Spooky times are here and Halloween is about to make things spookier so here are 8 games that range from nasty tricks to tasty treats.
Pumpkin Jack Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Controlling a demon-summoned living pumpkin to carry out the devil's evil deeds is a lot more fun than it sounds so here's Pumpkin Jack.
Pumpkin Jack is a mostly typical 3D platformer that feels like a long-lost treasure from a bygone era. The main aspect that contributes to this is that it's a surprisingly challenging game that tests your ability to jump with precision while taking out enemies efficiently. At the same time, there is a ton of variety such as segments where you carefully ride mine carts and control your pumpkin head as you try to solve puzzles. The core gameplay involves running, jumping, and attacking and you're also accompanied with a crow that doubles as a long-range attack. Throw in tricky boss fights, imaginative environments, and oodles of tricky scenarios and you're left with one rewarding 3D platformer that long time fans of the genre will adore. Plus, the atmosphere is pitch-perfect with fitting music and lovely visuals.
Pumpkin Jack makes for one heck of a Halloween treat with its tight and challenging gameplay that's set in a fun spooktacular world.Pumpkin Jack gameplay video → More 3D platformers
Halloween Candy Break Review PlayStation 4 ★☆☆☆☆
There are so many Breakout clones that it's ridiculous but does Halloween Candy Break have what it takes to stand out in the genre?
I knew that Halloween Candy Break was a Breakout clone before purchasing it but I definitely didn't expect it to be as mind-numbing as it is. For starters, nearly everything about it is stock; from its license-free music that doesn't match the Halloween theme at all to its cookie cutter visuals which feel lifeless despite the admittedly cute candy blocks. Meanwhile, the gameplay is actually less exciting than Super Breakout for Atari 2600 with its slow-moving ball and large paddle that take away any sense of challenge. There are power-ups but most of them don't change things up all that much and every once in a while, a Dracula will hover around and it's amusing to hit it with the ball. Other than that, this is quite possibly the worst game inspired by Breakout that I've ever played and I've played a lot of them.
Halloween Candy Break is nothing short of a shoddy seasonal cash grab so don't be dumb like me; avoid playing it at all costs.Halloween Candy Break gameplay video →
Costume Kingdom Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
Here we have a game that's a mix of Costume Quest and Pokémon but is it any good? Put on a costume and let's find out.
Costume Kingdom has you play as a little fellow as you explore a neighbourhood while gathering a wealth of delicious candy. At its core, it's an RPG with a battle system that's heavily inspired by Pokémon and as you progress, you'll amass a collection of costumes that you can swap to in order to gain a strategic elemental advantage over your opponent. There's also a fun overworld that's filled with a lot to see and do including quests from the locals, the ability to trick or treat, and loads of hidden goodies. On the downside, the graphics are pretty disappointing as they aren't particularly appealing and the controls can be quite annoying, too, especially when you're presented with a precision-based platforming challenge because the jumping controls are annoying to say the least.
Working through Costume Kingdom's Halloween world can be rewarding as long as you don't let its less desirable aspects get you down.Costume Kingdom gameplay video →
Home: Postmortem Edition Review Switch ★★★★☆
Home is the quintessential classic 2D horror indie and there's now a brand new version that's great for newcomers and existing fans.
Home: Postmortem Edition is basically the same game that released back in 2012 except in this iteration; you can interact with icons throughout the adventure to hear audio commentary from game creator Benjamin Rivers. There's also a cool gallery with documents and images so if you're a fan then this new content will make playing through again feel like a brand new experience. I wish more indie developers would take gamers behind the scenes like this because the commentary is implemented in such a seamless and brilliant way. Anyway, for the unfamiliar, Home is a side-scrolling horror game where you explore mysterious locations while solving puzzles and making decisions that actually impact the story. It's simple stuff yet the attention to detail is outstanding and will keep you guessing even well after the credits roll. So, if you haven't played it yet then now's a great time to finally enjoy this modern indie horror masterpiece.
