Friday, January 5, 2024

Handheld Horror: 8 Horror Games That Are Steam Deck Verified

It’s been almost two years since Valve released their powerful Steam Deck handheld console. Since then, it’s been clear that Steam Deck verification has been a priority selling point for games of all sizes.

If you’re looking to take your horror on the go, here are eight games that will run on the Steam Deck.


PS1 visuals may be hot right now in the indie space, but Faith: The Unholy Trinity finds visual and mechanical inspiration from 8-bit gaming. The pixelated visuals resemble an Atari 2600 game, featuring rotoscoped animations that are truly chilling. I’m surprised more games don’t feature Satanic Panic and exorcism, because Faith finds clever ways to translate the ritual into gameplay. Its simple mechanics run perfectly on a handheld system, so this feels like discovering some sort of cursed Game Boy cartridge that will haunt your dreams.


Steam Deck horror games

Very few adaptations have captured the tone of their source material in the way Alien: Isolation did. The working man, retro-futuristic style of the films translates perfectly to the game in a way that still resonates a decade after its release. Isolation’s xenomorph creates a palpable sense of dread at every moment, giving you the feeling that the menacing creature could be around any corner. Even on a smaller screen, it’s easy to get absorbed in the world of Sevastapool station and your desperate fight for survival against impossible odds.


Despite its brutal nature, the core gameplay loop of Darkest Dungeon makes it one of the most addicting games I’ve played. You pull a set of four adventurers from your pool of the damned, send them out to explore a horrible dungeon, then return to the town to make improvements and lick your wounds. The interesting wrinkle is that all the lingering wounds you have to deal with are psychological, as the toll the horrors take on your party can lead to madness. You can run through a dungeon in around ten to fifteen minutes, so it’s perfect for the pick up and put down nature of the Steam Deck, but you’ll probably find yourself saying “just one more dungeon” for hours on end.


Steam Deck horror Signalis

Old school survival horror is alive and well on the indie scene, and Signalis is the best example of the subgenre in recent memory. It mixes influences all over the media landscape into a surreal and moving game that’s equal parts love story and puzzle box. You play as Elster, a Replika who awakens from cryostasis in a nightmarish facility and must fight for survival against the corrupted inhabitants of the station. The game’s crisp combination of PSX style low poly models and anime-inspired cutscenes pop on the Steam Deck screen, making it a perfect place for your surreal descent into sci-fi horror.


Dredge review

Handheld systems are a great place for cozy checklist games, and one of last year’s best games does that with a sinister undercurrent. Dredge is a fishing game that appears to be laid back and relaxing, but slowly reveals a tale of monstrous sea creatures and cults dedicated to old gods. While the gameplay really never is more than fishing and exploring, the islands continue to evolve in danger as you run across stranger and stranger monsters beneath the waves. I played the entire game on the Steam Deck, and it was always a blast to casually trawl the ocean for just a few more fish to upgrade my boat or collect specimens for a strange collector.


If you’re looking for something more on the action-y side of the horror spectrum, Remedy’s Control is also verified to run on the handheld console. Exploring the ever-shifting Oldest House and interacting with the entertainingly odd members of the Federal Bureau of Control was a blast on my first run through the game, and seeing it on the Deck is a great fit. Its chaotic effects fill up the screen as you fight the sinister forces taking over, and the combination of exploration and combat gives you natural jumping on and off points, making it a great game to pick up for a bit while you’re on the go.


Since getting my Steam Deck, one of the games I’ve returned to the most is Vampire Survivors. The game made a huge splash with its simple controls, exciting action and perfectly executed power curve, all of which plays out satisfyingly in 30 minutes or less. There’s so much to unlock while you play, especially following the release of its second DLC, so you’ve always got a reason to keep coming back. The game feels like an amazing arcade machine that you are constantly coming back to fill with quarters, and having that in the palm of your hand is a beautiful thing


FromSoft’s epic game feels like a culmination of all their previous games in the Dark Souls series, and it’s a staggering achievement. Elden Ring gives you that Breath of the Wild feeling of true exploration, never holding your hand too much and allowing you to create your own path through the Lands Between. Even if you’ve already completed it, starting a new character to play on the go is a great feeling. Having such a vast open world on a handheld system is incredibly impressive, so it would be worth booting it up on the Steam Deck for the novelty alone.

Do you have a horror game you’ve been playing on the Steam Deck? Drop a comment below to tell us what you’re playing!

The post Handheld Horror: 8 Horror Games That Are Steam Deck Verified appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


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