Scary horror games have always been popular. Point-and-click adventure games, paranormal activity games, survival horror games and many other styles of horror have always been popular. However, with the advent of virtual reality into the mainstream, these games have hit an all-new high with ‘real life’ immersive VR. Immersing yourself in the horror genre with a VR experience is one of the greatest gaming thrills around and you can now scare yourself into having night terrors on your iPhone, iPad, or almost any Android device. Along with a quality VR headset and your smartphone, you can play classic horror games that are based on their horror movie equivalents, like Silent Hill and Resident Evil… dare you try the total horror virtual reality experience?
There are plenty of choices when it comes to these VR horror games. If you’re looking for the scariest of the scariest, we’ve put together this top five list, which offers details for those playing on either iOS or Android. Take a trip through these terrifying worlds with a 360-degree view and an immersive headset that makes it feel like you’re really there. You won’t regret it… hopefully!
Before we begin the countdown, let’s consider what makes a VR game scary. Any game can be scary for the right person, depending on their tolerance level for the content. For instance, a game not even intended to be part of the frightful or horror genre can be very scary for a younger player, while moderately scary games might have no effect at all on teens and adults.
When determining what makes a game scary, we need to look at a few different things:
- Plot of the game
- Player’s role in the game
Most of these are self-explanatory and are the same things that determine how scary a movie or book might be. The plot of the game is its story and the path it takes the player. It might include a backstory about how a player ended up in a situation or it might just focus on the here-and-now. The scariest plots often place players in situations that seem impossible to escape and that are situations in which a player would never want to find themselves in reality.
The player’s role in the game is also a factor and closely linked to the plot. A player is usually the protagonist or, at least the victim, though this does not always need to be the case.
The setting is the place or places where the game occurs, and it has a significant impact on how scary a game might be. Obviously, a visit to a favorite fast-food restaurant is likely to be less scary than an abandoned, depending on what occurs there, which is why the plot was also a factor.
We also considered “scares” when compiling the list, which are the features included in the game that are meant to startle or alarm you. Think of it like you would a haunted house. As you travel through a moderately creepy setting, there are various things that occur designed specifically to scare you. The worse these unexpected occurrences are the better you’ll rank the haunted house experience.
Finally, we looked at the graphics of the game and the use of audio. The scariest plot in the world can turn humorous in an instant if the graphic design isn’t all that frightening. And, unless audio is used to support the fear you’re supposed to be feeling, the gaming experience falls flat.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at what made our current scariest list.
Top Five Scariest VR Games for Android
1. House of Terror
First up on our list for scariest games for Android is House of Terror. Aside from needing a Bluetooth controller to play, you’ll get the added advantage of being able to freely move within the game. The setting is a creepy house and it’s your job to not get caught by the monsters that are roaming throughout the place. The game uses Google’s Cardboard trigger.
Silent Home is similar to House of Terror. It also allows you to move freely within the environment. The house you’re exploring is marginally frightening and you’re in search of a treasure: A book that covers exorcisms. Also, like House of Terror, you’ll use Google’s Cardboard trigger, as opposed to the controller. Buy on Android here.
This game features one of the scariest things in existence: Creepy dolls. Additionally, there are also a number of creepy singing children. You won’t be moving around this game, just looking at your surroundings. It’s fast but features a few great scares. It’s also very detailed, so if your thing is graphics and you love to visually explore landscapes and get scared, this is the game for you. Buy on Android here.
3. Dark Walls
Next up for Android is Dark Walls, a game that’s not super advanced but still very scary. It gets its scares from surprising occurrences but lacks the plot of some of the other scary games. It’s set in a hospital—so that might up the scare factors for some players—and you play the role of the night watchman. There are 360-degree views and a lot of up-close detail. Buy on Android here.
4. Chair in a Room
Sounds simple enough, right? You sit in place in your Chair in a Room while all around you, pretty bad things occur. It has a slow pace, which adds to the terror and it’s one of the more disturbing games on this list. Buy on Android here.
5. VR Haunted Forest Escape
Touting its virtual reality environment in its title, VR Haunted Forest Escape places you in an old forest at night surrounded by music boxes and other creepy items. It’s an Asian game and the captions aren’t written in English, but you can still navigate the environment.
Top Five Scariest VR Games for iOS
1. Hysteria Project 1
This uses all the features of traditional horror. In this game, you’re running from a man chasing you with an ax. You have no weapon to fight back other than your speed. You’ll also be challenged to solve puzzles and push buttons as you attempt your escape. The pressure’s on throughout the entire game. Buy on iOS here.
2. The Woods
As if being lost isn’t enough, in this game you’re lost in the dark woods. Your task is to collect pages as you move through the environment, all the while pursue by a sinister man designed in the Slenderman image. It also offers a feature that allows you to record your reactions during the game so you can laugh about it later. Buy on iOS here.
3. Corpse Party
What’s more fun than a party? A corpse party, of course! This one takes its cues from the classic ‘80’s horror genre and brings together a group of students who stay overnight in their school… that happens to be built on cursed ground. 30 years ago it was the site of a mass murder and the horror is back now while you explore the grounds. You encounter ghosts (not the friendly type), talk to classmates, and look at various documents concerning the murders of years ago. Buy on iOS here.
Tied for 4. Indigo Lake…
In this one, you’re searching for a lost colleague at Indigo Lake, which happens to be home to ghosts. There are also people around you committing suicide. As the hero of the game, you get a Jeep and a gun, but that’s about it in terms of protecting yourself from harm. Buy on iOS here.
… and The Occupant
This one also features inspiration from Slenderman. Players are trapped in a hotel forced to collect various objects while something is after them. Buy on iOS here.
This game is for the detail-oriented aficionados of creepiness. As the game begins you awaken in an unfamiliar house and begin looking for clues, sensing something is on your tail the entire time. This is a great game because it not only features scares and horror, it allows you to solve a mystery as you play. Buy on iOS here.
Honorable Mentions Go to These Three Games that are Audio-Only iOS Frights:
1. The Nightjar
This game uses space as it setting and if you think that might not be that frightening, think again. You’re stuck on a spaceship that’s hurtling full-speed toward a black hole. It’s an audio-only game and uses the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch to narrate the terrifying experience. Buy on iOS here.
2. Papa Sangre II
This is another audio-only adventure that takes fear to a whole other level. For anyone who thinks sounds aren’t enough to scare you half to death, you’ll want to give this one a try. Buy on iOS here.
This is an audio-only adventure and like the others, it is surprisingly scary. Players play the role of a blind assistant professor who must navigate through the darkness avoiding the monster that happens to be eating everyone it encounters. Buy on iOS here.
Four Games that Work on Either iOS and Android
1. Five Nights at Freddy’s
The name sounds fun enough, but Freddy’s is actually filled with horrific sights and sounds. You’re stuck in an office filled with animatronic animals and other creepy things you might not expect. Buy on iOs here or Android here.
2. Dead Space
In this game, you’ll be battling two enemies: The Necromorph monsters that are deformed and horrifying and the people who lured you into the situation. Buy on iOs here or Android here.
3. Hellraid: The Escape
Your goal is to escape the setting, but it takes a great deal of effort as you fight demons and explore dungeons. You’ll need to solve a variety of puzzles to be successful. Buy on iOs here or Android here.
The game Eyes starts out tense and quickly escalates to downright fear. The game has you moving through various rooms and corridors looking for valuables and encountering monsters. The eyes drawn on the walls are your guides. Buy on iOs here or Android here.