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5 horror games with gloomy environments that terrify gamers

Horror games based on scary soundtracks frequently generate emotional responses in people (Image via Playstation)
Horror games based on scary soundtracks frequently generate emotional responses in people (Image via Playstation)

To create a sense of terror in players, horror games employ a variety of approaches. Some attempt to terrify players by incorporating ghostly voices, screams, and whispers from unidentified sources in the game's soundtrack.

For decades, horror games have drawn heavily on horror films, regardless of subgenre. But as technology and narrative approaches have advanced, the games have grown to seem more and more like cinematic experiences.

Many games might be horror movies in their own right, whether it's a hide-and-seek survival game or a guns-blazing action game against hordes of the undead.

Horror games based on gloomy environments frequently generate emotional responses in people, including fear or despair and pleasant emotions like joy, enthusiasm, satisfaction, or love.


Blair Witch, Sanitarium and more horror games that excel in offering the gloomy environments

1) Silent Hill

Platforms: PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4

Publisher: Konami

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The entire game offers players a feeling of terror, thanks to the town's dark surroundings and most of the lighting comes from a flashlight. The game's audio plays a major role in creating the dark, strange and frightening atmosphere.

The sound of sirens warns the players that they are about to enter the Otherworld, where they will be transported from virtual normalcy into a nightmare vision of an old, abandoned town filled with metal shells packed with mutilated corpses blood-smeared messages on walls and objects.

Another intriguing example is a portable radio that uses bursts of static to alert the player to the presence of nearby monsters.

Whispering voices, distant slamming doors, moans and groans as the alleged monsters approach the player, the sound of Cheryl pleading for help, and the sound of someone sobbing in an empty room are all examples of scary background scores.

Scary soundtracks are a common tool employed in the Silent Hill series of games to evoke anxiety in players. The game exploits the player's 'fear of the unknown' by unsettling them with random voices, cries, and growls.


2) Fatal Frame

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation 3

Publishers: Microsoft Game Studios, Tecmo

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The game depicts various strange disappearances, restless spirits, and ritual sacrifices. Through four chapters, the player controls the heroine, a little girl named Miku Hinasaki, in her hunt for her brother, Mafuyu, whom the player only controls in the game's opening.

She entered the Himuro Mansion to research the enigmatic mansion's past, as it was the last known location of her missing older brother. Miku must search the entire estate for artifacts and solve riddles to proceed in the game.

A Spirit Radio gadget, on the other hand, allowed the player to hear the voices of spirits imprisoned in crystals that held their ideas.


3) Hotel 626

Platforms: Online

Publishers: Doritos Productions

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Doritos created Hotel 626, an online horror advertisement game. The game's scenario occurs in a haunted hotel where the player is confined and must do whatever it takes to escape. The game is played from the perspective of a first-person shooter and is only available from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The tour through the hotel is divided into ten levels, each with its own set of objectives and challenges.

The player wakes up in his hotel room after checking in and instantly hears unusual echo noises in the distance. The character becomes worried, screams, and begs to be let out.

The game also takes a genuine photo of the player during a terrifying moment and puts it in a gallery alongside other terrified faces. The player's mobile phone is also used to engage with the game. Players in the United States can submit their phone numbers near the end of the game to receive an odd call from the game.

To scare players, the game employs a variety of sounds. Furthermore, one of the game's most recent stages focuses solely on a scary atmosphere. The player is imprisoned in a room with a madman at this level, and there are some strange drawings on the walls with various quantities of red dots over them.


4) Blair Witch

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Amazon Luna

Publishers: Lionsgate Games

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The game is played from a first-person perspective and focuses on survival horror mechanics and stealth, requiring the player to track and follow the trail of missing nine-year-old Peter Shannon while fending off shadowy creatures with items such as a camera, cellphone, flashlight, or Ellis' dog, Bullet.

Players will encounter bizarre wooden dolls, pictures, and VHS cassettes while solving puzzles along the way. It, like the film, incorporates the found-footage subgenre into the gameplay and story, typically via cassette cassettes.

Ellis will utilize multiple devices, including a cell phone and a walkie-talkie, to reminisce about his past while in the woods. When a call is received, the player can accept or reject it.

This decision will have a direct impact on the game's outcome. Messages and voicemails will appear from time to time, and players can access them through the menu. Popular 2D games Snake and Astro Blaster are also featured on the phone's menu and can be accessed at any point.


5) Sanitarium

Platforms: Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android

Publishers: ASC Games, DotEmu

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Sanitarium begins on a cryptic note, as do many other psychological horror games. Because it was launched in 1998, much before many other horror games in the genre, it can be considered one of the first to feature such an opening.

The game's protagonist is a patient in an asylum who has lost his memories due to a vehicle accident. He goes by the name "Max," but he's not sure if it's his true name, and he attempts to make sense of the strange events that occur around him.

As fact and fiction intersperse in his story, "Max" wanders between other realms from the asylum in his endeavor to find answers. In his search, the creatures he encounters are malformed children, mad patients, demons, and fabled gods.


Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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