#ResidentEvil7 was a gripping survival horror release that took the popular franchise back to its storied roots for an excellent, terrifying good time. But it’s not the only horror game out there worth playing through that’ll get your blood pressure rising, your palms sweating, or the hair on the back of your neck standing up.
The indie game community has its own fair share of equally bone-chilling games out there that are just as pulse-pounding as Resident Evil 7, and several of those are affordable, easy to obtain, and great for a solid afternoon or weekend of play. If you loved Resident Evil 7's fresh take on the horror genre, or Resident Evil in general, you should give these games a try.
Through the Woods
#ThroughtheWoods is a psychological horror game that follows a mother and her missing son. It takes place in Norway, drawing from Norse mythology and Norwegian folklore to tell its tale, with bizarre goings-on surrounding the son’s disappearance. It’s rife with lighting and aural trickery meant to deceive the player, much like some of the tricks in Resident Evil 7, as well as some interesting twists and turns that you won’t see coming.
The protagonist is armed only with a flashlight and must rely on her wits to defend herself against the bizarre creature that seems to be haunting the Norwegian shores. It’s dark, oppressive, and full of terrifying moments that’ll have you reaching to flip the lights back on at any moment, and a worthy follow-up if your last game playthrough was Resident Evil 7.
Red Barrels Studio’s #Outlast is consistently horrendous, and it’s got a sequel coming out later this year. But since you can’t get your hands on the sequel just yet, you’ll want to start with the first game, which is a found footage title set at Mount Massive Asylum. You’ve got a camera with a light at your side to keep you from harm, and that’s about it. What’s waiting out there for you? Insane inmates, creepy priests, and even weirder personalities throughout the asylum.
Outlast strips you of even the smallest luxury, and that’s what allows it to frighten you in so many ways. The first time you hear footsteps lumbering down a hallway and rush to shut yourself in a locker in the inky black darkness, you’ll understand.
Layers of Fear
If you’re one to look twice at paintings because you feel portraits could be staring back at you, you’ll love #LayersofFear, which has savory jump scares consistent with those in the Resident Evil series. Following a painter who suffers from hallucinations who’s setting out to paint his “magnum opus,” it’s rife with psychological horror that wouldn’t be out of place in a David Lynch film.
With themes of suicide, mental illness, and other heady topics, it’s a harsh and unforgiving thrill ride that you won’t soon forget, rife with some very creepy and sometimes over-the-top gore to round it all out. That’s what makes it so good.
#Monstrum is a first-person survival horror game that traps players aboard an enormous ship with traps, environmental puzzles and other hazards, most important of which is an enormous beast. You’ve got no real way to take down the monster that’s on its way to take you out, but you can use your wits to ensure you’re not the one the monster decides to devour first.
Each time you play, the ship changes, so there’s a new layout each time you take the plunge. There’s also permadeath to contend with, so if you’re not down for an extremely challenging roguelike meets survival horror adventure, you might opt for something else. For everyone who is interested, Monstrum is a real treat.
#TheTrain is a unique title in that it explores the life of someone who’s supposed to die. You play out the game in a small chunk of that person’s life — an hour to be exact - aboard a train. The dark and atmospheric horror game finds you exploring a derelict train with disturbing imagery that’ll chill you to the bone.
Knowing the character is going to die and getting only an hour to spend with the character makes everything a lot creepier to begin with. To get a feel for what you’re getting into watch the trailer above, but don’t let it keep you from playing. In some areas, it’s even more unnerving than the game itself.