10 Scary Games To Play At a Sleepover

Horror, Creepy, Scary, Atmospheric, Slasher, Best Games to play at a sleepover, First Person, Third Person, Stealth, Puzzle

Spend the night on these creepy games

Watching scary films is a great thing at sleepovers. Whether it’s the standard slasher film where a bunch of teenagers are slaughtered by your favourite horror film serial killer, or the disturbing horror film that leaves you shaken long after the movie is over. The same applies to a large number of scary games that are out there, ranging from the short and simple horror RPG-Maker games to the intricate immersive horrors that make you relive the memories of the most memorable horror games like Resident Evil, Fatal Frame and Silent Hill. Here is a list of the top 10 best scary games that will keep you up during the night of the sleepover.

1)    Until Dawn (2015)

Trailer for Until Dawn

Until Dawn is an adventure game that combines the slasher movie formula with a story that has numerous branching paths. It puts you in the shoes of eight young adults named Mike, Sam, Chris, Ashley, Jessica, Matt, Emily and Josh. Josh invites the group over to the Blackwood Pines Lodge for a get together, a year after the death of his sisters Hanna and Beth.  Upon meeting Josh at the lodge, the group encounters a number of problems straight away. From the conflict between Mike’s former girlfriend Emily (who is dating Matt at this point), and his new girlfriend Jessica, to the group’s problems with getting into the lodge itself along with trying to get the power on. As the conflict between Jessica and Emily worsens, Josh suggests that Jessica and Mike go to a separate lodge to be away from the group. However, as Mike and Jessica make their way to the private lodge, they are stalked by something lurking in the shadows. While this is happening, strange unnatural events also appear to be happening at the lodge itself, one event upsets Josh greatly as Ashley, Josh and Chris perform a ritual to get in contact with the dead and seemingly come into contact with Josh’s sisters.

Using advanced technology, the developers were able to capture the facial expression of the actors, making the character emotions look more realistic

 As players go through Until Dawn, they will take control of each individual character from this group of friends at times. They will usually explore the area that they are in, solve puzzles, pick up clues and complete a number of action sequences where they must press a button at a certain time. Very much like a Telltale Game, the player will be faced with a number of decisions which reflect the biggest gameplay element of Until Dawn; the Butterfly Effect. Making certain choices or performing an action sequence in a certain way can affect the story for certain characters, as reflected in a status menu that the player can access, which brings up information about the character, along with their relationship with other characters. Such changes can have a domino effect and can result in certain events occurring, relationships fracturing, or certain choices can even result in the death of another character, and like Heavy Rain, a character death due to a certain choice or failing an action sequence is permanent. Until Dawn has numerous collectables which give the player background information about the game’s story. These can range from basic notes to collectable totem poles that will give the player a preview of future events. These poles are coloured to reflect a certain category. Sometimes they can be a warning about a character getting hurt or killed, or they can give a premonition of a new opportunity for the player later

Until Dawn Gameplay

2)    Among the Sleep (2014)

Traile​r for Among the Sleep

Among the sleep is an interesting game that is worth playing during a sleepover. The game is unique in that it puts the player in the shoes of a 2 year old, who was awoken by a strange force in the middle of the night. Now the player must explore the house and find the character’s mother. This search turns into a large journey through a number of strange environments.  

Like many other first person horror games, you can interact with the environment in Among the Sleep to solve puzzles

Among the Sleep is a unique horror game. Though the first person horror gameplay is similar to games like Amnesia and Outlast, the player character being a two year old child differentiates the game from the others. The player does not have the strength and agility of many other horror game protagonists and thus are more vulnerable to the threats that are present in Among the Sleep, which helps to amplify the creepy atmosphere of the game itself.

Gameplay Video of Among the Sleep with the Oculus Rift

3)    Corpse Party (1996)

Trailer for Corpse Party

Corpse Party is one of many horror-adventure games made in RPG Maker, but with more emphasis on slasher movie elements. It is about a number of students who are drawn into a strange supernatural world as a result of a ritual that they performed during a party at their high school. Now separated from one another, they must find a way to get back to their home before the world consumes them.

Blood and Gore is frequently seen in Corpse Party, and as you go through the game, the minds of certain characters will start to degrade and they will become more violent

As you go through the game, you will play the game from the viewpoint of numerous different characters. You will need to solve puzzles and escape from certain monsters that the player may encounter. This game is especially recommended for fans of blood, gore and murder as this game has plenty of it. There are also elements of psychological horror, as the strange world has an effect on the mentality of the characters, which causes some of the characters to become more violent as the story progresses. As a result, the decisions made by the player are important in the outcome of the story. However, despite the multiple endings, this game does not have as many different outcomes for each individual character like in Until Dawn, it is still worth playing for it interesting story that becomes quite twisted as the player progresses through the game.

