The Top 10 Best Horror Mystery Games for the PC

Best Horror Mystery Games
The protagonist of Dead Secret: Circle

Horror mystery is often thought of as Scooby-Doo esque or being similar to the Goosebumps series, but this list of the ten greatest mysterious and scary games for the PC will hopefully convince you that terror and puzzles aren’t just for kids.

10. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Amnesia: The Dark Descent - Scary Gameplay Moments

In the darkness of castle Brennenburg, an entity known only as The Shadow lurks within the crumbling stone and it follows your every step. Daniel awakens inside of Brennenburg, and he must remember who he is … and why he forgot everything, or die trying.

This classic from 2010 is one of the best written mysteries on this list, but due to its now dated graphics and a little awkward physics, it’s more of a game you play to ease yourself into the genre. Don’t be fooled, however. This game still holds its place in the memories of the players by having some of the most terrifying AI to interact with inside of the looming darkness of Brennenburg. Featuring a sanity system, puzzles, several unique and morbid areas, it’s hard to overlook this classic.

A little low in replayability doesn’t hurt its score either, because players can actually make their own unique maps for each other! Amnesia: The Dark Descent paved the way for many first time horror mystery gamers, and because of that, it earns its spot at number ten on this list.

The cellar has its scary moments, but the worst comes when you find questionable remains and blood stains alongside a terrifying note.

Peekaboo! Daniel gets too close for comfort to this Gatherer, giving us a good look at its grotesque features.

9. Sally Face

Sally Face, Episode One: The Neighbors (Official Trailer)

Strange things are twisting the adults of this sleepy little town into violent, bloodthirsty murderers. Your name is Sally Face, and you’re trying to find out why this is happening and how to stop it.

This upcoming game is still in the works, but it features fantastic graphics and an eerie story alongside humor and its own charm and personality. A point and click, Sally Face’s life and the mysteries he and his friends solve are macabre by every sense of the word. What happened to Sally Face’s face? Why did his dad decide to move him out here? What is going on in this apartment complex? Only a playthrough will answer some, but not all of these questions.

It’s a casual game filled with dialogue and mini-games along the path, so if you’re in the mood for a side-scrolling adventure with horrific implications in the storyline, Sally Face is the perfect game for you. The release of the final two episodes has us waiting with bated breath.

Sal encounters a demonic entity in his kitchen, of all places. Seriously? At least do the dishes, dude.

Sal’s nightmares frequently feature him as a child inside of a crumbling hospital after a traumatic accident.

8. Pony Island

Pony Island - Trailer

This game is not about ponies. Deceptively bright and colorful at first, Pony Island soon delves into the dark and mysterious. You are trapped in purgatory, made to play a game created by Satan himself. How well you do at the game depends on how well you heed his demands.

Filled with glitches, tricks, and pixelated spooks, Pony Island is a game best played in one go unless you’re a completionist (like me.) The story seems to be simple but it gives away into satanic ideas of worship and the afterlife pretty fast. Are you better than the devil himself at his clumsy attempts at programming? Escape depends on your wit and quick thinking, and the arcade style side-scrolling makes you feel even uneasier given the broken and derelict settings around you.

It also doesn’t take itself too seriously - Because it’s a game that Satan made, about ponies - And pokes fun at its own narrative once in a while. Side-scrolling shooter meets code-based puzzle solving for a fun and replayable game, while looking both cute and demonic at all times to boot.

The starting screen already has a glitch on it. Not so promising for Satan’s game.

I hope you like hacking puzzles! This is one of many that you’ll need to get through in order to free yourself of Satan’s glittery, deceptive traps.

7. Fran Bow

Fran Bow - Announcement Trailer

Twisted and dementedly cute, Fran Bow is the story of a little girl inside of a mental health facility who has the ability to see into the worlds around ours, which is often filled with dangerous, violent spirits. She just wants to know one thing: Who murdered her parents?

