[Top 15] Best Indie Horror Games Released in 2021

Best Horror Games of 2021
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Ready to play some spooky games?

If you are looking for some engrossing games, with an emphasis on the gross, and disturbing indie horror games to play, then you’ve arrived at the perfect place. For you, I have gathered together a nifty little list of the top 15 indie horror games from 2021. Some of these games are more well-known than others, but they’re all fantastic in their own scary ways. 

15. Lust from Beyond (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Lust from Beyond Trailer

Lust from Beyond  is a survival, erotic horror game published by Movie Games and Playway.  Never thought you’d see the words erotic and horror sitting side by side? Well, I’ll be the first to tell you that the two often go hand in hand. 

In Lust from Beyond, you play as a man with mommy issues by the name of Victor Halloway who is currently being afflicted with visions that eventually lead him into joining a sex cult. This game mixes Lovecraftian elements with a unique and sometimes unnerving atmosphere that may leave some players feeling unsettled, but that’s alright, isn’t it? If it wasn’t alright, well, we wouldn’t be playing this game. 

By the way, before  you start up Lust from Beyond, I think it is  important for you to know that this adventure is not for squeamish and is meant to be enjoyed  by adults only. 


14. Lamentum (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Linux)

Lamentum offical trailer.

Lamentum is a pixelated survival horror game with a  story that takes place in one of the creepiest time periods known to man. None other than the mid nineteenth century where mercury was used as medication and cocaine was thought to alleviate for toothaches. 

In Lamentum, you will play the role of a young gentleman named Victor Hartwell. Victor wants nothing more than to heal his wife of her illness, but of course he messes up along the way. After waking up in the mansion of an earl who promises to cure his wife, Victor finds himself alone.  Waking up alone isn’t the worst of it, what tops this terror is being alone with grotesque Lovecraftian monsters. Unlike the Victor of Lust from Beyond, this Victor doesn’t need to bang the creatures. Instead, his goal is to survive the beasts of the mansion and locate his beloved wife.


13. Project Kat: Paper Lily Prologue (PC)

Project Kat: Paper Lily Prologue PC trailer.

Project Kat: Paper Lily Prologue by Leef 6010 is a free-to-play game on Steam that was released on October 15, 2021. It’s a short game, lasting a little over an hour and a half with 8 possible endings. Despite its short length and cute art style, this game is full of scares.

In Project Kat: Paper Lily Prologue, you will play   a high school girl named Kat, a member of her school’s occult club. Kat, like most high school girls, has one goal, and that is to complete a very specific, occult ritual. This is why she joined the occult club in the first place! It’s the perfect place to find instructions for the completion of her desired ritual. However, what she doesn’t know is how dangerous the ritual is.


12. Buddy Simulator 1984 (PC)

Buddy Simulator 1984 gameplay trailer.

Buddy Simulator 1984 is a comedic horror adventure game  This is perfect  for those of you who prefer the company of computers and AI as opposed to humans. Which, honestly, is my preference as well.

Buddy Simulator is a unique horror game separated into three sections each with a different style of approach. This game even has four different endings depending on what the player does throughout the game. What makes this game different from the others on this list, is how the game learns about the player, such as what your favorite color is. As the game learns about you, it adjusts and shifts. This little addition of intimacy between the player and the buddy is what can make this game unnerving at times. Not to mention the buddy’s constant need for approval from you really shows how fragile some relationships can be. 


11. Nightslink (PC)

Nightslink offical trailer.

Nightslink is an apocalypse horror game that uses PS1 style graphics to create an overall eerie atmosphere that will bring a nostalgic feel of uneasiness. 

This is a short game that  can be completed in less than an hour. During this half-hour, you will take the identity  of a nameless individual who carries the title of Nightslink. His only job is to deliver cassette tapes to residents of an apartment complex. Doesn’t sound too scary, does it? What’s so scary about walking around and knocking on doors? Well, when you’re doing this in a post-apocalyptic world, this can be one of the most terrifying jobs known to what’s left of the human race. 
What makes this game amazing, it's the story-telling. The player is left with so many questions about different characters and the world they inhabit. Not to mention that many of the questions you encounter  are never answered.


10. Forewarned (PC) 

Forewarned PC trailer.

When hasn’t exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb unleashed unspeakable horrors? The answer is, more times than not.

Forewarned is a co-op survival horror game that  is set in an Egyptian tomb, where you (mostly) play the part of an archaeologist on the hunt for treasure and lore. As you explore the tomb, you’ll have to complete multiple objectives and solve puzzles, some more difficult than others. What makes this game fun is the ability it gives you to take the role of a mummy if your  archeologist is killed during gameplay. 


9. Mundaun (PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One)

Mundaun trailer.

Mundaun is a hand-drawn horror game set in the Swiss Alps. It may take the player some time to get used to the unique art style but it really does grow on you and fast. The hand-drawn beauty of each frame can really pull a player in and immerse them into the story in a way that would not be able to be achieved through any other art style. Not to mention it creates such a haunting atmosphere.
You will take the role of a young man named Curdin who ventures to his grandfather’s hometown to attend his funeral, even though a local priest has told him not to come because his grandfather has already been buried. Which sounds a bit fishy. Curdin ignores the priest’s demands and he discovers his grandfather has been barbecued in a barn fire, he even finds his crispy remains. It’s now up to Curdin to investigate the creepy town and get to the bottom of his grandfather’s mysterious death. There are five different endings to this adventure, so be sure to explore each one of them to uncover more and more of the truth.


8. Bloodwash (PC)

Bloodwash PC trailer.