Corpse Party Gameplay

4)    Outlast 2 (2017)

Teaser for Outlast 2

If you enjoyed your trails through Mount Massive Asylum in Outlast 1, then the sequel is the perfect game to play during your sleepover. Outlast 2 brings you to the Supai Region in the Sonoran desert after the protagonist, Blake Langermann and his wife Lynn, crash land in the area. Now they must roam the area, continuing their investigation of the murder of Jane Doe.

Outlast 2 has similar gameplay to the first game, but with some new mechanics. One of them includes the ability to slide while running

Outlast 2 has similar gameplay mechanics to the first game. The found footage elements make a return with the use of a camera which has an infrared mode that can be used to brighten up dark areas. The player character, Blake Langermann, cannot defend himself. Players will need to stay hidden in lockers or find a way to evade the threats that face them. A new interesting mechanic that was introduced is the fact that Langermann’s vision is imperfect so he wears glasses. Should his glasses fall off, the player’s vision would worsen, making the game even more difficult and making the player feel even more vulnerable. Outlast 2 retains the same excellent Sound Design, along with the detailed graphics that immersed the player into an oppressive atmosphere. Though the player may not be trudging through an asylum filled with mentally deranged individuals, it still manages to instil anxiety, with the new additional gameplay features combined with improved graphics and sound design.

Gameplay of the demo for Outlast 2

5)    Alien Isolation (2014)

The Alien film series is known for its excellent horror and while there are many adaptions of the film series itself, they don’t quite manage to recreate the helplessness of the main cast of the first film as they were stalked by the Xenomorph in the film. Alien Isolation manages to take this element of isolation and vulnerability from the film and apply it to gaming perfectly, making it feel almost like Penumbra.

In Alien Isolation, the player takes control of Ellen Ripley’s (protagonist of the Alien films) daughter Amanda Ripley, who is tasked with retrieving the Nostromo spacecraft which is being held on the Sevastopol. This space station is located near a gas giant called KG348.

The Xenomorph is a powerful monster that the player cannot fight. It is extremely dangerous in the sense that it does not follow a specific path, rather, it will react to sounds made by the player, this includes the sounds that are made by the motion sensor

Alien Isolation is primarily a first person shooter, though there is more emphasis on trying to evade your enemies than shooting your way out of trouble. This is especially the case when dealing with the Xenomorph which acts in a similar fashion to Nemesis as it will stalk the player throughout the game. It cannot be killed and it can be extremely flexible. Additionally, unlike many creatures in horror games, the Xenomorph will not search for the player on a pre-determined path, but rather, it will react to any sounds the player makes. It will even investigate sounds made by the player’s motion sensor. As a result, the motion sensor can be more of a detriment than a helpful instrument.

Alien Isolation Gameplay

6)    Resident Evil 3 (1999)

Trailer for Resident Evil 3

Fans of Zombie Films will enjoy the Resident Evil series as a whole, especially the third game in the series, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. The game goes back to Jill Valentine in Racoon City as it is being torn apart by hordes of zombies and mutated horrors. The player’s objective is to make Jill’s final escape from Raccoon City.

Resident Evil 3 players much like the early Resident Evil games that were available on the Playstation and on PC. The player rotates Jill using the left and right buttons while making her move forward by pressing up, or making her walk backwards by pressing down. The player will have limited inventory space so they must manage they must keep track of all the items they have in order to ensure that they do not run out of space when they need to get important items. Thankfully the game has numerous storage boxes that enable the player to store certain items for use later.

The monster depicted on the cover for the Japanese version of Resident Evil 3 is Nemesis, a powerful supermutant who will stalk the player throughout the game. 

While the game still has the memorable mutants and zombies, it introduces a new foe that is much more dangerous than any other encountered throughout the main series, Nemesis. Nemesis is a supermutant who will pursue the player and attempt to hinder their progress. He can deal a large amount of damage to the player and even chase them after they have left the room that he is in. This means that you are never really safe from him. So long as you can his creepy background theme, he is lurking close by, ready to attack you.

Resident Evil 3 gameplay

7)    Lone Survivor (2012)

Trailer for Lone Survivor The Director's Cut

Lone Survivor is a good game to play to relive the glorious days of Silent Hill. This game is a side-scrolling survival horror with a large amount of emphasis put on survival and maintaining your sanity. In this game you play as a character who has no same, thus they are referred to as “YOU”. They have been stuck in an apartment building for a long time and are running out of supplies so they have decided to leave in order to get supplies and seek out new people.

The monster in this image is called the "Thinman" and there are three versions of this creature. The monster changes to the new version when the player completes an area. 

The player will explore different parts of this apartment building and the city throughout the game. There are a number of monsters that the player will encounter and will have the option to either sneak past or outright kill the monsters. In addition to dealing with the monsters, players must also focus on basic survival elements to ensure that they get the best outcome at the end of the game. These elements involve keeping the protagonist well fed as well as keep them energised. Though supplies are limited throughout the game, there are also pills of three colours (red, blue and green), that the player can take to recover items if they have lost all of them or to keep them energised.

