Have you seen the Hyper Light Drifter intro animation? When I saw it I couldn't help but think to myself "Wow, that's a cool animation. I wonder if that person on tumblr who posts about bnha and makes cool animations sometimes has seen it." It's kind of obscure and I know you don't play video games, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
In film, the horror genre in Indonesian has been thriving for at least a decade. This year saw the first attempt at translating this success from the big screen to the monitor with the 3D indie horror title DreadOut by Digital Happiness. Released for PC, Mac, and Linux, the game is billed as a “third person supernatural horror game.” You play as a high school student named Linda, who finds herself in an abandoned town in Indonesia with all sorts of supernatural creepiness afoot. Of course she does.
An ambitious project, DreadOut is intended to be multi-part franchise. The first act has already been released for all three desktop platforms. We reviewed it at Games in Asia earlier this year, and haven’t slept as well since.
Speaking with Digital Happiness, we were told that the game’s second act will hopefully be available as free DLC as early as year’s end.
While Thailand has contributed its fair share of horror movies, it offers surprisingly few scary games, at least not in English. There is, however, the browser-based point and click The House. The game and its sequel The House 2 are both available to play for free.
It’ll take a few moments to realize what’s going, but I suggest you keep clicking. The games seem straight out of American Horror Story. The odd localization error exists on the game’s minimal text, but that only adds to the eerie atmosphere of the flash title.
By design, this product of the Digipen Institute of Technology is not as graphic as most games intended to scare. The game mostly takes place in darkness, relying on sound to reveal the very minimalist representation of the environment.
Of course, making noise also reveals you to the monsters lurking about, and the game uses your microphone to alert in-game baddies to your presence. Lurking was featured as part of the student showcase at Independent Games Festival at GDC China 2014.
The game is available for Windows and Mac, and offers Oculus Rift support. See it here.
4. Philippines: Nightfall
There’s not much floating around about this one, but we should have an idea of what the game is soon enough. Teased by Zeenoh Games as a “Filipino horror game,” the developer is waiting until this year’s eSports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) in the Philippines to let people try out the alpha.
The fact that this game is old abandonware only updated by fan-made patches might just add to its creepiness. When Korean developer Sonnori closed down in 2004, White Day had already been out a few years in Korea, but hopes of an official localized version were dashed. The game is technically not “indie,” but Unnamed Studio, who continues to service the game, is definitely not signed by any publisher. The game is also thought to be part of the inspiration for the Western indie title Amnesia: The Dark Descent. White Day can still be played, but you’ll need a PC and be willing to jump through a few hoops.
With a Korean school and the East Asian holiday White Day as the backdrop, the game starts with the premise of a boy giving chocolate to a girl he likes (in Korea, and elsewhere, girls customarily give chocolate on February 14, boys reciprocate with gifts on March 14th). As the title suggests, something’s definitely up with the school in the game, and it eventually descends into a labyrinthian nightmare.
If you aren’t frightened by the idea of “manually” installing this one, or put off by the mixed holiday business, it’s definitely an interesting horror title. With the tradition of Black Day now a thing in Korea, we can only wait for a horror title dedicated to noodle-eating singles to be made.
6. Cambodia: Haunted Hut
Not the kind of image you’d expect at the beginning of a match three game, but Cambodia-based Osja Studio felt compelled to put that on their game’s launch screen. It’s probably for the best, as I don’t recommend letting anyone who is too young or has a heart condition relax with this one.
The game is available on Google Play. The game doesn’t add much in terms of gameplay, but the Cambodian studio did opt for an interesting way to add an element of fright.
7. Japan: Mad Father
The work of a Japanese developer who goes by the name of Sen, Mad Father is a free title for PC, though you can play it on Mac and Linux with a little work. Developed in WOLF RPG Editor, the game is reminiscent, visually, of titles like To the Moon. The story follows a German girl named Aya, whose father, as the title suggests, is up to something. The game ticks off several boxes: horror, mystery, narrative, and certainly female protagonist. It received some notoriety when YouTuber PewDiePie featured it last year.
The game provides a nice departure from the typical survival horror coming out of Japan. Though, there should be a fair number of AAA survival horror games out by this time next year.
8. Malaysia: Tell No One
This game created quite a stir when Malaysian developer Spacepup Entertainment first released the demo. This PC game promised inspiration from a number of Southeast Asian horror tropes.
Anecdotally, I’ve seen Malaysians take their scary stories quite seriously. Some of the themes, including the notorious orang minyak, are actually reported from time to time.