It’s that time of year again, which means it’s time to play some Nintendo Switch horror games. Leaves are changing color and falling to the ground. The smell of those burnt leaves permeates the air. All things pumpkin flavored and scented are in vogue. And best of all, Halloween themes are taking over home décor, movie-viewing selections, and, of course, video games. Halloween decorations are already starting to pop up in Fortnite, with a likely autumnal or festive event imminent.
But similar to the tradition of binging our favorite horror movies during the season, many gamers like to return to their favorite appropriately-themed horror adventures in honor of the holiday. Because, of course, nothing says Halloween like subjecting yourself to content that could potentially cause you to sh*t yourself. So what horrific gaming experiences can you undertake this Halloween season on the Nintendo Switch? Well, at this stage, there’s not too many options. But, we’ve compiled a list of the best horror and “horror-adjacent” games that come to mind.
Don’t Knock Twice
If creepy witches are your style, then Don’t Knock Twice just might be what you’re looking for. And no, this witch isn’t anything like Winifred or the other Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus. She’s ghastly and literally the stuff of nightmares. Summoned by some kids during a ritual, the demonic witch takes your daughter, and you must embark on a terrifying adventure to rescue her. Don’t Knock Twice immerses you in the world with a first-person view while setting out to provide juicy story bits through journals, notes, and items scattered in the house. At the time of its release, the only thing more terrifying than the witch was the horrendous frame-rate. The game has been patched since launch, and, perhaps, may run a bit smoother.
This fantastic reboot of the classic first-person shooter series fits more into the horror-adjacent category. Doom actually sheds the survival horror elements of its predecessor, Doom 3. And instead, it offers a visceral fast-paced run-and-gun experience set to the beat of a heavy metal soundtrack. Despite the more frenetic-pacing, Doom still contains buckets of blood and gore as you, the Doom Slayer, brutalize, dismember, and tear the demonic forces of Hell limb from limb. But make no mistake, obliterating the invading army of terrifying demons is no cake walk. Grab every gun, ammo pack, armor shard, and suit upgrade that you can so that you will be victorious in beating back the hellish invasion of Mars.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Resident Evil is one of the franchises that effectively established the survival horror genre in gaming as we know it. Now, Capcom offers Switch fans a taste of that world with Resident Evil: Revelations 1 & 2. Revelations is a third-person game that takes place between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. The game follows agents from the counter-terrorism unit known as the BSAA, or Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance. Notably, a series favorite, Jill Valentine, returns to action to combat another viral threat that turns infected into blood-thirsty monsters.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 occurs between Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 in the series. Claire Redfield makes a return to the series. Additionally, Barry Burton – who first appeared in the original Resident Evil – joins Claire as a playable character. This game sought to enhance the horror and tension through frequent stealth gameplay. Also, both Claire and Barry have partners who are new to the story. The game tasks players with switching between partners to utilize each character’s strength in order to progress. Both Resident Evil: Revelations titles were received well as Capcom sought to emphasize the series’ horror roots in these games.
Outlast is a markedly horrific tale that puts players in the shoes of a journalist who receives a tip that unethical experiments are being conducted at an asylum by an evil company known as the Murkoff Corporation. Outlast’s eerie setting is truly atmospheric with startling sound cues, frightening psychotic chatter from the inmates wandering the halls, and the macabre scene of people who have died horribly at the hands of these inmates. It doesn’t take long for the journalist to discover that the building has been overrun by deranged patients.
Playing in the first-person view, players must make use of a video camera for night vision in dark areas. When spotted, you must quickly flee and hide under a bed, in a closet, or behind any object that the creepy assailant might not think to look. There is no combating enemies. You must run to survive and that, in and of itself, is truly terrifying.
The sequel to the popular horror game, Outlast, once again features a journalist as the protagonist. Note to self: stick to only video games journalism. This time, our doomed protagonist is traveling with his wife to a desert location to investigate the murder of a pregnant woman. After narrowly surviving a helicopter crash, the protagonist is separated from his wife and must find a way to survive as he makes his way through a remote village populated with cultists willing to commit all manner of atrocities for the sake of their beliefs. Outlast II is grisly and will surely leave you unsettled as you witness the horror of being hunted by people ready to mutilate, dismember, and sacrifice just about anyone.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead
If you haven’t played Telltale’s The Walking Dead, do yourself a favor and pick this title up. As with most Telltale games, this story-driven adventure features the dramatic tale of two strangers, a man named Lee Everette and a young girl who has lost her parents during the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse named Clementine. Over the course of the story, players must make choices on how to survive and how to handle interactions and relationships with new characters as the duo journeys to find safety. For those unfamiliar with Telltale games, it essentially plays like an interactive film. The story is deep and engaging and will constantly leave you wanting more.
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition
Victor Vran: Overkill Edition was recently released for the Nintendo Switch. This hack and slash RPG title follows the titular character Victor Vran, as he hunts demons in the city of Zagoravia. Players will have access to a myriad of weapons, consumables, and magical options for warding off the supernatural waves of enemies that plague this gothic-themed title. Diablo fans will find a kindred spirit in this title as it plays in a similar fashion. Explore dungeons, gather loot, equip all manner of melee and firearm weaponry, and destroy the otherworldly forces that spawn against you. While this title isn’t specifically horror, its themes certainly fit in with the Halloween season.
Layers of Fear: Legacy
Layers of Fear: Legacy is a psychological horror game. It follows a rather disturbed painter in his quest to complete his masterwork. The game is played in the first-person view as players explore his Victorian mansion in search of clues as to how to complete his masterpiece. Much of the game involves the players exploring and completing puzzles. You must utilize your surroundings as you search for solutions to the puzzles presented. Progression through Layers of Fear reveals more about the background of the protagonist. If you are looking for a slower-paced game with an intriguing story, Layers of Fear: Legacy might be for you.
Perception offers a thrilling spin on the first-person survival horror genre. From the developer, The Deep End Games, comes a horror adventure from an entirely unique perception as the title obviously alludes to. Players take on the role of Cassie, a blind woman who can navigate using echolocation with the tapping of her cane. Other sounds throughout the environment such as the wind can be seen. Players must avoid creating too much noise to avoid being killed by something rather creepy and supernatural. Be sure to check out Perception if you are looking for something more original in the horror genre!
That wraps up our list of horror-centric or Halloween-themed games on the Nintendo Switch. Which of these games do you enjoy? Are there any games that you feel should have made the list? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night. Somewhere in between all of that, I’m a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too. If a game is all about action, there’s a safe bet I’m playing it. I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin’ on the ol’ Atari and haven’t stopped since.