However, another notable element of this game that can be affected by the use of pills is the “YOU’s” sanity. The sanity system in this game is key to the ending of this game, so keeping “You’s” mind in good shape is key to succeeding at this game. If “YOU” is well fed, avoids taking pills and opts to be as passive as possible (sneaking past monsters or using flares to stun them), then “YOU’s” internal dialogue will reflect someone who is in good health. This dialogue will change depending on “YOU’s” sanity. The game also features a number of sidequests that can be done in different ways. Some sidequests involve an important moral choice that can have a positive or a negative effect on “YOU’s” sanity, while others can help “YOU” cope with the world better or they can make it easier to get certain items.

Lone Survivor Gameplay

8)    Emily Wants to Play (2015)

Emily Wants to Play Trailer

If you’re sick of trying to contend with Five Nights At Freddie’s tower defence-like gameplay and would like to play something similar during a sleepover, then you should give Emily Wants to Play a try. This exploration horror is about a pizza delivery guy who finds himself trapped in a dilapidated house whose occupants have ordered pizza. Now pursued by a doll and a strange ghost named Emily, he must escape the house and get back home.

You can find a lot of information about the game's backstory through exploring the house and finding tape recorders, notes written by Emily herself and scribbles that are written on the whiteboard in the kitchen of the house

Emily Wants to play is a simple, but fun horror game to play at a sleepover. It takes elements from other first person horror games and uses them to make a simple exploration game that has a straight forward objective. You do not have any weapons so you are completely vulnerable to the various supernatural threats that called you to this house in the first place. If you want to enjoy the scares further, then give the Virtual Reality in this game a try as this game is compatible with Occulus Rift and Vive.  

Emily Wants to Play gameplay

9)    Slender: The Arrival (2013)

Slender: The Arrival Trailer

It was always fun to tell tales about Slenderman when camping or even during sleepovers, now you get an opportunity to experience the horror of the legend on your PC. Slender: The Arrival is very similar to the original game Slender, an exploration game where the goal was to collect 8 different pages in a dark forest while Slenderman stalked you, getting more relentless as you got close to your goal. Slender: The Arrival has a more definitive plot as the protagonist, Lauren, walks through a forest in her town in order to unravel the mystery of Slenderman after her friend goes missing.

 

In addition to having to avoid Slenderman, the player will need to avoid other monsters like the Proxies, humans who have descended into madness and devote themselves to him. Unlike Slenderman, the Proxies can write messages and mess with objects in addition to killing the player

The player is completely vulnerable, holding only a camera and a flashlight, the player must go through this forest and collect pages. Slenderman will be pursuing the player and change his behaviour depending on the player’s progress in the game as it is divided into several chapters and thus, Slender will act differently and become more persistent the more the player has advanced through the plot. Just like the original, the player will know if Slenderman is close as the camera’s image will start to become distorted, signalling for the player to escape Slenderman’s grasp.

Although Slender: The Arrival’s gameplay is very similar to the original game, there are a number of key differences between the games themselves. The most important difference is the fact that it is much easier to immerse yourself in the game thanks to the improved graphics and sound. The crisp and detailed look of the location makes it easier for the player to become immersed and feel completely isolated as they wonder through the woods, completely isolated from society as a strange and violent supernatural being stalks them.

Slender: The Arrival Gameply

 

10) System Shock Remastered (2017)

System Shock Remastered Trailer

If you want to introduce your friend to System Shock, but are deterred due to the aging graphics, then System Shock Remastered is a game for you. The upcoming remake to the original horror RPG recreates the original high-tech sci-fi horror completely from scratch. Enjoy the original story with visuals that are vastly superior to that of the original as your player character awakens in a space station from a six month coma. Upon awakening, it is discovered that the entire space station is in disarray as it is empty apart from cyborgs, robots and mutants that are under the control of Shodan, a merciless artificial intelligence that has taken control of the space station.

System Shock Remastered recreates the aesthetics of the original game along with amplifying them with modern rendering features including physically based rendering, screen-space reflections, dynamic lighting and much more. 

System Shock Remastered has a combination of the original gameplay and new elements that have been inserted. Like the original, the game is mostly a first person shooter with puzzles to solve and murderous creatures to kill. There are a number of options that the player can select from their Heads Up Display, including leaning, looking around, crouching and crawling. By using the mouse cursor, players can aim their weapons at enemies or interact with objects.

A look at the Pre-Alpha Demo

If you want to give this game a try today, then download the free pre-alpha demo. Many people who have tried the alpha were amazed by the improvements made to the game. It feels very much like the original game, but the graphics are vastly better.

Conclusion

So, if you’re looking to lose sleep during your sleepover, then these games are perfect for you and your friends. Immerse yourself in the oppressive atmospheric horrors helped by their detailed graphics and excellent sound design, or just sit back and watch as your heroes attempt to overcome the horrors facing them. Each game has its own unique experience that is worth going through, because why would you just watch a horror film when you can take control of the hero and experience it for yourself?

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Photographer and horror game fan
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: Pro-gaming
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Top 3 Favorite Games:Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Team Fortress 2, Lone Survivor
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