Video Games: Games to Play During Halloween if You Aren’t a Horror Fan

Screenshot of Elizabeth Comstock from ‘Bioshock: Infinite’. Copyright goes to Irrational Games and 2K Games.

Hey! Hallie here!

As someone who loves replaying my favorite video games, I always like to play favorites that get me in the spooky mood around October. The issue with finding spooky games I want to play is that I’m not a horror fan. At all. Most games advertised for the spooky season are in the horror genre though, which means I’ve had to get creative with my game picks. So, if you’re like me, hopefully this list of games will help you find something fun and not-too scary to play. This list will range from not scary at all to scary on occasion, so keep that in mind while going through this list. I will also be pointing out which games have jump-scares in case you want to look them up first before you play, so no surprises here! Let’s get started!

‘Bioshock: Infinite’: This game is part of the Bioshock series, which is well known for it’s horror/adventure games. This game, however, decided to lean more heavily into the adventure side of things. While there is definitely some blood and dark themes in this game, you’ll be spending most of your time in the bright and beautiful Columbia. Columbia is a city in the clouds known for it’s heavily religious population and the blissful lives the population leads. Or so it may seem. Columbia holds many dark secrets ranging from racism to human experimentation. Fun. These dark secrets, however, don’t have too much bearing on gameplay. The game manages to be creepy through use of steampunk animatronics and many, many, ravens without constantly attempting to scare the player. There’s one level that’s played in the dark and dingy Comstock House, complete with lunatics for you to fight. Here you’ll find this game’s only jump-scare, which I would recommend watching online so you aren’t caught off guard when it comes up. Explaining it simply: The game takes advantage of the players lack of peripheral vision by putting a very loud enemy behind you after you turn to look at something. However, this level encourages the player not to fight, but simply to sneak around. Also, even if you do get caught by the enemies in the area, there isn’t anything particularly frightening about them. If you play the game and find yourself wanting something scarier, the DLC ‘Burial at Sea’ will give you gameplay closer to the first two Bioshock games. As for this one, there isn’t too much to worry about here.

‘Undertale’: I’ve talked about how much I love this game on this blog before, but allow me to gush further. This game takes place in the underground realm of monsters. There’s all kinds of monsters for you to encounter, including skeletons, ghosts, and a sexy robot. Besides the monster theme, it’s hard not to get in the spooky mood when Sans the skeleton is constantly hitting you with bad skeleton puns. The game can also be creepy. Flowey the flower becomes very unsettling very quickly, and once you get to his final boss battle he’ll get even more frightening. Aside from that, there’s an entire level in a dark laboratory that includes inanimate objects shaking on their own and ghost-like enemies. None of these things are overly scary, however. ‘Undertale’ is probably the most family-friendly game on this list. You won’t find any gore or jump-scares here. If you want something slightly spookier and you’re familiar with the game, you can also try the genocide route. The genocide route is full of much darker themes than any of the regular routes. The issue is being able to live with yourself once you’re done. Also, Sans will completely pulverize you.

‘The Last of Us’: Ok, so this one is absolutely a horror game. It isn’t particularly scary, though. It’s more…depressing. This game is about the zombie apocalypse. You play as Joel, a man who’s become capable of navigating the post-apocalyptic world after losing everything he’s ever cared about. Joel gets roped into escorting a teenage girl, Ellie, to a research base. Ellie is immune to the disease that’s turning everyone into zombies and if she can reach the base, it’s possible a vaccine could be made. This game gives you a minimal amount of supplies, which means you’re forced to sneak around and avoid fighting at many points. There are a few moments in the game that could be considered jump-scares, but most of them you can see coming. As a jumpy person, I only ever jumped when I accidentally got myself killed. (The death animations for Joel are kind of gruesome.) I will tell you that Ellie is a major reason why it isn’t easy to get scared in the game. She’s a very bright and comforting presence. That’s why the hotel level is the worst part of the entire game. The hotel level is infamous for separating the player from Ellie and trapping them in a small area with a few different zombies, a few of which are very high level. However, there are really easy ways to just completely run through that section of the game without having to fight at all. I recommend looking those up when you get to that section. Otherwise, you should play this game. Its characters and story are focused on far more than the zombies, and it shouldn’t be skipped over.

‘Ghostbusters: The Video Game’: ‘Ghostbusters’ is one of my favorite movies to watch around Halloween. It has just the right amount of frightening moments and comedy. If you’re also a fan of the movies, you can’t skip out on this game. It was written by Dan Aykroyd and the late, great, Harold Ramis. That means it was written by the original writers of ‘Ghostbusters’ as well as the actors that played Ray Stanz and Egon Spengler, respectively. It also includes all of the original Ghostbusters, plus Janine, reprising their roles. It feels like the third ‘Ghostbusters’ movie we should have had. There’s also plenty of scary moments. I would specifically like to point out the second Sedgewick Hotel level that leaves you walking around with Egon in the dark. As you explore the hotel you learn about one of it’s previous occupants, The Spider Witch, and her past killings. Unfortunately for those of us who hate spiders, the Spider Witch is indeed, a large spider. The level is chilling, but Egon is there with a good one-liner for whenever you’re feeling a little too on edge. The game walks that fine line, never quite breaking into the horror genre but still remaining satisfyingly spooky. Also, no jump scares!

That’s my list! There’s something on this list for everyone at any stage of horror-adverse. I’m at a different stage depending on the day, so I understand the people who’d rather stick with a cute game like ‘Undertale’ just as much as I understand the people who consider ‘The Last of Us’ light horror. Some of these games are classics, but some of these games might be new to you. I know that a lot of people missed out on the ‘Ghostbusters’ remaster when it came out, so here’s your reminder that it’s not expensive and also very fun. Regardless of what game you decide to go for this October, I hope this list helps you find something to suit your Halloween needs!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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