This time each year, I love sharing my thoughts on otherworldly experiences and I went all-out in 2022 so here are 15 Halloween games.
│ For your benefit, Video Chums doesn't indiscriminately promote press releases, Kickstarter campaigns, or industry-fed rumours. 📰
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Review PlayStation 5 ★★★★☆
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed has you play as a rookie and its main appeal is its entertaining online play so suit up and let's get to it. v1d30chumz 44-210-77-106
After learning the ropes in its comprehensive and impressively story-heavy introduction, I jumped in online and had a blast with fellow Ghostbusters. The formula basically involves a team of 4 Ghostbusters against a player-controlled ghost and it's the Ghostbusters' job to trap the ghost before it haunts the entire level. Meanwhile, the ghost can respawn at rifts so the Ghostbusters have to seal them up first. As the ghost, you can terrify citizens and you have an array of abilities that you can use to slime the Ghostbusters as well as sabotage their equipment. The constant back-and-forth that this formula provides is a blast and I can easily say that Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is my new go-to online multiplayer game. If there's one Halloween game you play this year, let it be this.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed offers a fantastic online experience that lends itself exceptionally well to the comedy horror franchise.Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed gameplay video →
Unusual Findings Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆
Next, here's an old-school adventure game that takes place in the '80s; it's the irreverent and impressive Unusual Findings.
Right of the bat, let me just say that Unusual Findings is perhaps the best old-school adventure game that I've ever played. As I played through it, I wrote a walkthrough but halfway through writing it, I realised that both the puzzles and story actually change depending on which decisions you make which I don't think I've ever seen before. Meanwhile, the puzzles are incredibly tough to figure out yet their solutions are never so abstruse as to become frustrating. It's fully voice acted as well and the cast is superb with plenty of hilarious moments and a gradually-building mystery throughout. I don't want to ruin the story but the fact that there are 3 endings to unlock is awesome. Anyway, if you enjoy retro point and click adventure games then Unusual Findings is a must-play.
Unusual Findings is a master class in old-school adventure games and even gives Return to Monkey Island a run for its money.Unusual Findings gameplay video → Unusual Findings: A Step-by-Step Guide
Batora: Lost Haven Review Xbox Series X ★★★★☆
What do you get when you mix top-down action with clever puzzles and a unique game world? Batora: Lost Haven, of course.
Batora: Lost Haven has you play as Avril, an ordinary citizen whose world is attacked by mysterious forces. After a short introduction, she's granted strange powers and is transported to a different planet. There, she'll have to fight evil alongside friendly aliens while leaping from planet to planet. The overall dark tone contrasts well with Avril's upbeat attitude and I had a great time progressing through its battles and puzzles. Both will have you alternate between a sun and moon form in order to gain an advantage over enemies and trigger certain switches when solving puzzles. Plus, levelling-up and unearthing accessories that enhance your skills in unique ways is a treat. It may not be as scary as some other games on this list but Batora: Lost Haven is a wonderful game filled with plenty of mystery.
Batora: Lost Haven's consistently challenging battles and puzzles are rewarding and its game-altering decisions are the icing on the cake.Batora: Lost Haven gameplay video →
Cult of the Lamb Review Xbox Series X ★★★★☆
Here's a game that you probably heard of and seen your favourite Twitch streamers play; I'm talking about the nutty Cult of the Lamb.
For the unfamiliar: Cult of the Lamb is played in 2 parts. First, you'll manage your cult's base of operations where you can grow food and establish facilities for your cult members to live, worship, and work. Next, you'll traverse dungeons in the hopes of toppling tough bosses and claiming materials and loot. These 2 halves work together extremely well as the better you do at either will help you with the other. Specifically, having your cult members pray and dedicate themselves will enhance your capabilities and doing well in the dungeons will grant you more materials to work with at the base. As you progress substantially, you may find that your base is maxed out, though, so there are some balance issues. It's still a great deal of fun and it has a top-notch cartoon aesthetic, too.
Cult of the Lamb is of course a very popular game and I understand why: it's cute, disturbing, and an excellent game to stream.Cult of the Lamb gameplay video →
The Darkest Tales Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆
The Darkest Tales may star a teddy bear but don't be mistaken; this is not a game for kids so get them out of the room and let's play.
As I said, The Darkest Tales has you control a teddy bear. The premise is that an individual named Alicia is held captive by her own terrorizing dreams so it's your job to traverse these horrifying scenes and get to the root of what's causing them. Meanwhile, the gameplay is essentially a 2D action game where you explore levels while hacking and slashing at monstrous enemies. Although the gameplay is solid for the most part, I found that its combat and platforming are very disconnected and I often took damage without understanding why. The good news is that you can heal but I had to do it so often that it got super-annoying. On the plus side, the levels are lovely and each offers loads of visual variety with a blend of beautiful scenery and disturbing images.
