10 Halloween Haunts: IGR’s 2016 Hair-Raising Indie Game Picks

Ghastly Ghosts


Warning: Abundant alliterations ahead.

Games are complex conveyors of copious considerations, not the least of which are mechanics, musings, and mastery. Furthermore ambiance, asynchronous asymmetry and astounding architecture lend to the overall sensational aesthetic.

This is why compiling a list of Halloween horrors is such a perfect joy: these titles evoke excellent energy for spooky spectacles and irrational incidents.

We hope you enjoy the spectrum of titles compiled by the IGR team to help horrify you and your homies this season.

These titles are not all 2016 releases, but are recent enough to have been swept up in our scintillating seance of screams…

1. Layers of Fear

by Bloober Team SA

Layers of Fear screenshot
Layers of Fear: screenshot courtesy of Steam

This procedurally generated first person experience has you exploring the rooms and corridors of a brooding mansion inhabited by a painter gone mad…or are those violent, disturbing visions real?

2. Fran Bow

Killmonday Games AB

Fran Bow: screenshot courtesy of Steam

“Cutesy goth” imagery belies the sinister undercurrent of this point-and-click adventure game dealing with childhood mental illness, monsters and murder. Think of it as the adventure game equivalent of a Tim Burton film or an Emilie Autumn album. We were impressed with it enough to include it on the honorable mentions list of last year’s Top 10 Indie Games. Isak Martinsson’s soundtrack also made number 7 on our Top 10 Indie Game Soundtracks of 2015.

3. Halloween Forever

by Imaginary Monsters

Halloween Forever game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Halloween Forever – screenshot courtesy Steam

What can we say other than that this Ghost ‘n Goblins tribute is painted from floor to ceiling with your favorite Halloween tropes? If the game’s title wasn’t a strong enough indication, you control a pumpkin-headed creature that vomits candy corn. What could be more seasonally appropriate than that?

4. Night Blights

by Trapdoor Games, Hot Cross Games

Yeah don't mind me, just hanging out here...
Yeah don’t mind me, just hanging out here…

Despite the fact that this is ostensibly a game about childhood fears, IGR writer michael.duhacek (who is an adult, as far as we can tell) called this “a three-hour game that will take three years off of your life” and warned anyone with heart-related conditions to steer clear.

Read our full review of Night Blights.

5. Inside

by Playdead


Filled with atmosphere and gloom, Playdead is back with INSIDE – a spiritual successor to their seminal work LIMBO. More sidescrolling platformer puzzling, but this time with a creeping and dread-filled discovery of a dark project.

6. Goetia

by Sushee


Play the ghost of Abigail Blackwood in this hidden object point-and-click game with a clever mechanic wherein you illuminate over 115 rooms with an orb of light to discover the eerie secrets within.

7. Dead Secret

by Robot Invader


Dead Secret is a first-person horror mystery set in rural Kansas in 1965. Available on Steam, mobile devices and even in virtual reality via Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, this creepy adventure title will have you exploring murder scene of a dead professor.

8. Trick & Treat

by Rabbiton


A JRPG/RPG Maker-styled thematic adventure where you play as Amelia the Pumpkin Maid. Features puzzles to solve and a spooky story. Best of all, it’s free!

Get Trick & Treat on Steam.

9. Infra Arcana

by Martin Törnqvist
(The free as in beer excellent roguelikes)

Infra Arcana by Martin Törnqvist

OK, we admit it. We are totally suckers for anything Lovecraftian here at IGR, so it is no miracle that Infra Arcana finally made our list. This free-as-in-beer, mostly ASCII-based roguelike features sound effects and a delicious world controlled by dreaded cult called The Church of Starry Wisdom to creep around in. A true Rogue-like, this deep dungeon crawler also features sound effects and a scintillating soundtrack, not to mention a diverse horde of things that prowl in the darkness. More free !

10. Downfall

by Harvester Games

Downfall game screenshot

Downfall reminds us a lot of Neverending Nightmares with its side-scrolling black and white hand-drawn style, copious amount of blood spatter and seemingly unrelenting descent into madness and violence. Unfortunately, these nightmares are not the effects of delusion and paranoia, but are all too real for the “protagonist.”

There is a free demo on Steam.

InfinityWaltz also contributed to this article.