In honour of the season of scariness, we've gathered the 9 scariest games we've played on our handsets. You can find us hiding behind the sofa.
Could mobile phones be the future of gaming? It’s something we’re definitely starting to think about. After all, if you’re a fan of Silent Hill, Until Dawn or The Evil Within you’ll know that it isn’t just the gameplay that’s making you jump out of your seat – it’s the storytelling, too.
Chuck some portability (so you can take the game out of your comfy bedroom and into the big bad world) and augmented reality technology and you’ll see why it’s just as possible to get the living heck scared out of you when gaming on a smartphone.
In honour of the season of scariness, we’ve gathered the 9 scariest games we’ve ever played on our handsets. Download, get playing, and let us know what you think – until then you can find us hiding behind the sofa. Please don’t judge.
The ‘Year Walk’ of the title is an ancient Swedish rite which allows the walker glimpses in to the future – but not everyone who undertakes it ever somes back… Harnessing the chilling mystery of Nordic folklore, Year Walk has a surprising number of jump-out-of-your-seat scares and an escalating spookiness.
Download Year Walk for iPhone (£3.99).
Decay: The Mare
A recovering addict wakes up in a mysteriously empty institution – except it soon seems as if he isn’t entirely alone. Drug-induced paranoia or genuine supernatural danger? Only time will tell. One thing is certain: your character develops a newfound survival instinct, which you’ll have to make use of to navigate puzzles and mazes as the spine-chilling story unfolds.
When you start to play the exquisitely drawn Limbo, helping a little boy solve life-threatening puzzles in a quest for his missing sister, the rot, giant insects and low light levels will soon have you gripped by fear. Dark, inexplicable and very, very creepy.
What’s scarier than a haunted house game? Why, that would be a haunted house game that happens IN YOUR OWN HOUSE. Thanks to the latest augmented reality technology, you can now attempt to outwit supernatural enemies in some terrifyingly familiar surroundings. Play in the dark – if you dare…
Download Night Terrors: The Begining for iPhone (free).
Dark Meadow: The Pact
While Dark Meadow’s premise isn’t going to win any awards for originality, its gameplay has proved highly popular with fans of the genre. You wake in an abandoned hospital with no memory of how you got there, and have to search for clues and weapons to unlock hidden memories of past horrors – and escape.
You’re probably going to scoff at the idea of an 8-bit game scaring the bejeezus out of you, but the simple play and alternating peril and unease draws you into a psychologically gripping story that will have your anxiety levels shooting skywards.
Download Distraint for Android (free, with in-app purchases) and iPhone (99p).
The Walking Dead
More of an interactive set of stories than your standard fight or flight zombie play, this series of games based on the classic comic books and subsequent TV show juggernaught has gained a veritable army of devoted fans. Can you survive the oncoming apocalyse of the undead? The storytelling is so compelling that you’ll be frightened for your life.
Sara is Missing
When you think about it, there are number of stories in a person’s texts and photos; this just happens to be a terrifying one. You find a missing stranger’s phone, and piece by piece – through messages, voicemail, and encrypted files – slowly discover the horrific truth behind her disappearance.
You, a professional burglar, are tasked with breaking into an abandoned house and stealing a number of money bags. Shame no one told you it was haunted, huh? All you can do is sneak around the floorplan in the hope of avoiding the killer ghost’s gaze – which you can temporarily tap into to plot your route. Even if you box incredibly clever, it’s still hard not to feel mounting panic as a disembodied head chases you to your death.