Using creatures from mythology is a simple method to connect horror with cultures (Image via Steam)

5 horror games based on Asian folklore

With classics like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame, Japan was the hub of horror games. This regulation has begun to evolve in recent years, moving toward other Asian countries. Games like Detention and Dreadout ushered in a new wave of horror games that were generally inventive and strange, but also deeply entrenched in their own nations' folklore, traditions, and history.

Several Asian horror video games began to include themes from local history, mythology, or customs in order to create a more personal and rooted experience, blending the mundane with superstition and the extraordinary.


Of course, using creatures from mythology is a simple method to connect horror with cultures. It's also because of these horror games that a non-native player can begin to dread the Aswang or the strange Pocong, or learn about the Hungry Ghost Festival, or how other exorcisms differ from Catholic exorcisms.

5 horror games like Home Sweet Home, Pamali, and PAGUI that are based on Asian traditions


1) Home Sweet Home

Publishers: YGGDRAZIL GROUP CO, LTD, Mastiff, SNK


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch

Thai folklore has yet to be fully explored, and just a few games have utilized it to create a terrifying atmosphere. Home Sweet Home fills that need, bringing a scary, survival horror based on Thai mythology and traditions to life.

The storyline is twisted and nightmarish, alternating between dreams and reality. The main character is a spouse who awakens to find himself locked in a terrifying world that is somehow linked to his home and his life. Something happened to his wife, and the only way to find her and learn what occurred is to go into the hazardous environment.


Every object and detail reflects Thai culture. It's fascinating to see how the aesthetic and mythology of the settings are anchored in Thai legend, and how they bend in the main character's personal past. Every piece, from scratched paintings to wall paintings, is steeped in Thai culture, providing a unique and engaging setting.

2) Short Creepy Tales: 7 PM

Publisher: Cellar Vault Games

Platform: Microsoft Windows


As the title implies, 7 PM is the first in a series of little and eerie games, most likely adventures with folklore themes and strange unique graphic style in common. The game is a brief but replayable adventure that focuses on different options and pathways that are mutually incompatible, necessitating the use of many new tries to test each path.

The game takes place in a small Malay apartment building where the bulk of the residents is Chinese. This fascinating link between Malay and Chinese culture is beautifully depicted in the game, not only in the characters' speech (such as the renowned "lah!" which is also popular in Singapore) but also in the heritage and other elements such as the food.

However, the 'Hungry Ghost Festival,' one of the most intriguing Chinese holidays, is a month-long celebration in which ghosts visit the living, a fascinating occasion steeped in beliefs, rituals, and taboos. Essentially a month-long Halloween, with a focus on rituals, prayers, and ancient customs in this case.


3) Pamali

Publisher: Playism

Platforms: Microsoft Windows


Pamali is a game that depicts an integrated horror experience by using Indonesian mythology to a near-scholar level, offering allusions and a profound understanding of customs. Pamali is a first-person horror game broken into four episodes, each focusing on a different creature from Indonesian legend, from the well-known Pocong to the lesser-known Leak.

The game incorporates knowledge of Indonesian mythology, which is then shared with the user, enhancing each session with fresh facts and details. For instance, after each end, there will be a description of the player's unwitting deeds that angered the spirit.


Publisher: Padendon

Platform: Microsoft Windows


Pagui is an undiscovered hidden gem. The game is an action-horror set in 1950s Taiwan, where genuine historical brutality is combined with legendary terror. It follows the narrative of a kid exorcist on the lookout for his parents.

The location is breathtaking, with meticulous attention to detail creating a convincing 1950s Taiwan. The quiet buildings and abandoned things emphasise the horror that occurred, with careful attention paid to communicate a tale without words. The narrative is basic but engaging, with a few poignant moments, particularly the surprising finale.

Traditional components are well-integrated as well, particularly in ceremonies and things. While the typical ghosts aren't very unique in terms of design, the bosses are truly terrifying and well-crafted.

The graphics play an important role in portraying a convincing world, particularly in the cutscenes, which are always exceptionally well done, whether spooky, mysterious, or action-oriented. The music also incorporates traditional sounds with more rock-oriented elements, resulting in an intriguing combination.


5) The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters

Publishers: Devespresso Games, Digerati, WhisperGames, Chorus Worldwide, Headup

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, Nintendo Switch


Coma 2 is a huge step-up from the first game, and one of the greatest games made by a Korean team. Coma 2 is similar to the Clock Tower series in that it employs a 2D style to create a never-ending game of hide-and-seek against an eternal stalker.

The graphics are truly stunning, a cross between a manga and a cartoon, with meticulous attention to detail in every element, from the characters to the intricate setting. The attention to detail and polish is astounding, with an emphasis on rewarding the player. Several accomplishments, for example, will expose a beautiful concept art or artwork if they are unlocked.

Coma 2, which was created by a Korean team, also provides a unique perspective on modern Korea. The depiction of schools and student life is excellent, with several details provided via posters and comments.

However, the intriguing legend stretches to more typical venues, such as a food market, which is rich in detail and locations. A shadow realm is also a place of prohibited customs and dark arts, with significant ties to more ancient and mythical ages, as some of the characters' attire reflects.

Edited by
Abu Amjad Khan
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