What are horror games?
Horror games are video games that intentionally want to scare the player by creating creepy situations, graphic content and unexpected effects like jump scares. The horror game genre is definitely not for everyone. There are people who are not afraid of anything, people that get a kick from being scared, and lastly there are people who will wet their pants as soon as it gets a bit scary. For most of us, the latter is pretty accurate… But even among these cowards, horror games are quite popular. Streamers on Twitch and YouTube who play this genre tend to have a lot of viewers. Because of course, it is so much more fun to watch someone else get scared their pants off.
The history of horror video games
The origin of the horror genre goes way back to literature and later on films when sound was added (though a soundless horror film also sounds terrifying). The first time the horror genre collided with a video game was in 1982. In the game 3D Monster Maze, you were dropped in a random maze together with a hungry T-Rex. It might not sound very scary, but comments like ‘REX LIES IN WAIT’ and ‘FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING’ caused a lot of sweaty palms back then. Other horror games that left a footprint in the industry were Resident Evil and Silent Hill.
The future of horror video games
Along with the advancement of technology, horror games have also become a lot scarier. More realistic graphics mean more realistic monsters, zombies and aliens. On top of that, better sound quality also contributes to the experience, and using headphones makes a horror game a bit more intense. With the rise of Virtual Reality, the future of horror video games will only become more terrifying, in a good way of course.
Which type of subgenres are there?
The horror video game genre knows a few subgenres. Check out some of the most popular subgenres and a few recommendations below:
- Survival – The Evil Within, Resident Evil and Five Nights at Freddy’s;
- Slasher/Killer – Dead by Daylight, The Walking Dead and Left 4 Dead;
- Psychological - Silent Hill, Dead Space and Outlast;
- Puzzle - Little Nightmares, A Plague Tale: Innocence and Layers of Fear;
- Monster/Zombie – Dead Island, Alien: Isolation and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.