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5 Upcoming Indie Horror Games Set to Keep the Genre Alive

Marcus Estrada

Whether or not you enjoyed recent games like Dead Space 3 or Resident Evil 6, one this is for certain: they“re not traditional horror games. Both series may have had roots in survival horror and even been quite scary at times, but they have shifted to action horror, if you“re even willing to call them horror at all any more. What has changed about gamers and the industry over the years to cause this? The trend has been a long time coming. In a way, if the oldest horror games had access to today“s technology, they may have been action-horror hybrids from the start.


There are still many out there interested in more pure horror experiences, but big names in the industry are less enthused. Why cater to a smaller portion of the market when you can hit many more targets with the action genre? If you feel like a stranded horror fan then maybe you should look toward independent games. Indie developers are not beholden to any audience and create whatever they want. As of late, they are especially interested by horror. Here is a list of five upcoming games looking to please fans of horror.



A Short Tale of Solitude


Starting off the list is A Short Tale of Solitude which seems to draw more from literary and cinematic worlds than games. As such, it definitely looks like something set to surprise many gamers. It is set during World War I as a young French boy named Sebastian loses both his parents. He goes to live in an orphanage in which children rule and engage in pretty grisly rituals.


The game itself is set to play out as a point-and-click adventure all in black and white. Then there are the children of the orphanage, who disturbingly look much more like wooden dolls than children. Sebastien, as well, takes this form. Phobia Interactive implies that this is due to him being a “sick” child, imagining safer things to help distance himself from the true horror unfolding in front of him. A Short Tale of Solitude was hoped to see completion in January, but will now hopefully arrive a bit later this year.





Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs


Amnesia: The Dark Descent terrified gamers nearly three years ago. Although it was not the first game to place gamers into such a powerless character running from a stalking being, it definitely managed to be the most popular. Finally, developer thechineseroom is nearing completion on their next game: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.


Although not a direct sequel, it is set to play off the same universe they already built up. It takes place in 1899 as a man returns from a disastrous trip. Instead of returning home to heal, his mind is filled with images he can“t control - images of a strange machine. From there, the game looks to draw off the existing puzzle and hiding gameplay that fans have come to expect. Currently, the game is set to be out in the 2nd quarter of 2013.





Among the Sleep


Among the Sleep is a game which has been just under the radar for years now. Having won multiple festival awards over the years, Krillbite Studios have been working hard to perfect their surreal experience. The game centers around a two year old child who lets their imagination get the best of them late at night. While in control of the child, players will begin to experience a wide variety of strange and scary occurrences.


As the small child you must work to overcome the surreal phantasms and stay safe from danger. That may be hard though, considering how powerful the imagination of little children is. Do you remember some of the spooky stuff you imagined at young ages? Hopefully Among the Sleep manages to capture youthful fears well. There is no date announced for its release but the game is said to be coming soon.





Shadow of a Soul


Vivec Entertainment“s Shadow of a Soul is looking to create an episodic horror tale. It also happens to be the first on the list which isn“t a PC exclusive (also aiming for PS3). In the first episode, players focus on a thief attempting a heist. As he explores, the realization quickly dawns on him that things are not right. Whatever is there with him won“t let him leave, either.


Players will progress through the game with adventure game style control. Despite this, the game has 3D environments and looks fairly like a “modern” game. Ghosts are an underutilized entity in games so hopefully Shadow of a Soul uses them effectively. The episodic series will be a trilogy and Chapter 1 currently has a release date of May 2013.





Slender: The Arrival


Last year, a new horror phenomenon sparked in the form of Slender: The Eight Pages. Although the Slenderman character and surrounding modern mythos are not exactly fresh, the game managed to introduce many to the thin, well-dressed monster. It also showed that horror in its purest state has no requirement of good graphics or compelling storyline. Developer Mark Hadley was not content to let his original game be the end and is currently working on Slender: The Arrival.


This time around, the game is going to be a more polished experience. An actual narrative is infused by the writers of the Marble Hornets web series, as well as the game getting a complete graphical overhaul. Although fans were happy enough with the original Slender, this is an attempt to make the game as Hadley envisioned it (but was unable to create on his own). Slender: The Arrival will be out on March 26th.


It“s easy to see that horror is still a big deal in the gaming world. With big names shunning the genre, it only leaves more room for indie developers to flourish. This list is only the start, as there are many other horror games also hoping to launch this year. Some other intriguing titles are: Asylum, Memory of a Broken Dimension, Routine, and Stasis. As long as there is still a thriving community of horror fans in the gaming world (and there always will be) then someone out there will keep creating horror games!

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