Who would have ever guessed that such a simple task, such as doing laundry, could be so life threatening?

Bloodwash is a terrifying horror thar invokes the usage of old PS1 style graphics, which I think is the perfect choice for a horror game like this. The gore and violence presented in such low-quality graphics create an absolutely spooky atmosphere that will keep the player on edge the entire playthrough. 

You will take the role of a young, pregnant woman named Sara who decides to do laundry late at night. This of course is an absolutely horrible idea, especially because there is a serial killer on the loose who is targeting pregnant women. For being such a well-educated woman, Sara certainly lacks common sense. You will have to guide Sara to not only complete the horrific task of not only doing laundry but uncovering the mystery of the Womb  Ripper and surviving the ordeal.


7. Tsugunohi (PC)

Tsugunohi gameplay.

We all know going outside is terrifying, the sun, the sky, the little critters scurrying around. It’s all 100% scary, but that’s nothing compared to this next game: Tsugunohi.

Tsugunohi is  a simple, side scrolling, J-horror game in which the player only has to move to the left. Steam offers all nine episodes of the series, plus two more original stories. 

This game feels like a picture book mixed in with some creepypasta and the occasional jump scare thrown in for funsies. This game isn’t for everyone who loves horror, but it is definitely one of the more tamer and relaxing titles. Each in-game day that passes, you’ll observe changes in the street and scenery as it becomes more unnerving and spooky.  


6. Night Delivery (PC)

Night Delivery trailer.

Night Delivery by Chilla’s Art is a J-horror game that  is about an hour long and contains two endings. In this game, you take the role of a delivery man, which seems to be a terrifying job as we’ve seen in Nightslink.

The lack of sound and VHS-style visuals can really induce feelings of dread and anxiety. It creates an atmosphere of being vulnerable and alone and invokes feelings of paranoia.  Throughout this game, you’ll encounter rude customers and cryptic notes that you’ll have to put together in order to puzzle the narrative of the story. You’ll want to play this game more than once to grab both endings and uncover more of the mystery.


5. Happy’s Humble Burger Farm (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)

Happy's Humble Burger Farm trailer.

Now, I’ve never worked a fast food job, but I’d imagine it’d be very similar to the way this game presents it.

Happy’s Humble Burger Farm is a horror game that  uses PS1 style graphics to give the player a sense of uneasiness as they explore the depressing Elysian City. Elysian may be another word for paradise, but the city looks more like hell than anything else.

The start of the game is simple, you wake up and start your first day at work. I love how the game begins in such a mundane way and it feels very much like a fast-food simulator. You even have to clock in every day. As you continue to work in the restaurant, you’ll begin to uncover mysteries and notice more dangers throughout the city and at your job.


4. Poppy Playtime (PC, Android)

Poppy Playtime offical trailer.

Poppy Playtime is a survival horror puzzle game that was released on October 12, 2021 and was developed by MOB Games. 

In this game, you take the role of a former employee of Playtime Co., which is a company that basically makes toys. Working at a toy company sounds like it would be a fun way to spend your days and normally it would, but this is a horror game, remember? It seems like a great job until employees start disappearing, which is exactly what happened ten years ago. 

After the player receives a VHS tape, they return to the factory to probe into the mystery of the missing employees. Throughout this venture, you’ll solve puzzles and on your way, you’ll eventually encounter Huggy Wuggy, the company’s mascot which is a cute, fuzzy creature that wants to murder you. With the use of your GrabPack, you’ll have to survive your investigation and uncover the secrets of the factory.


3. Little Nightmares II (PC, Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S)

Little Nightmares II trailer.

Little Nightmares II is a survival horror game, you will take the role of Mono, a boy who wears a paper bag over his head and looks fashionable in it as well. Mono isn’t alone in his exploration of Pale City, he has Six by his side. 

The graphics and art style are beautiful and haunting. It’s easy to get lost in all the details that were used to build this world. The designs of the enemies are truly nightmarish, and you’ll be thinking about them long after you shut off your game. The gameplay is very similar to the first installment, with a few changes but overall everything in this game is simply a masterpiece of horror.


2. Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach (PC, PS4, PS5)

FNAF trailer.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, like all FNAF games is one was a wild ride - although a little overwhelming at times due to the open world style game play. There is just so much to do and so many areas to explore, however,  this new ability to move around so freely was a much-needed breath of fresh air for this series.  

In this installment, you will take the role of Gregory, a young boy who finds himself locked inside Freddy Fazbear’s Mega PizzaPlex. You, along with the aid of Freddy Fazbear himself, will have to help Gregory maneuver through the PizzaPlex and avoid being caught by any of the beautifully designed animatronics. It’s obvious a lot of work and heart went into creating such a detailed and anxiety-inducing game. This game is definitely worth your time, even if you’ve never played an FNAF game before.


1. Inscyrption (PC, Linux)

Inscyption offical trailer.

Inscyption is by far my favorite indie horror game to have been released in 2021. It was developed by Daniel Mullins Games and published by Devolver Digital. This deck-building game uses a variety of different gameplay techniques to build tension and make the player want to discover more about what is going on. I never thought I’d be so invested in a game that involved card playing, at least not since my middle school Yu-Gi-Oh days.

The game emulates a virtual tabletop card game before shifting into a top-down pixelated view and eventually fluctuates back to a more modern style. There are even a few live-action sequences to this game as well, which at first were a bit jarring due to how sudden the change as the game progresses these sequences become more and more intriguing. As you progress through the story as a whole, you’ll uncover more obscure twists and haunting mysteries that will leave you yearning to uncover more.

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