Home is an excellent game and this Postmortem Edition acts as a wonderful reintroduction for fans. A must-play for indie enthusiasts!Home: Postmortem Edition gameplay video → Worse Than Death Review
ReTurn - One Way Trip Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Camping in the woods is always a good idea around Halloween so here's a game where doing so results in unexpected twists and turns.
ReTurn - One Way Trip follows in the tradition of Home in that it's a side-scrolling horror adventure game where you solve puzzles and talk to NPCs. That being said, there aren't really any substantial decisions to make yet the puzzles more than make up for that by offering oodles of interesting scenarios. You play as Saki who notices that her friends have disappeared and then finds an abandoned train in the middle of nowhere. Upon entering it, she comes across apparitions and mysterious artifacts before time travelling to the past where she meets the train's ex-passengers and untangles their complicated history. The gameplay simply involves walking left and right while interacting with things and using inventory items whenever necessary and it's all handled intuitively which makes playing it remain immersive from start to finish. Needless to say, if you enjoy games like Home then you'll certainly love this, too.
When it comes to 2D horror games, ReTurn - One Way Trip is a prime example of the genre with a captivating cast and thrilling story.ReTurn - One Way Trip gameplay video → Let's Play ReTurn - One Way Trip video →
Ray's The Dead Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
If you've ever wanted to command an army of zombies to do your bidding then Ray's The Dead might just be worth checking out.
Ray's The Dead is a blend of Pikmin and an overhead beat 'em up where you defeat enemies then reanimate their corpses to form a horde of zombie helpers. You then point where you want the zombies to go and send them off to accomplish things like enter rabbit holes to solve puzzles or beat on an enemy. Meanwhile, you control Ray who can fight on his own as he tries to uncover the mystery of how he died. You also play as him in the past although the gameplay is basically the same except you control your friends instead of zombies. Although there are a variety of scenarios, the gameplay is pretty clunky, especially when it comes to combat so it makes even simple fights sometimes feel frustrating as you try to carefully take down enemies. On the plus side, the funky '80s music is great.
Even though Ray's The Dead's gameplay isn't particularly fresh, its variety and cleverly presented story make it a fun experience.Ray's The Dead gameplay video → More games with zombies
Vigil: The Longest Night Review Switch ★★★★☆
There have been quite a few 2D indie games that are clearly inspired by Dark Souls and Vigil: The Longest Night is one of the best.
When I first started playing Vigil: The Longest Night, I didn't quite know what to expect but as I progressed, I became more and more immersed in its captivating and open-ended game world. You play as Leila who's simply trying to save her home from encroaching evil creatures. The journey ahead takes place on a massive map that's full of nooks and crannies as well as a large variety of dastardly monsters. Its combat is typical of a 2D action game where you utilize a mix of melee and long-range attacks and you have a stamina gauge to boot. Levelling up while equipping new gear and filling out skill trees is satisfying stuff and toppling the large and mostly grotesque bosses makes it all the more rewarding. In the end, this is fast-paced 2D Dark Souls fun that's hard to put down.
If you loved Salt and Sanctuary then Vigil: The Longest Night will certainly impress with its tight gameplay and captivating world.Vigil: The Longest Night gameplay video → Similar game: Salt and Sanctuary
Dustoff Z Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Who knew a helicopter game could be a good fit for Halloween? Well, here's Dustoff Z to prove that choppers can be spooktacular.
Dustoff Z is a sequel to the Dustoff Heli Rescue games from developer Invictus. However, there's a strong horror theme this time around. You basically control a helicopter in order to rescue stranded people and take down monstrous bosses including one that looks a lot like Pumpkin Jack. Although its gameplay is restricted to 2D, it's a great deal of fun flying around while avoiding obstacles and shooting at the zombies below, especially when the zombies form towers in order to try and reach you. It's quite a simple game at its core but the amount of variety throughout the campaign keeps the gameplay feeling fresh and exciting. Whether you're towing some cargo to your base, protecting a convoy, fighting a boss, rescuing a friend, or upgrading your helicopter; there's a lot of fun to be had.
Few games offer as much variety as Dustoff Z and its tight gameplay and rewarding progression systems make it one enjoyable indie.Dustoff Z gameplay video →