Not be left out of a scene that’s dominated by console titles, iPhone game developers have come up with a slew of their own horror games — and they’re waiting around a dark corner to scare the pants off of you.
Try out these 10 ghastly games for a thrill this Halloween, just don’t forget to play on your own with headphones — and in the dark.
With a lot of very positive press, Year Walk is an unsettling experience that’s been making the rounds for a while now — but it’s so good that it deserves a top spot on this list. The game is loosely based on the archaic Swedish tradition of Årsgång, in which diviners would temporarily give up their Christianity on Christmas or New Year’s Eve and see visions of what would happen in the coming year.
Take a walk through a forest filled with disquieting visions, creatures, and puzzles, in search of the answers you seek. With charming animation, an unsettling atmosphere, and plenty of secrets to discover, Year Walk is one of the most fascinating games to hit the App Store in recent memory. So fascinating, in fact, that it has an entire companion app.
Abandoned asylum? Check. Killer on the loose? Check. Horrifying creatures? Check. Dark secrets? Check. Lost Within has all of the ingredients of a perfect Halloween scare. Explore the asylum while evading the dangers within to reveal the secret of the institution’s condemnation.
Lost Within provides you with a number of ways to progress through the game; fight off the hoard of monsters, run from them, or hide somewhere until they pass—the choice is up to you. Survival horror and adventure meet in a very engrossing story that you’ll slowly unravel as you travel deeper into the asylum.
As a small-time burglar, you’ll break into a house that should be empty… but isn’t. And there are eyes painted all over the walls. Why are they there? What do they see? Explore the house, collect valuables, and solve the mystery.
Despite having a reputation for less-than-stellar controls, the time you’ll spend running in terror from the being that stalks the mansion will get your heart racing, and by the end, you’ll be awfully nervous about turning the next corner. Although it’s one of the least expensive apps on this list, Eyes still delivers the frights.
This game is actually a series of four games, each priced at $2.99. If you start to play the first one, plan on going all the way through with it — these are really popular horror games for a reason. You begin as a security guard at a Chuck-E-Cheese-like pizza parlor, where Freddy Fazbear and his animatronic buddies are the main attraction during the day. At night, they’re not so pleasant.
You’ll need to manage the amount of electricity you use as you pan the security cameras around to find the robotic horrors in the building. When you’re out of electricity, you get no more cameras, and no more security doors. Once you’ve survived the first game, things just get weirder.
Looking for something a little different? Home‘s pixelated world, player-driven story, and unsettling atmosphere combine to make something unique that every player will experience differently. While it’s less of a jump-out-from-under-the-bed-and-scare-the-crap-out-of-you kind of horror game, it will definitely instill a sense of horror.
As you guide your character through the story, you’ll be confronted with a number of decisions that determine the outcome of the story. As the tension builds, you’ll get closer and closer to figuring out exactly what’s going on, which could be very different from what someone else might find when they play it.
As one of only two free games on this list, you might not expect much from Vanished, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its minimalistic, simple interface. This audio-only adventure leaves you relying on your ears and your imagination to explore the world around you, and the controls are as basic as they come: point in the direction you want to walk, tap to move forward, and shake to attack. That’s it.
With no visuals in this game, it’s especially important to play with a good set of headphones, and it only gets scarier when you play in the dark. The description of Vanished on the App Store includes a quote from H.P. Lovecraft, so expect things to get pretty strange by the end.
Many fairytales have dark underlying themes or origins, and Dark Meadow plays out in the timelessly classic style of those tales. You wake up in a hospital with no idea how you got there, and receive a warning that a witch and her minions are prowling the halls. Take your sword and crossbow and get rid of them!
A touch of dark humor, some basic combat, and multiple ending possibilities make Dark Meadow tough to put down and definitely replayable. Explore the hospital, get rid of the witch, and figure out what the hell is going on.
Room-escape games have risen in popularity over the past years, and Murder Room extends that formula to the horror genre. You wake up trapped in a room, and you need to find your way out — and delve into the mystery of a serial killer on the loose. Find objects, solve puzzles, and stay alive long enough to solve the enigma.
The game is pretty violent and very graphic — both visually and acoustically. Prepare yourself to experience some pretty disturbing stuff. And be aware that there’s a “good” ending and a “bad” one; so make your decisions carefully!
Like Vanished, Kowa-Oto is very dependent on sound, but the game also includes some terrifying visuals to go with it. If you’re not familiar with Japanese horror, prepare for an entirely new type of being scared — titles like The Ring, The Grudge, Audition, and Dark Water have all come out of the Japanese horror tradition.
You’ll need to pay attention to sounds to escape the dungeon, so a good set of headphones is a must for this game. Navigate your way through mazes while trying to keep hold of your sanity in the mind-bendingly scary atmosphere, and you just might make it out alive! Also, there’s a doll that follows you around. Spine-chilling.
A game that’s sole aim is to emulate the psychological survival horror of the 90’s, Forgotten Memories combines exploration, puzzles, and action. After waking up in an unknown location, Rose Hawkins must search for Eden, a missing girl, and confront her deepest fears along the way.
If ghosts, asylums, dolls, and mannequins freak you out, this game will be absolutely terrifying. Combine that with the various types of tasks you’ll need to carry out to stay alive, and you have a winner of an iOS horror game.
Enjoy Scream Season
Halloween is coming up quick, and scream season is in full swing. These games allow you to keep the horror gaming going while you’re on the move, or give you a shorter experience than a more involved horror game like Evil Within. Keep the celebration going with your favorite scary movies, too!