Horror films and games are a special quantity. They’re obviously designed to scare, but they’re incredibly hit and miss, with some quite terrible results.
They either end up managing to scare me (no thanks), or they’re bad, don’t scare me, and are boring (similarly, no thanks).
For that reason, I’ve never ‘got’ horror. I can understand it, sure: that adrenaline rush is the same one that keeps Alton Towers in business, but I’m quite happy in my epinephrine-free world of tea and blankets, thankyouverymuch.
No one can hear you scream ice cream
It’s a shame my cowardly brain thinks that way – mobile has been home to some truly great horror games over the years.
Dead Space showed a big console horror could work on your phone. As you would expect, controls are an issue, but the production values are off the charts – as is the scare-o-meter.
Limbo also crammed a console experience into a pocket device, but more importantly it showed there was a place for indie horrors on the App Store. Limbo is bursting with ideas, and succeeds not because of jumps scares or cheap tricks, but because its aesthetic and atmosphere are so powerful.
It’s also a rare beast in the horror world – not many scary games get you to directly care for another person. Most encourage empathy but only for the purposes of making the protagonist a proxy for you, the player. Conversely, Limbo…