This point-and-click horror adventure has another hand-drawn style that’s easy on the eyes and at times, downright gruesome. Are Fran’s visions of the underworld and the gaunt and haunting spirits real? Or are they manifestations of the traumatic murder of her parents? That’s up for the player to find out. Fran Bow features plenty of settings to explore and fun mini-games, so the replayability is very high on this one.

You can take pills in this game that will allow you to transcend your human form, or in other words, see into the other side of the dead. How much of these terrifying visions are real or hallucinations is never really explained, and that’s what makes the story so intriguing. Fran herself is very well written, and all you want to see this poor kid do is come to terms with all of the horrible things happening around her. Fran Bow is dark and lighthearted all in one, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Gory imagery like this is what makes Fran Bow so frightening. Here, she’s seeing the ghastly spirits of the underworld at work.

Fran’s life is clearly in danger, judging by the corpse on the floor. But she’s unafraid, and ready to get out of this horrific house.

6. Rusty Lake: Hotel

Rusty Lake Hotel Official Trailer

Five guests are invited to the posh Rusty Lake hotel in order to forget their worries and sit back and relax. You’re the chef’s assistant, and you have to make sure that every meal you make … is worth dying for.

Another hand-drawn style that captures the macabre, Rusty Lake: Hotel is the third game in the Rusty Lake series. However, it’s easy to get through if this is your first time even hearing of this series. It’s a puzzle point-and-click with underlying elements of mystery that make you wonder why you’re doing this and who put you up to the task of gathering these obscure ingredients. Rusty Lake: Hotel was inspired by the popular TV series Twin Peaks, and it shows.

It’s got a high replayability value also for scouring for clues or getting 3 stars on all your meals. If you liked Fran Bow and Sally Face, this is in the same vein as those two games. I highly recommend playing through all of this developer’s games, since the storyline is ongoing and disgustingly creepy.

Mr. Crow ferries the five guests over to the hotel on a little rowboat.


5. Dead Secret Circle

Dead Secret Circle - Official Trailer

A serial killer hunts his victims in Chicago, and you’re a plucky detective set out to find and put a stop to this madman. Who did it? Who in these hallways is murdering unsuspecting residents without a care in the world? You have seven suspects to investigate, while keeping an eye on your sanity … Dead Secret Circle will have you wondering time and time again if you’re on the right trail or not.

Patricia Gable’s story continues in this sequel and does it in a way that looks simple but clean and plays easy for those just getting into the storyline. You can never be too sure of any leads that you get, and the game makes sure to keep you thrilled and terrified by the ghastly figure of the killer itself, stalking through the haunted hallways with a straightedge razor in hand. Your dreams are a big factor in this game, and it’s always best to explore every little bit of information you get.

The ‘Ikiryo’ - A Japanese ‘living ghost’ - makes its appearance as both the player character and the serial killer’s potential victims. You’ll also need to be aware of the fullness of the moon, since you’re pretty terrified of it. It’s a mystery game that just came out recently, but it’s already packed with positive reviews. Personally, I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.

The ‘Smiler,’ armed with its straightedge, dashes towards our protagonist in this spiritual hallway.

If these were my neighbors, I think I’d stay inside. Patricia interrogates them about an elderly neighbor in this scene.

4. The Last Door: Collector’s Edition

The Last Door: Official Trailer

Four childhood friends attempt to explore the Veil, and in doing so, are faced with some of their worst fears. Your job is to help them navigate the unknown, and to put a stop to a supernatural force that threatens all of mankind.

The Last Door Collector’s Edition is a pixelated, point and click puzzle game that has its own spooks and scares. Though the rest of these games are usually in 2d or 3d, the pixelly look of this lovecraftian horror is what makes it so unique compared to the rest. This game comes in two sets of four episodes, and each one only deepens the mystery. Without giving too much away, make sure you keep track of who your allies and your enemies really are.

Navigation is easier in the collector’s edition, and the inventory system has been improved as well. Watching the effects of the choices you make is also entertaining and makes for various playthroughs of the game just so that you can see every option. It’s a beautiful nod to Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe all in one, even with its low resolution graphics. It’s a game that really shows off that you don’t need cutting edge 3d characters to tell a good story.

