Support Us!
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Six Offbeat Holiday Horror Games to Fill You With Festive Fear!

The Holiday season is usually reserved for spending time with our loved ones and engaging in cheerful yuletide activities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to give up on horror gaming. After all, there’s more than one way to celebrate the end of the year, and that’s why we’ve come up with this list of six offbeat Holiday horror games!

Whether you’re a grinchy Holiday nay-sayer or just want to find alternative ways of enjoying yourself during the Christmas season, we guarantee that there’s plenty of fun to be had with these peculiar titles. Naturally, we’ll be selecting games according to their seasonally appropriate weirdness rather than overall quality, but I’d argue that every single entry on this list is fun in its own strange way.

Of course, there’s bound to be many more Holiday thrills out there, so don’t forget to share your own favorites with us in the comments below.

Now, onto the list!

6. Duke: Nuclear Winter

A Christmas-themed expansion to the original Duke Nukem 3D, this odd collection of wintertime levels is often considered a lazy Holiday cash-grab by die-hard fans. That being said, I used to get a huge kick out of the inherent absurdity of having Duke mow down evil elves and snowmen after aliens brainwashed Santa Claus.

Sure, it’s only superficially related to the Holiday season, with the add-on simply changing up a few sprites and textures from the original game, but more Duke Nukem is (almost) never a bad thing, so I usually cut the game some slack. Besides, Nuclear Winter earns points for being one of the very few games that allow players to turn classic Christmas iconography into a bloody mess of pixelated giblets.

5. Cthulhu Saves Christmas

What do you get when you combine classic turn-based JRPGs with Christmastime humor and a healthy dose of cosmic horror? Why, Cthulhu Saves Christmas, of course! A spin-off of the surprisingly popular Cthulhu Saves the World, CSC has players once again take control of the tentacle-faced elder one and his merry band of eldritch abominations as they try to save Santa from the League of Christmas Evil.

A brief yet memorable experience, CSC actually does a great job of marrying the Cthulhu mythos with yuletide traditions, and the artwork is just as impressive as it was in the original game. Naturally, you’ll get a lot more out of the experience if you’re a Lovecraft nerd like myself, but I’d still recommend this one to any gamer who likes their Christmas cheer with a side of horrific madness.

4. Bioshock

The only entry on this list that doesn’t involve Christmas, 2K’s original Bioshock immerses players in an objectivist nightmare that also happens to take place during a festive occasion. After a gruesome civil war, the underwater city of Rapture was plunged into a perpetual New Year’s Eve celebration back in 1959, forcing players to traverse decorated environments complete with murderous partygoers in masks and fancy outfits.

It’s not exactly the most joyous New Year’s experience out there, but there’s something incredibly melancholy about walking through the aftermath of this retro party, almost like the entire city is undergoing a perpetual hangover and you’re the only one who didn’t drink. Either way, I always enjoy revisiting this gaming landmark whenever the Holiday season comes around.

3. Planet of Bloodthirsty Santa

Sometimes, the title of a game says everything you need to know about it, and this is definitely one of those cases. A Puppet Combo Patreon exclusive, this oddball sci-fi adventure sees players taking control of Beth, a crewmember on an interplanetary mining expedition who soon finds out that the seemingly uninhabited planet they’ve landed on holds a dangerous secret.

Naturally, players will find themselves being hunted by the titular Santa as they attempt to collect minerals, leading to one of the strangest Slasher-inspired games in Puppet Combo’s impressive repertoire. While it’s an intentionally janky experience, Planet of Bloodthirsty Santa is definitely worth the price of admission. And if you enjoy this one, don’t forget to check out Puppet Combo’s new Christmas Massacre, which shakes things up by putting players in the shoes of the killer!

2. Viscera Clean-Up Detail: Santa’s Rampage

If you’ve ever heard Weird Al’s classic The Night Santa Went Crazy and wondered what happened next (I mean, I can’t be the only one), then this game is for you! Originally putting players in the shoes of space-station janitors tasked with cleaning up after a blood-soaked alien invasion, the increasingly popular expansions to Viscera Cleanup Detail have since allowed for more unusual settings.

In Santa’s Rampage, players are tasked with dealing with the aftermath of a horrific massacre at the North Pole, presumably perpetrated by Saint Nick himself. While the game is basically a streamlined cleaning simulator, forcing janitors to discard body parts and mop up the floors, the easy-going gameplay, and atmospheric winter setting make this the videogame equivalent of a comforting yule log. Well, with a little more blood than usual.

1. Parasite Eve

There’s nothing like parasitic mitochondria and horrific mutations to get in the holiday spirit, and that’s why I always recommend Square’s underrated survival-horror/RPG hybrid Parasite Eve. Pitting players against terrifying monsters during New York City’s Christmas Eve celebrations, this is one of the most engaging and atmospheric PS1 games of its time.

The urban wintertime landscapes of this unexpected sequel to Hideaki Sena’s 1995 book really pushed the limits of what the PS1 could do with pre-rendered graphics, and its strange blend of real-time action and turn-based combat (not to mention an absolutely bonkers story) make it one of my favorite horror gems of the 90s.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!