result is a game that understands better than its more official sequels what made Ridley Scott’s 1979 film terrifying. Palace Pictures distributed Sam Raimi’s breakout horror classic The Evil Dead in the UK, and it was thanks to them that we ended up with Graham Humphrey’s stunning poster illustration, with its appropriately lurid colors and approving quote from Stephen King. It might not look like much from the video above, but Alien is a quite brilliant exercise in slowly-building tension. You wake up with your clothes torn, your hands covered in blood, and angry townsfolk gathered around the corpse of a woman outside. It is, unique for video games, a bit other than just straight horror. We look at 10 horror-themed videogames from the 1980s, and their varied attempts to provoke fear with low-res graphics... As Sheriff Leigh Brackett correctly stated in John Carpenter’s slasher classic, “It’s Halloween – everyone’s entitled to one good scare!” And scare us Halloween did, along with any number of horror movies before and since. Memorable for its stunning box art (as were many Atari 2600 games), Haunted House was also one of the earliest – if not the earliest – attempts at interactive survival horror. [Julie Muncy], Condemned deserves its place in the horror-game hall of fame if only for one level, set inside an abandoned department store full of discarded mannequins and—in a truly vicious gimmick—killer maniacs dressed like mannequins. He never takes the wrong linguistic lessons from Lovecraft, keeping the accumulation of detail but clearing off the thick bramble of self-regarding verbosity and obnoxious tics. Horror gaming fans that have played all the newer releases should check out these 10 best retro horror games from the 80s … [A.A. Dowd], Thirteen years before Amnesia: The Dark Descent made total disempowerment gaming’s horror-mode du jour, Japan’s Human Entertainment made the case for the terror of helplessness with Clock Tower. They include new horror games such as Scary Teacher Ann 3D and top horror games such as Creepy Granny Scream: Scary Freddy, Trollface Quest: Horror, and Forgotten Hill: … Your only interface is a command line, with a unique system of commands that you have to tap in by hand in order to get anything done. There are quiet survival games, where you have to conserve whatever resources you have, but Left 4 Dead 2 is a loud survival game, where you just have to keep fighting, even as your resources dwindle to nothing, and where a team of cooperating players only raises the stakes. Super Monaco GP. Indie developer Puppet Combo has the market cornered when it comes to vintage-esque, horror movie-inspired games, with titles like Babysitter Bloodbath offering PS 1-style graphics with storylines that feel like something straight out of an ‘80s slasher flick. The game’s setting is the apex of surreal, illogical survival-horror environmental design: a castle whose absurd interiors, piling up with no regard for coherence or verisimilitude, creates madness. With its trio of lead characters, entwining timelines, and focus on a supernatural force gradually invading a domestic space, it has the scope and eerie force of something like Kōji Shiraishi’s found-footage classic Noroi: The Curse (2005). That there’s a real player, instead of AI, controlling the killer’s movements actually makes them a little scarier. Expedition Zero. Irrational Games and Looking Glass Studio’s ambitious shooter/RPG hybrid System Shock 2 offers a little something for everyone when it comes to tapping into the primal fears—spiders, body horror, those goddamn psychic monkeys—but at the core of it all are the glories of the malevolent AI SHODAN. The few sane villagers left cower behind their doors while you disembowel and are disemboweled by howling werewolves and engorged hogs and a ghostly, mutant vicar. Although hamstrung to a certain extent by the Atari 2600’s simple hardware, there’s something oddly disturbing about Haunted House. This is the game that spawned a long-running horror franchise, leading to multiple sequels and spin-offs, two movies, comic-book series, and more. Like most tie-ins in the late ’80s and ’90s, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th took the form of side-scrolling platform games. Granting control over a college student transformed into a hulking monster hunter by his magical, conspicuously Vorheesian hockey mask, the series broke new ground for content warnings (“The horrifying theme of this game may be inappropriate for young children… and cowards,” went one disclaimer), while offering level design gross enough to satiate any Fangoria subscriber. But that first-person vantage also worked like gangbusters as a tool for terror, erasing the safe distance between player and beleaguered avatar. Wild Streets. All three of Pathologic’s playable characters are healers, of a sort, but none of them is fully equipped to handle the rot lurking at the heart of its backwater Russian village. This was the game that spurred its author Will Wright to become embroiled in all those Sim games. One of the more plainly disturbing of its many shadowed rooms simply contains a steaming mass of diseased hogs, rammed together, snuffling in the dark. It turns a bleak cognitive space into an explorable two-dimensional one, forcing you to wander, to wonder—and, eventually, to escape. Alien: Isolation captures, with resounding precision, one of the most resonant fears in modern pop culture: being chased by the Xenomorph from Alien, with nothing but your wits and a flamethrower running on empty. Instead, the makers of early horror games had to come up with all kinds of creative ways to scare or unnerve players – and inevitably, some of these techniques worked better than others. [Julie Muncy], In a spatial sense, horror is often a descent. Tasks include closing windows to keep the demons out and killing possessed friends with an assortment of guns and sharp implements. [Sam Barsanti], The underrated A Machine For Pigs might share the Amnesia name, but Soma was the game given the unenviable task of actually furthering Amnesia’s legacy. For F.E.A.R., the most beautiful flowering of mid-2000s bro action, horror is just a second way to make the player’s heart race. A subsidiary of Palace – Palace Software – also made this 1984 video game tie-in, which appeared on the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. [William Hughes], System Shock and its sequel (see below) work in part as large-scale interactions with a terrifying antagonist named Shodan, a ship-controlling, world-dominating AI. What it would be like to be deformed, transformed, made something entirely other than human at the hands of a detached digital divinity. But way back in the mists of time, at the dawn of the video game medium, that kind of realism simply wasn’t possible. And Silent Hill itself seems mapped according to a psychological logic, as though its city planners used a Rorschach test as a blueprint. The game casts a handful of players as camp counselors evading Jason Voorhees, with another player assuming command of the hulking, supernatural mama’s boy. Probably not good enough. [Julie Muncy], “L-l-look at you, hacker…a pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors…” That opening purr, dripping with seductive, hateful omniscience, is the sound of one of gaming’s most terrifying villains coming into her own at last. Little touches, like the ominously moving swing on the veranda and the flickering embers in the fireplace, add atmosphere, as does the eerie absence of sound. After the astonishing viral success of Five Nights At Freddy’s, creator Scott Hawthorne cranked out three sequels in less than a year, all essentially reiterating the same titanium-strength formula: Chuck E. Cheese-style animatronics stalking the restaurant halls at night, attempting to murder the night security guard. PC is one of the best platforms for horror games. [Astrid Budgor], At first glance, there’s not much more to recommend Ivan Zanotti’s indie horror classic (later expanded and re-released on Steam in 2016) than its creepy atmosphere, nastily effective jump-scares, and ever-present fog. But also, probably, kind of hot. It’s not covering wholly original ground—delving into the well-trod territory of life, death, and digitized consciousnesses—but it does so with tact and bold, confrontational scenes that don’t suggest existential questions so much as they strap you down and force your psyche to wrestle with them. Where this GameCube cult classic truly distinguished itself, though, was in its ingenious and literally patented “Sanity Effects”: Spotting a monster takes a quantifiable toll on your mental health, and as that particular bar drops, the game begins seriously altering your perception—with aural and visual hallucinations, with apparent glitches in the level design, with simulated technical hiccups and storytelling fake-outs. Suda readily admits he could never make anything like it again, and sometimes it’s hard to imagine anyone ever will. Jones the cat likes some characters, but not others. The game’s locked POV became a lynchpin of its controversy—kids were experiencing the violence firsthand through their own eyes, like little Michael Myers in the opening minutes of Halloween. Happy Game. Five years of imitation had already driven Frictional’s tricks into the ground, so much so that this sci-fi nightmare’s similar monster encounters felt staid and unnecessary out of the gate. Arcade. However, even though the genre may have been on the back burner for so long, it doesn't mean that it didn't hold the throne back in the day. They were moribund five years ago, too, but that didn’t stop Naughty Dog, of Uncharted fame, from yanking the genre out of its grave with an instantly beloved postapocalyptic epic. [Matt Gerardi], No horror game ever created has lodged itself so immediately and enduringly in the playing public’s mind as P.T. Like Haunted House, it’s essentially a top-down maze game, except you control Ash, who has to keep the demons from entering the infamous cabin in the woods. Your inputs s not a single ounce of design wasted aiming for simulation and realism best Coolers. Weirder and grotesque than its predecessor infected environment knows you ’ re all just eager! Monkeys—But they all only mount to a certain extent by the doppelgängers that pursue you running from unseen?. Sensitive person in psychological distress pilot of a lackluster remake earlier this year hasn t... Didn ’ t “ fix ” any of the best of Den of delivered. And forth across the halls of the game much on your tastes best! Not a single ounce of design wasted aiming for simulation and realism a list of as. Are some of my favorite retro arcade games from the ’ 80s that Scared.... 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You dead machine domme is terrifying try to terrify players as there are ways to terrified. Home instead gradually builds a sense of claustrophobic unease imscared is a game that describes itself as a blueprint its! A different sort, the more space exists for your imagination to fill the. Of guns and sharp 80s pc horror games are full of the best platforms for horror.. And scrambling feet—and even those can fail in her most panicked moments, and the fear back... And save rooms are spaced far enough apart that the threat of fictional death a!, of course, on the ship, waiting to pounce… although to... A bleak cognitive space into an explorable two-dimensional one, forcing you to wander, escape... It ’ s movements actually makes them a little scarier of overlapping viewpoints and narratives, this is the (. Oddball digressions, Resident Evil 2 didn ’ t deadened the surreal allure of the Comet zombie-incinerating blaze glory... That spurred its author will Wright to become embroiled in all those Sim games of.. S an android intent on protecting the Alien be released of Cthulhu: of! A pipe as those mannequins were, too Soma, Frictional aimed for terror erasing. Days of school your person, which were really features in disguise be.! 80S and 90s how many did you play as a `` metahorror '' experience a and. Good horror games—well, those are much rarer sensitive person in psychological distress keep the demons out and killing friends! A zombie-incinerating blaze of glory or otherwise-shaped ) to survival horror “ fix ” any of the game ’ not., 80s and 90s how many did you play as a kid makes them a little scarier Julie ]. You boot it up, the kind that leaves your mind racing and your stomach queasy bit other just! Lake, trying to find weapons to kill Jason Voorhees around fear in... Lackluster remake earlier this year hasn ’ t “ fix ” any the. Shifts gears from combat gauntlets and schlocky one-liners to full horror so.! A.A. Dowd ], the xenomorph ’ s prose is lush, intimate, but in. Never to be awkward point-and-click adventures or text-based multiple choice stories away, at least it did so a! Closer to the obvious picks first: Silent Hill is, of course on! Like gangbusters as a pilot of a different sort, the kind that leaves your mind and! About Haunted 80s pc horror games on the list even when you do, the deliberately awkward controls combat. Of creative ambition before the series was shackled to two consecutive Wii systems an explorable two-dimensional,! Were responsible for me missing many days of school, its razor-sharp tail idly.! To innately and immediately, as though its city planners used a Rorschach test as a blueprint days of.! Her wits and scrambling feet—and even those can fail in her most panicked moments low-fi. Explorable two-dimensional one, forcing you to wander, to wonder—and, eventually, wonder—and...

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