Deep inside the boarding school of your youth is where you’ll find the truth.

The empty, quiet beach. This game really knows how to make you feel alone.

3. Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear - Gameplay Trailer

You have to complete this painting. It’s your magnum opus, the painting to put you back on the list of the famous and un-forgotten, and a homage to your dead wife. Everything hinges on completing this painting, so you’d better get looking for all the right materials.

This psychological mystery unfolds the tragedy of an artist with a failing mind and the effects it has on his family and his art. It’s grotesquely beautiful, and the art design in this game is what really makes it terrifying. Reality blurs with fiction to give you an insight into what having schizophrenia in the 19th century may very well have been like.

It’s not an excuse for the protagonist’s behavior either, though each character is tragic in their own way. This game features puzzles and a little bit of platforming, along with a well voice acted cast of characters and eerie music. The ever-changing atmosphere and dark and twisting hallways make every minute of this game intense, and the horror truly comes from within.

Thick, sludge-like black paint covers nearly every inch of this studio.

The off putting colors in this section really give you a sense of the internal madness of the unnamed painter.

2. >observer_

Observer - The Year Is 2084 Trailer

Detective Daniel Lazarski receives a strange call from his estranged son one night asking for help, and now he’s going to do everything in his power to find his child again.

This futuristic mystery horror plays on the idea of consciousness of the human mind and how much we trust technology. This and SOMA are at the top for their different takes on the digital age, since the setting in Observer is the future and SOMA’s is underwater. They’re equally good takes on what makes someone human and how much we rely on machines to keep ourselves living. In Observer, Daniel isn’t just an investigator, he’s also known as an Observer, a special task force in the police that can hack into the brain implants in order to interrogate suspects.

Don’t get me wrong here, the game isn’t about technology being scary and that we should all go back to our natural roots. There is no real moral of the story to begin with, except that you should always be wary of who you trust. Observer looks futuristic, plays smoothly, and makes you think about what it means to be human without sacrificing too much of your fleshy body.

Lazarski’s search for Adam takes him to a derelect set of apartment buildings overlooking a tattoo parlor.

Some of the technology in >observer_ is just stunning. Maybe we really WILL have these gadgets in 2084.


SOMA - Debut Gameplay Trailer - Eurogamer

Simon Jarrett was involved in a car accident that left him with irreversible brain damage. When he agrees to an experimental brain scan procedure driven by doctor David Munshi, he blacks out … and wakes up below the depths of the ocean.

SOMA is by the same creators as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and the impact it has on the player outside of the game is notable. While you play as Simon, you try to reveal why it is that you’re all the way in the deepest pits of the ocean, and also what happened to make the now abandoned PATHOS-II overrun with aggressive robots and human-like, dying machines. Simon’s journey makes us think about human consciousness, and the ending of the game is a real heart-wrencher. Without giving too much away, the psychological aspect of being a living, sentient being is explored expertly.

Unlike >observer_, SOMA is set leagues beneath the sea. You’re allowed to venture out into the deep and observe strange looking fish and sneak around aggressive, murderous AI. It looks pretty, it’s written well, and above all else, it’s a game that makes you think. SOMA’s bizarre setting works well for the context it’s in, and the puzzles and storyline keep you going even after just a few hours of gameplay. When I was watching some footage I found myself drawn into the story, so trust me when I say that you’ll be doing just the same if you decide to purchase this mysterious horror set in the unknown depths of the ocean. Personally, I never want to put on a wetsuit after this ever again.

A long abandoned pathway connecting Epsilon with the other research and testing sections of PATHOS-II.

Corrupted and writhing robots are common in PATHOS-II. This one is no different among the rest of the sad machinery that nature had its say with.

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When you cross Hello Kitty and a love for pixel sandbox games with eldritch horror genres, you get me.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Top 3 Favorite Games:Alice: Madness Returns, Dragon Age: Origins, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion