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Thursday, December 15, 2022

10 More Holiday Horror Video Games to Fill You With Festive Fear

It’s that time of year once again. And as Luiz pointed out last year, just because it’s the festive season, doesn’t mean that we need to give up on our horror gaming.

With that in mind, and despite what you might think, there’s actually more than just a handful of holiday horror games (and winter-themed games that you could squeeze in) for you to enjoy by the fire. And thanks to indie game developers in particular, there are a wealth choices for those looking to add something sinister to their Christmas stockings.

But enough with the Christmas clich├ęs (for now)…

Here are 10 more holiday horror games that’ll help you spread festive fear.

Tattletail (PC)

Waygetter Electronics takes the act of peeking at your Christmas presents early and turns it into a dark Survival Horror title. It’s Christmas 1998, and like every other kid, you want a Tattletail (which is totally not a Furby). So you decide to head downstairs one night and open your gift, which turns out to be a Tattletail. However, now he won’t stay in his box. You’ve got to now follow Tattletail’s progressively darker demands in order to keep him quiet. Things get more complicated when you have to also be on the lookout for Mama Tattletail, who’s not too keen on you stealing her baby.

Christmas Massacre (PC)

Good ol’ Puppet Combo. Christmas Massacre is another of their throwback PS1 horror titles. Taking some inspiration from Silent Night, Deadly Night, you are Larry, a former orphan who’s a little insane. On Christmas Eve in 1959, you picked up a kitchen knife and attempted to murder a nun. Flash forward to the present, and your Christmas tree tells you that a lot of people are naughty this year and that you need to punish them. From there, Christmas Massacre turns into a stealth horror game involving you slashing your way through people that feels very much like Rockstar’s Manhunt. That’s definitely not a bad thing.

Alone in the Dark 2 (PC)

Taking place three months after the first Alone in the Dark, it’s Christmas of 1924. Edward Carnby and his partner Ted Stryker are investigating the kidnapping of young Grace Saunders. Their search leads them to an old mansion known as “Hell’s Kitchen”, which is home to an infamous gangster and his gang. From there, it’s murder and ghosts for Carnby. Straying from the original game’s Lovecraftian themes, AitD 2 still has ghouls aplenty, but focuses more on testing your reflexes than scaring you. On the other hand, you can’t dress up as Santa in the original game in order to avoid being killed by the zombies, now can you?

Infected (Sony PSP)

Three weeks before Christmas, New York City is hit by a zombie plague that rapidly spreads out of control. Luckily for you, you’re a police officer, and your blood has the cure. It’s up to you to find someone who can use your blood to create a cure. In the meantime, you’ve got to gun down zombies, with some dressed as Santa. The game involves you using two guns: one to whittle down a zombie’s health, and the other, a “viral” gun, to finish them off. As you dispatch zombies, you fill up a gauge that allows you to access more powerful weapons. You’ll have to keep the gauge filled by mowing down zombies in order for you to unlock the next gun, however.

Blue Stinger (Sega Dreamcast)

Another title that unfortunately never got the exposure it deserved due to the untimely demise of the Dreamcast. Climax Graphics’ Blue Stinger has you take on the role of Emergency Sea Evacuation and Rescue officer Eliot Ballade as he finds himself stranded on the monster-infested Dinosaur Island on Christmas Eve. It’s up to you with your fellow survivor Dogs Bower and the alien being known as Nephilim to survive and find the source of the monsters. As you blow away zombies and other creatures, you’ll wander into Christmas-themed areas complete with decorations and posters of Santa, snowmen and Christmas music. There’s even a Santa outfit you can equip for Dogs to really sell the effect.

Krampusnacht (PC)

It just wouldn’t be a list of holiday horror games theses days without an appearance of Krampus, now would it? This short-but-sweet game from Silent Tower Games sees you on the night of December 5th. Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Nicholas, when children are given all sorts of gifts… that is, if they’ve been good. If you’ve been naughty, Krampus rolls around to dole out some punishment. Gameplay is pretty simple: you interact with objects & people by walking into them. You’ll also be gathering and using items as you run from Krampus.

Thirstiest Time of the Year (PC)

Remember that 2018 Sprite Cranberry commercial involving LeBron James? Someone made a Survival Horror game out of it. It’s incredibly short, and a “one and done” affair, but being chased by LeBron James (or according to developer Thundercloud, the Christmas ghost known as Lakh’broan Jah’mes) is pretty terrifying. Luckily, you’re armed with cans that will cause LeBron to stumble, but sadly it just delays the inevitable. Wanna Sprite Cranberry?

Krampus is Home (PC)

Another Krampus-centric game! This one sees you as Sebastian, a teenager who is waiting for his parents to come back home on a cold Christmas night. Unfortunately, you quickly realize that Krampus is after you, and he’s brought friends. Focusing on survival, Krampus is Home allows you to play it stealthy, but you can also defend yourself from certain enemies. There’s also competitive and co-op modes available for up to seven players, allowing you to even play as Krampus.

Until Dawn (PlayStation 4)

Okay, so Until Dawn doesn’t really fit into the idea of holiday horror games. But hey, it’s winter and there’s snow, so close enough. For those who never got around to playing it before Supermassive Games hit it off with The Dark Pictures Anthology, Until Dawn sees players assume control of eight young adults who have to survive on Blackwood Mountain. This one marks the appearance of Supermassive’s “butterfly effect” system, which has players making choices that affect the outcome of the story, including who lives and who dies. Supermassive have obviously refined their storytelling techniques as well as the gameplay in subsequent Dark Pictures entries as well as The Quarry, but Until Dawn still remains a fun playthrough today (even if it might not be Christmas-specific).

Slay Bells (PC)

Developer Blake McKinnon Productions took a hint from Puppet Combo, and decided to create their own holiday horror game based on 80s slashers using similar PS1 styled graphics. The premise sees you trying to make it home on Christmas Eve. However, you’re being stalked by a maniacal axe-wielding Santa at the same time. You’ll be running through city streets, back alleys and an abandoned subway station to escape. There are also several tools and weapons for you to find to even the odds. Luckily, your flashlight doesn’t run out of battery power, so you’re safe on that front. As a bonus, you can check out Blake’s 5-part Devlog series on the making of the game.

The post 10 More Holiday Horror Video Games to Fill You With Festive Fear appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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