If The Darkest Tales' gameplay was tightened up a great deal, I would have thoroughly enjoyed it as it has quite a unique premise.The Darkest Tales gameplay video →
The Last Hero of Nostalgaia Review Xbox Series X ★★★☆☆
If the idea of a Soulslike with self-referential humour sounds good to you then here's the intriguing The Last Hero of Nostalgaia.
Even with the knowledge that The Last Hero of Nostalgaia plays like Dark Souls, I still wasn't expecting it to play exactly like it but it certainly does. In fact, nearly everything about its gameplay is a less-polished iteration of what you can find in the Souls series to the point where it feels kind of redundant to play. With that being said, The Last Hero of Nostalgaia has 2 saving graces with the first being its humour and the second being its memories system. You see; as you collect equipment, you can fulfill certain requirements to restore each piece's full power which is very clever and rewarding. Plus, reading all of the extra lore tidbits helps flesh the game world out. Overall, it's a solid game yet it doesn't forge enough of its own identity even with its clever equipment system.
The Last Hero of Nostalgaia is basically a rudimentary version of Dark Souls where you play as a stick man but at least it's funny.The Last Hero of Nostalgaia gameplay video →
Prodeus Review Xbox One ★★★★☆
Retro first-person shooter fans definitely need to check this game out; introducing the delectably visceral and deviously violent Prodeus.
At the beginning of Prodeus, you die. However, after mysteriously reviving, you find yourself fighting off hordes of alien creatures. What exactly is going on? You'll have to play it to find out. Thankfully, the gameplay is supremely frantic and fun and one of the best parts is its clear and detailed maps which make exploring each stage a treat as you discover secrets and aim to achieve a high score. As you play, it's a delight to take in the retro visuals and there's just the right amount of violence to make exploding enemy aliens' heads satisfying without being too gross. Throw in an excellent soundtrack as well as a wealth of content including a level editor and comprehensive multiplayer and you're left with one fully-featured first-person extravaganza that's fun for genre newcomers and veterans alike.
Prodeus is a top-notch old-school first-person shooter that takes what made the classics great and amplifies it with fitting modernizations.Prodeus gameplay video →
Charon's Staircase Review PlayStation 5 ★★★★☆
Here's a first-person game that may not have copious amounts of violence yet its atmosphere will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I didn't know what to expect from Charon's Staircase when I started playing it but after a few minutes, I could already tell that I was in for one scary game and I was correct. Well, I actually couldn't see anything when I booted it up so I had to turn the brightness up a lot before I could work out my surroundings but I digress. You play as Desmond, an agent of an evil regime who's tasked with destroying documents that reveal their sinister ways. However, after making gruesome discoveries, he may just decide to change his mission.
The most impressive part of Charon's Staircase is how it manages to remain absolutely terrifying even though you don't really face any danger as it's a simple adventure game at its core. This is accomplished through masterful use of audio and visual effects as well as striking environments that are bursting with unsettling details. It's probably the most atmospherically scary game that I've ever played.
If the idea of exploring an edge-of-your-seat terrifying world sounds good then you definitely can't go wrong with Charon's Staircase.Charon's Staircase gameplay video →
Last Days of Lazarus Review Xbox Series X ★★★☆☆
What happens when you mix Christian symbolism with grotesque horror and set it in Eastern Europe? The answer is Last Days of Lazarus.
Last Days of Lazarus is a lot like Charon's Staircase except swap an unsettling atmosphere with downright disturbing imagery. You play as a man whose super-religious mother had just committed suicide. He's looking to reconnect with his sister Lyudmila but the world as he knows it is about to be turned upside-down after he discovers a horrifying monstrosity during an earthquake-like event. From then on, you'll experience many unexplainable events that come together to form a memorable albeit disjointed campaign. My main issue with Last Days of Lazarus is just how much stumbling around you have to do in order to progress. As a result, it can be an exceptionally annoying game to play as you try to figure stuff out but it does present its story and horror elements extremely well.
Although it's occasionally irritating to play, Last Days of Lazarus remains gripping thanks to its jaw-dropping variety of disturbing situations.Last Days of Lazarus gameplay video →
White Day: A Labyrinth Named School Review Switch ★★★☆☆
As yet another first-person adventure horror game, White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is quite interesting so let's go back to school.
I first played White Day: A Labyrinth Named School when it debuted on PS4 5 years ago and it's back for Nintendo Switch. You play as Korean high school student Lee Hee-min who returns to his school during off-hours in order to hide a present for the girl that he has a crush on. What he finds when he arrives, though, is a crazed janitor who he witnesses murdering someone. From then on, you'll discover unexplainable phenomena such as glowing glyphs and wandering ghosts. The core gameplay may be typical of an adventure game but you'll also have to escape the janitor as well as eventually avoid ghosts which adds some variety. However, many of the corridors and rooms look the same so it can be a super-tedious game to navigate and slowly piecing together how to progress just isn't fun.
