The air is crisp. The leaves are beginning to fall. People are walking around in costumes and asking strangers for candy. Halloween is a special, if strange time of year, and now that it’s here, you may find yourself on the porch waiting for trick-or-treaters. If that’s how you spend this magickal holiday, don’t despair; the ten best horror games in the Play Store can keep you company, along with an extra-scary bonus entry that you’ll have to do a bit of digging around in order to find.
DISTRAINT: Pocket Pixel Horror
This atmospheric thriller features a unique 2D art style and minimalist interface meant to get out of the way and draw you into the experience. Its art style is both tasteful and mysterious, and the sound design is full of attention to detail, including ambient sounds. It centers on a man named Price, who seizes an elderly woman’s property for cash, then ends up regretting that decision. If you’re into Silent Hill and similar things, you won’t want to miss this one.
This bold horror game from NetEase pits you and a few other survivors against one or two powerful and devious hunters in spooky environments. Pick up and use up to two items to face off against your fearsome foes, or choose to play a slow game of cat and mouse as you keep an eye open and wait for your opportunity to strike. Will you wait for a hero to come along, or will you risk your life to be that hero?
DERE EVIL EXE: Meta Horror Pixel Platformer
This meta-horror platformer is fond of messing with the player’s head in fresh and interesting ways. The game paints tense scenes and tasks the player with not only figuring out the brutal puzzles and facing off against deadly enemies, but also making a choice in the end about who their true foe is.
Eyes – The Horror Game
This immersive horror game features well-made 3D environments, simple controls, and simple objectives. Essentially, it immerses you into a world of danger where you’re racing against the clock to finish your business as the phantoms of the mansion you broke into search for you. There’s no chance to fight here; if they find you, it’s all over. Can you figure out how to escape, or will you become part of the deadly haunt?
Dark Meadow: The Pact
You wake up in a seemingly abandoned mental asylum with no memory of who you are and an old man speaking over the PA system to keep you company. As you work to find your way out, you’re confronted by vicious monsters. You’ll have to make good use of your crossbow and sword to survive, and you’ll have to do even better than that to defeat the mysterious girl who seems to stand in your way at every turn. Featuring advanced 3D graphics and vast environments full of cryptic clues and bits of lore, this is one mobile horror game that appeals to both the hardcore crowd and those who just like to be scared, and it does both jobs beautifully.
Five Nights At Freddy’s
This one took pop culture by storm and inspired wave after wave of copycats, merchandise, and even other media like songs written about the games. If you haven’t experienced these ‘more than meets the eye’ jump horror games yet, here’s the first entry to start you off. You’ll have to manage two doors to keep out animatronic baddies, but keeping those doors shut takes precious power. All the while, more and more, you’ll notice some things that are off about the pizza joint, along with bits and pieces of the series’ twisted lore. It’s $2.99 in the Play Store. It’s worth noting that much of the series is available on Android, but is missing from the Play Store. You’ll have to either dig around for them, or get them on PC.
Papa – The Horror Game
This randomly generated 3D horror game sees you running away as long as you can from the sledgehammer-wielding Papa. Respawn in a different part of the large property with each death as you struggle to eke out better and better durations against the menacing Papa. Search the manor for clues, hiding spots and more as you struggle to survive against an entirely unpredictable foe.
There’s barely any light. The slow click-clack of your own footsteps and the pounding of your heart are the only sounds you can hear. Suddenly, another sound joins them. Just what could be down there? Will you solve the myster, or die trying? SCP-087, catalogued by the Secure Contain Protect foundation, is a building that appears empty and nondescript when multiple people go in together. Walk in alone, and you’re treated to a seemingly endless stairwell populated by at least one entirely unholy entity out for your blood.
SIM – Sara Is Missing
In this unique horror game, you’re not moving a character. You’re not even doing anything you wouldn’t normally do with your phone, for the most part. The kicker is that your the phone in your hands becomes a phone belonging to the missing Sara, and it’s up to you to unlock its secrets and unravel the mystery of what happened to her.
BAD END: If you play, you’ll die?
Keeping with the cell phone theme established in the last entry, this visual novel centers on Kyuuhei, a teenager investigating his friend’s mysterious death. A new mobile game called BAD END is implicated in the grisly slaying, and it’s up to Kyuuhei to investigate the game, and possibly even play it for himself. The $0.99 entry fee is well worth it on this one if you’re a fan of visual novels.
BONUS ENTRY: Doki Doki Literature Club
This popular visual novel horror game for the PC is actually available on Android, but it’s not in the Play Store. It was ported over a by user who goes by the handle of boom313; if you decide to play it, be sure to avoid counterfeit APK files. You can get the game directly from boom313’s blog, and that is by far the safest place. There are a great number of other visual novels and ports there, many of which have NSFW content, thus the lack of a direct link. To avoid spoilers as much as possible, this is a meta horror game that breaks the fourth wall in a number of unique ways. To give fair warning, it leaves many players utterly shocked and even in tears, this writer included. It starts out like a fairly normal dating sim visual novel, and becomes very surreal and downright horrifying in short order. It’s a real tear-jerker as well, and some may find that they can’t bring themselves to do what it takes to reach the game’s true, heart-wrenching ending. As an aside, it’s worth noting that this game contains no nudity or related materials, but can definitely be considered not safe for work on the basis of some of the truly twisted imagery and situations the player is presented with.