You’re trapped in a mysterious high-tech installation at the bottom of the sea. Something terrible has happened — and is currently still happening — involving evil entities and blood and science and oh god, the lights are flickering again. Made by the team behind the astoundingly scaryAmnesia: The Dark Descent, SOMA is one of the most atmospheric, chilling interactive experiences of 2015.

Layers of Fear (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

A simple premise powers Layers of Fear: A painter is working on his masterpiece, and it’s driving him crazy. The only thing nuttier than the artist is his macabre mansion; you’ll explore every awful nook and cranny of both his house and his head as you search for the method behind his madness. It’s technically a work-in-progress, but you can currently play it for cheap on various platforms.

Until Dawn (PS4)

Sony both honors and skewers the slasher film genre with this innovative, unsettling adventure. You play as eight characters vacationing in a woodsy lodge, which, as you know, is pretty much ground zero for crazed madmen and toothy monsters. Clever use of narrative branching means even the most innocuous decision could mean the difference between life and death. Usually death. It’s a horror game, after all.

Noct (PC)

If you like your horror experimental, check out Noct. Currently in Steam Early Access (that means it’s not quite finished), this 2D survival-horror game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world shrouded in perpetual night. You view this using a thermal imaging satellite, giving Noct a grainy, uniquely unsettling feel. It’s already been embraced by horror fans – and at just $10, it costs roughly the same as a few bags of candy.

Sanitarium (iOS/Android)

Own a phone or tablet? There’s no shortage of creepy games, but now would be the perfect time to check out this new port of a killer late 90’s horror gem. What starts as an amnesiac jaunt through an asylum turns into a mind-warping descent into a psychological hellscape. Yeah, it’s pretty scary. It’s also pretty well-regarded by adventure game fans, and for only $4, it’s a great fun-sized option for Halloween.


Scare Tactics: 5 Video Games That Will Totally Creep You Out

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