The Attic: 2016 Horror Game of the Year
Welcome to The Attic, and our first annual Horror Game of the Year edition!
Recently as I sat playing Resident Evil 7, I found myself thinking that I’m already pretty certain this is going to be my favorite horror game of 2017. Suddenly it hit me, why not make this an annual thing? I certainly can’t claim that I have played every 2016 horror game, but these are the best of what I did get around to. So, after some deliberation about what the runners up would be, I come to you with The Attic’s 2016 Horror Game of the Year, and a few that fell short.
As I mentioned before in a previous Attic, this Full Motion Video game had some very interesting qualities. For one, it was like watching a movie that you have a bit of control over. It was also pretty darn creepy at certain points, and I loved the isolation you felt while playing it. I felt completely alone, just like John was, and that was a great accomplishment. However, The Bunker fell a bit flat when it came to sheer horror, and I felt like it could have been a bit more engaging. Also, that ending was incredibly anti-climactic…
This little game was a complete surprise to me. I had never even heard of it until I stumbled across a Let’s Play on YouTube, but thanks to the very PT-esque atmosphere, I had to grab the it and play it myself instead. The Survey is set within this two-story home, and as you unravel what has happened to your character’s family, things get incredibly creepy. At times, The Survey even leaves you feeling sad, and it’s pretty rare to play a horror game that can scare you silly while also giving you such a different feeling at the same time. While short, this little gem is priced at $4.99 USD. Even though I greatly enjoyed playing it, the game does have a known crashing bug, so be warned.
Made by a developer team (Volumetric Games) of only two people, this indie game is a fantastic example that you don’t need a big budget or hundreds of people to make a scary experience. Left Alone is packed with fantastic atmosphere that gets better and better as you wind your way through the woods and into an abandoned school. Almost every scare here is done with such a subtle touch, and I love that they didn’t take the lazy route by leaning on jump scares like so many games these days do. I’m not gonna lie, at times I had to pause just to take a breather. This one is also a bit short, but I absolutely recommend it to everyone.
And now, drumroll please…
The Attic 2016 Horror Game of the Year is…
Layers of Fear
Put simply, Layers of Fear is one of the finest and scariest horror games I have ever played. While I enjoyed the Early Access version back in 2015, the full game wasn’t released until February 15th of 2016. Happily, their completed project was a longer and even more terrifying version, and I had so much fun playing it. From a doll walking around on its on, to a woman’s ghostly crying in the distance, to a child’s giggle in your ear, all set within a fantastic old house for the perfect atmosphere, Layers of Fear has so many of the creepiest tools the genre has to offer. With a genius blend of jump scares and a creeping tension at all other times, this game has you on edge from beginning to end. Layers of Fear is a masterpiece, and I hope to see more like this coming from Bloober Team in the future.
What were your favorite horror games of 2016? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!