5 secretly scary games that lulled you into a false sense of security

games that were secretly horrifying hello neighbour game
games that were secretly horrifying hello neighbour game

Sometimes, scary games come in surprising packages. Zombies, monsters, and ghosts are pretty standard horror fare – but what about when there are none of the above and you get lulled into a false sense of security, only to discover that the game is secretly the scariest thing you’ve played all year?

And when you really think about it, a lot of video game stories have some pretty terrifying implications. So here are five games which, despite their colourful and friendly exteriors, ended up becoming unexpectedly horrifying. Beware of possible spoilers ahead!

Sometimes, scary games come in surprising packages. Zombies, monsters, and ghosts are pretty standard horror fare – but what about when there are none of the above and you get lulled into a false sense of security, only to discover that the game is secretly the scariest thing you’ve played all year?

And when you really think about it, a lot of video game stories have some pretty terrifying implications. So here are five games which, despite their colourful and friendly exteriors, ended up becoming unexpectedly horrifying. Beware of possible spoilers ahead!

1. Life is Strange

games that were secretly horrifying life is strange

The expectation: Coming-of-age story
The reality: You ruined everything

You’re a teenager who can rewind time, so anything that goes wrong can just be undone, right? Wrong! Just when you think you can clean up the horrible mess you’ve made of time and space, you realise that you can’t, because actions have consequences, you monster.

Shop Life is Strange here

2. Subnautica

games that were secretly horrifying subnautica

The expectation: Become a brave explorer
The reality: Cry when fish spook you

Survival in Subnautica starts out feeling plausible and ends up with you getting electrocuted by a giant alien fish, probably. The Safe Shallows are a pleasant enough place to start, but then you start seeing things moving far off in the murky depths of the ocean, and the inspiring sci-fi music is replaced by distant alien chitters and screams, and it dawns on you that you’re entirely alone on an uncharted planet that no rescuer can get to. Ever.

Shop Subnautica here

3. What Remains of Edith Finch

games that were secretly horrifying what remains of edith finch

The expectation: Gentle trip down memory lane
The reality: This house is a death trap

What begins as an atmospheric stroll through the Finch family home quickly shifts into the slow, creeping realisation that you’re witnessing generations of death by atrociously bad luck. After a while, you start to wonder if there’s a single object in this gorgeously eccentric pile of architecture that didn’t end up being an instrument of death…

Shop What Remains of Edith Finch here

4. Oxygen Not Included

games that were secretly horrifying oxygen not included

The expectation: Survival is possible
The reality: Death is inevitable

Dying of CO2 poisoning is one of the pleasanter ways to go in your fledgling space colony. No matter how carefully you build your underground base, understand now that if something can break, get contaminated, or go wrong in any sense, it will. And all those hapless, hard-working Duplicants you brought to live here will die. Because of you and your mistakes.

Shop digital credit here

5. Hello Neighbor

games that were secretly horrifying hello neighbour

The expectation: Hide and Seek
The reality: Just hide

The world is bright, cheery, and colourful, and you’re happily engaged in a hilarious game of peekaboo with the angry man next door. Every attempt to sneak into his basement without getting caught gets you a little further inside, and every time the house gets just a little bit creepier. Oh look, it’s a shark! And a load of creepy mannequins. And… is that some sort of ritual sacrifice chamber?

Shop Hello Neighbor here

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