DreadXP, the video game-focused offshoot of Dread Central, has been doing great things in terms of championing and publishing indie horror games this past year. Not only has it released three Dread X Collections, packed with game jam horror experiences from talented up and coming developers, it’s put on a Halloween showcase for indie horror games both recent and upcoming.
The DreadXP Spooky Showcase featured 40 or so indie horror game trailers, from now established names to cult favorites. There was a lot going on in the hour-long ride through this particular spooky town.
The big news coming out of the showcase was that of a continuation of the Haunted PS1 games idea. SpookWare and No Players Online creator Adam Pype is hosting a collaborative effort known as C.H.A.I.N. (Chronological Haunted Anomaulous Interconnected Narrative) which sees 20 indie devs creating 20 interconnected, but visibly different, horror games that evoke the original PlayStation’s catalog of titles in terms of low polygon, grainy, and often strange styles. The collection is out now for free on PC.
Dread Delusion was another biggie. Originally a part of the original Haunted PS1 demo disk, Lovely Hell Place’s old-school RPG is getting turned into a full game that features clockwork towers and cosmic horrors. If it can pull off even half of the ambition to make a sprawling world of weird stories and dreadful deities seen in the brief taste we got, then I will be very excited.
Then there was John Syzmanski’s new game. When I heard the concept ‘Seasame Street does Survival Horror’, I was instantly interested. The teaser for it doesn’t show all that much, but that concept is going to keep me warm in the meantime.
There are a lot of other interesting-looking titles in the showcase, so I implore you to watch the whole video and see the games for yourself, but there’s some games in there I’d like to highlight all the same.
Psychological horror Chasing Static from Sick Chicken that sees exploration driven by following noise. It looks really mean and moody, and more than a little creepy.
The Padre was a flawed survival horror with a gruff-voiced priest as its protagonist that felt like it could work if done a bit differently. Well, Feardemic certainly did that with the sequel The Padre: One Shot Straight to Hell, as it turns the trudging old-school survival horror into a balls-out gun-toting massacre. I am very much here for that.
Better yet, there’s a crossover DLC with Bloober Team’s Layers of Fear coming to the game, so it’s not enough to play as a demon-blasting priest, he’ll also be taking a mad head trip in search of the perfect portrait.
Lamentum, a pixel-based survival horror by Obscure Tales, is set in the nineteenth century and features some pretty grisly monsters out to devour you. Then there was more historical horrors with Conscript, a top-down survival horror set in the trenches of the First World War, where monsters and mustard gas team up to ruin your day.
The developer of the bizarre cult hit Pony Island is back with Inscryption, an unusual card-based game that goes to some dark and strange places. That’s coming next year.
Dillon Rogers and DUSK creator David Szymanski’s new game Gloomwood looks fantastic, and has a demo available right now. Somewhat similarly, the creators of retro cult investigation game Sagebrush make a startling leap in a very different direction With Effigy, a retro-style FPS with RPG adventure trappings and more than a little heavy metal. The first episode hits early access next year.
Lo-fi detective game Loveland has a vibe about it that reminds me of Paratopic and Virginia. Those are both fantastic, so I’m looking forward to trying the demo soon.
Rogue’s Under: Depths of Fear sees you creeping around an old cruise ship while being stalked by something sinister. Who doesn’t love a ghost ship?
And finally, Airdorf’s FAITH Chapter III got an airing, and that looks like it’ll round off that creepy trilogy very well indeed.
It was also fascinating to see something like Observer: System Redux in amongst the other indie titles here, because Bloober Team went from creating small scale horror experiences (good and bad), to making a Blair Witch game (which also appears in its recent VR form) and a major horror title for Xbox Series X with The Medium (which yes, also appears here).
Ditto for Amnesia: Rebirth‘s appearance. Frictional’s game is brilliant, and its long history with the horror genre has undoubtedly shaped much of what makes up the modern indie horror game community.
All in all, I came away intrigued by lots of titles I’d either never seen before or seen little of. We may be jumping into a new generation of consoles, but the new generation of indie horror games is just as exciting.