9 Creepy Horror Games You Might've Missed In 2022
Halloween is nearly here, and that means different things to different people. For some, it means picking the right costume to impress at work, school, or a weekend party. For others, it means making sure your kids have their costumes finalized and their candy bags (or pillowcases) ready to go. For others, it might just mean turning off the porch light and waiting for strangers to stop knocking on your door.
But for me, and I bet for you if you're reading this, it means deciding which horror games to play for spooky season. I'm never one to let October pass me by without playing something new and creepy, or digging into the darkest corners of Steam to uncover some hidden gems of horror's past, and after spending the last few weeks playing some of 2022's under-heralded haunts, I'm ready to pass what I've found onto you in the hopes that you too can be creeped out and loving it as I have been.
This list foregoes stuff like Dying Light 2, The Quarry, and The Last of Us Part I, because I suspect they need no introduction for most players. This list also looks past games that launched earlier than this year, as well as those that launch later than Halloween 2022, because those games have either already had their shot or they soon will--and I hope to cover as many as I can in due time.
For this roundup, I'm looking only at games that launched, offered major updates, or hit early access sometime in 2022 that you can play this month, before Halloween. For horror fans, this is arguably the best time of the year, as the masses join us in our obsession, if only for a few nights or weeks. The emphasis on horror is a lot of fun, though, so use this list to find something new to sink your teeth into, to recommend to a friend, or to promptly uninstall after it's ruined your sleep patterns for a night or two.
Stay Out of the House
If you're into offbeat indie horror, Puppet Combo is likely already a favorite studio of yours. The small team has been swiftly releasing weirdo retro-styled horror games for a few years now, and the team's latest is like a rated-M version of Hello Neighbor. In first-person, you'll awaken in a maze-like decrepit mansion and be forever stalked by a masked killer. Escape is the goal, but the killer's family, much like Leatherface's in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, aren't there to save you. In fact, no one is.
Okay, sure, our reviewer didn't much care for Scorn, but I think including it here still has merit, as horror aficionados will appreciate at least one major aspect of it. While combat can be confusing and its puzzles even more opaque, the game's world is hauntingly designed. Clearly inspired heavily by the works of H.R. Giger, famous for the Xenomorph, this slimy, squelchy first-person horror looks as nauseating as it means to be--which is very nauseating.
The Fridge is Red
This oddly titled anthology borrows a similar PS1 aesthetic that is sweeping the indie horror scene right now, but it's not just another Steam bargain bin scare. I beat this short-but-memorable indie over two nights and loved it for its atmosphere and a story that sneaks up on you and eventually slaps you in the face. The true purpose of the titular fridge is unforgettable, and real nightmare fuel for certain kinds of players, though saying more would be a spoiler, so you'll have to see it yourself.
For fans of horror-adjacent stuff who could use a little break from the relentless scares, Weird West admirably blurs genres such as horror, shooter, immersive sim, and RPG, and it all comes from a new team, WolfEye Studio, that features some of the minds behind Dishonored. With tons of occult influences, werewolves, and cannibalism to go around, Weird West still feels horrific in the right ways even if it's not a proper horror game.
Like Weird West, V Rising swims in creepy waters without ever submerging itself in them. It's really a survival-crafting game akin to Valheim, but this alternate take on the genre stars vampires and lycans and plenty of lore to uncover. In V Rising, the horror more often comes from not having the resources to survive another day as the starring neck-biter, but if you like a horror setting without all the scares, this is a go-to.
The Mortuary Assistant
While this is a great ghost story in its own right, with alternate endings that are each worth seeing and a final puzzle that can stump you and lead you down the wrong path, maybe its scariest aspect is the deep simulation gameplay of working in a mortuary. Yeah, maybe things will go bump in the night as you work, and unfriendly shadows will appear on walls, but that's secondary to the cold and detached workflow of draining a corpse of its blood, pumping it full of embalming fluid, and slicing--and then stitching--various body parts as you prep each dead body for its funeral. Yuck.
Dread X Collection 5
If you've not yet played the Dread X collection, you're in for a treat. This is the newest and, as the title suggests, fifth anthology of horror games published by DreadXP, and half the fun is diving in without knowing what you're going to get. Each game comes from a different studio or creator, meaning the full gamut of experiences is diverse, even as you'll no doubt pick favorites by the end. If you like horror movies like V/H/S, think of this as its video game cousin.
Phasmophobia is a household name in horror after a few years of surprise popularity, but it makes the list due to its major 2022 update, Apocalypse. Adding new maps and an extensive custom difficulty feature, Phasmo remains at the top of the co-op horror games on PC right now. There's a reason what feels like every third indie horror on Steam has lately been a co-op ghost-hunting game. It's because Phasmo has so quickly become a genre staple. Sometimes bringing friends helps lessen the scares. With Phasmophobia, it just means more people are immobilized by fear.
For the most nostalgic game on this list, try Signalis. While this game doesn't release until October 27, a recent preview embargo has lifted, so we can tell you what we've played so far is great, and we look forward to sharing our full review soon. Modeled closely after Silent Hill and Resident Evil, the game's puzzles will stump you, but its fascinating original horror story will keep you motivated to overcome every obstacle.