It may feature a distinct premise yet White Day: A Labyrinth Named School manages to become tedious thanks to its repetitious setting.White Day: A Labyrinth Named School gameplay video →
Yomawari: Lost in the Dark Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
Speaking of horror games featuring students, Yomawari: Lost in the Dark has you play as a cursed schoolgirl; well, that's interesting.
Yomawari: Lost in the Dark puts you in the shoes of a student who's tormented by bullies and after stumbling upon a mysterious woman on a mountain, she finds out that she's cursed. Having only a limited time to lift the curse, you'll realise that the key to doing so is locked away in your very own memories so you'll have to traverse your town in the hopes of restoring as many memories as you can. As you do so, you'll have to avoid the yokai that now patrol the streets which will require you to shut your eyes as you carefully sneak past thus making you walk slowly and turning the screen dark. All of this works very well and the audio is absolutely fantastic. With that in mind, the gameplay quickly becomes tedious seeing how slow-paced and repetitive it is to constantly sneak around with your eyes closed.
With its unique gameplay and superb audio, Yomawari: Lost in the Dark offers a solid albeit repetitious fear-fest that fits in 2 dimensions.Yomawari: Lost in the Dark gameplay video →
SIGNALIS Review PlayStation 4 ★★★☆☆
There's an ever-growing number of games that were clearly inspired by Resident Evil and as one, SIGNALIS is kind of nifty so here it is.
Playing SIGNALIS reminded me a great deal of the original PS1 Resident Evil games even though its movement is much more intuitive thanks to its developers' decision to not incorporate tank controls. You explore an underground bunker as technician Elster where you try to discover just what the heck is going on. Besides wandering from room to room as you collect key items and slowly make progress, you'll also have to fend off gross alien-like zombies that reanimate unexpectedly. Plus, exploration is aided thanks to an intuitive map system that marks which doors are accessible or not. Even though everything works, it's still an overall underwhelming game that becomes monotonous after a while. I much prefer the original Resident Evil so consider re-playing that instead.
SIGNALIS does a decent job of offering a retro survival horror experience yet it doesn't do much to make it stand out from the crowd.SIGNALIS gameplay video →
Splatter - Zombiecalypse Now Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Overhead twin-stick shooters with zombies are a dime a dozen so let's see how Splatter - Zombiecalypse Now holds up in the genre.
Splatter - Zombiecalypse Now presents kind of a noire-style narrative where you play as a dude who finds himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. From then on, you'll have to find and utilize weapons in order to clear out hordes of zombies. Although this sounds fun, the combat is so ridiculously disconnected that it's downright infuriating at times. Considering the zombies can end your life in a second, especially if they gang up on you, it's one maddening game. Even when you have a clever strategy such as throwing a flare to scare a zombie crowd then shoot them as they flee, it'll likely take many attempts to execute successfully because of the awful aiming mechanics and randomness of it all. With that being said, I appreciate its scoring system and its distinct scenarios.
It's tough to recommend Splatter - Zombiecalypse Now, especially seeing as there are dozens of much better twin-stick zombie shooters.Splatter - Zombiecalypse Now gameplay video →
A Frog's Job Review PlayStation 5 ★★★☆☆
There aren't many 2D platformers fit for Halloween fun but here's A Frog's Job where you play as a frog Grim Reaper with cool abilities.
A Frog's Job is one of those 2D platformers where you master each short level by simply reaching its goal; in this game, it's a frog ghost that you must reap. However, there is no replay value as you aren't graded for your performance in any way and there aren't any collectibles to discover. On the plus side, there are some additional mechanics such as the ability to stop time and throw slime to form a moving platform. For an example of a puzzle, you may stand on a switch to spawn crates that descend then you can stop time in order to suspend them in mid-air so you can hop across. These mechanics make for some clever level layouts that allow A Frog's Job to become slightly more than a middling 2D puzzle platformer. I also enjoy the 2.5D visual aesthetic and different biomes which add variety.
Stopping time and reaping souls is all in a day's work for a frog and this little platformer showcases that in a somewhat enjoyable way.A Frog's Job gameplay video →
Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC Review Xbox Series X ★★★☆☆
I loved playing through Kao the Kangaroo earlier this year and there's now an excuse to boot it up again with some Halloween DLC.
Kao the Kangaroo is a colourful and fun 3D platformer that's wonderful for the whole family and this Oh! Well expansion helps offer more entertainment. Specifically, you get 5 spooky challenge levels as well as an unlockable costume for each one that you complete. I'm happy to say that the levels themselves offer an impressive amount of variety such as a succession of battle arenas, a giant icy slide, extremely tough platforming scenarios, and some climbing challenges. It definitely doesn't take long to master everything but you do get some cute costumes for your efforts such as a pumpkin in a suit and a purple unicorn so there is some sense of reward.
If you enjoyed Kao the Kangaroo and are looking for more content then the Oh! Well DLC provides just that even though it's short.Kao the Kangaroo Oh! Well DLC gameplay video → Kao the Kangaroo Review