What Is a Horror Game?

A horror game is typically defined as a video game whose main purpose is to scare the player. Despite this definition, there are several subgenres of horror games. These include action, survival, and point-and-click. Each of these genres has its own set of criteria and has a variety of different games.

Action horror games tend to be more tense. The action and visuals make up for a lack of subtlety.

Survival horror games can be equally intense. They require players to scavenge for resources and fight off hordes of enemies. Although a bit stressful, they can also be a lot of fun to play.

Point-and-click horror adventures often feature creepy environments and plenty of puzzles. However, many of these games lack the action and pacing of other types of horror games.

Until Dawn, for instance, takes the teen slasher formula and twists it into a story-based experience. As the player, you have to keep as many characters alive as possible.

The best horror games take advantage of their unique video game medium. They build a strong narrative and evoke a variety of emotions while still creating an immersive experience.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a great example of how a game’s sanity mechanic can be a major game-changer. It asks questions about the nature of control and what happens when you become your own worst enemy.

Devotion is one of the best examples of how space and time can be used to create a truly frightening game experience. While combat is part of the core gameplay loop, its environmental storytelling is the real trick.