10 Video Games to Baby Step Your Way into Horror

From Interactive Tales to Puzzle Platformers to Survival Horror

Andrea Blythe
Keeping it spooky
Published in
11 min readAug 16, 2021

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A frightened-looking man plays horror games in the dark.
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash.

One of my great pleasures in life is sitting back and watching a good horror movie. My tastes are wide ranging, from horror comedies to supernatural scares, gritty psychological horror, and body horror. I’ll watch it all.

But horror video games have always seemed too intense for me. Watching a horror movie is a passive experience, allowing me to observe the character’s progress through the haunted house and judge their decision to go down into the dark basement.

Video games on the other hand remove that passivity from the equation. As the player, I find myself suddenly immersed in the experience. Instead of watching the character step down into the dark, I’m the one in control, the one who has to make the decision to go down the stairs, even though I know something terrible awaits.

Over time, however, I’ve gained a growing appreciation for scary games. It’s been slow going, starting with games that feature more of a creepy aesthetic than actual scares and growing to a love for the intensity of survival horror.

To help others on a similar horror gaming journey, I’ve assembled a list of the games that helped me get acclimated along the way.

It’s important to note, that if you hate horror and hate being scared, then these games are not likely to change your mind. However, if you are like me—a horror lover intimidated by the idea of horror games—then this list is for you. These games range from moderate to intense on the spectrum of scares, providing a path for you to build up your courage and fall in love with the genre.

Interactive Tales

An excellent entry point into horror games are interactive tales, games in which the story is at the forefront and the player’s interactions are largely focused on making choices that affect the outcome of events. Because these kinds of games is so heavily story focused, the experience is similar to watching watching a scary movie—albeit one in which you can impact how things turn out.

Oxenfree

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Andrea Blythe
Keeping it spooky

Author, poet, game writer, and lover of the fantastical, horrifying, and weird. (She/her) Newsletter: https://andrea-blythe.beehiiv.com