Until Dawn unexpectedly wowed me with its 80s slasher throwback charm. After finishing the game once alone, I ended up having a hilarious time playing through it again with a group of friends yelling out suggestions, color commentary and insults directed at the cliché but ultimately lovable characters. Obviously, as soon as we were done we wanted more.
Unfortunately there hasn't been a true sequel yet, so it was up to me to scour the internet to find the best games to fill that Until-Dawn-shaped void in my heart. Now I'm bringing the fruits of my labor to you, introducing you to the best and most interesting games filled with hard choices, fun characters and creepy horror.
The Best Games Like Until Dawn
1. Telltale's The Walking Dead
If any games can be said to have directly inspired the makers of #UntilDawn, it would be Telltale Games' #TheWalkingDead season 1 and 2. The choice driven structure and cinematic style are the perfect fix for anyone suffering from Until Dawn withdrawals. Plus, for those of you who loved Until Dawn's varied cast of characters—or loved to hate them in some cases—you'll find plenty of interpersonal conflict and personalities ranging from the charming to the absolutely infuriating. There's also a third season coming out in the near future, so you'll have plenty of story to play through:
The selling point: This is the one that started the Telltale craze, 'nuff said.
2. Beyond: Two Souls
David Cage's games are often fascinating and flawed. Ambitious and revolutionary concepts are paired with plot points out of left field, French Canadian voice actors trying to fake American accents and an odd obsession with psychic powers. What they rarely are though, is dull.
If Until Dawn is the Halloween of horror adventure games—a tightly made, cinematic thrill ride—Beyond: 2 Souls is The Nightmare on Elm Street—a campy, sometimes slightly incoherent thrill-ride through an auteur's psyche. An honorable mention goes to Heavy Rain, the previous game by David Cage, which lost out to Beyond: Two Souls mostly because it lacks Ellen Page and doesn't let you play as a ghost and spook teenagers until they cry.
The selling point: You read the bit about spooking jerk teenagers with your psychic ghost powers right?
3. Alpha Protocol
If the choice aspect of Until Dawn is what sucked you in, Alpha Protocol is an odd little gem you absolutely have to check out. The RPG/Action hybrid gameplay is somewhat awkward—especially early on, when your skills aren't particularly advanced, but the diversity of choice in the storyline and social interactions is still unmatched in #VideoGames.
Alpha Protocol is filled with choices, some major, some seemingly minor, that all have unseen and far reaching consequences. Lying to a character too much might end up catching up to you at an inopportune moment, while leaving a seemingly deadly enemy alive might bless you with unexpected information and new allies. Of all the games on this list, Alpha Protocol might have the best replay value.
The selling point: A gunfight with the world's worst dressed gangster in a Russian disco.
4. Sarah is Missing
If you loved Until Dawn's creepy atmosphere and tense gameplay, give Sarah is Missing a try. This intriguing new indie horror game can be finished fairly quickly—in an hour or so in fact. But the novel format, multiple possible endings and immersive storyline will really suck you in.
You play as yourself, a stranger who finds the mobile phone of a girl named Sarah, who seems to have vanished in creepy circumstances. With the help of the phone's operating system and your own ingenuity, you dig through her life, pictures and texts to get to the bottom of the terrifying mystery of Sarah's fate.
The selling point: Probably the creepiest game on this list. Also it might stop you from trying to read people's texts over their shoulder for a while.
5. The Cat Lady
Another one for those of you who can't get enough #horror themed games. The Cat Lady is a slow-burn adventure game about a woman who comes back from a suicide attempt with a mission from beyond. Every chapter introduces cool new gameplay elements to keep the experience fresh, and the game has plenty of creepy moments to keep you on your toes. Plus, the hand drawn art style gives the game a unique and refreshing aesthetic.
The selling point: Going from a depressed, suicidal middle aged recluse to that gun toting badass up there.
6. Life is Strange
This one's a personal favorite. #LifeIsStrange boasts a broad and diverse cast of characters, a rad soundtrack, gorgeous painterly aesthetic and a huge amount of choice with far reaching effects. It even has a similar butterfly effect theme as Until Dawn. The start can be a little slow for some, but I recommend you keep at it until at least Episode 2—once you're properly introduced to Arcadia bay, you'll start delving about all the creepy secrets and mysteries the sleepy, idyllic town has to offer.
The selling point: Imagine your most hated character in Until Dawn getting hit in the head with a football over and over because of your time powers.
And for those of you who haven't played Until Dawn yet:
What are you waiting for?