If you’re wanting to play great games and keep to a tight budget, then Steam is a sure-fire way to kill two birds with one stone. Thanks to its fully stocked library of genre-defining ventures, PC users can indulge in just about anything the heart desires. A genre that hoards the lion’s share of the traction, surprise surprise, is indie horror, which just about makes up the majority of the stockpile.
Although the month of July has seen a cascade of triple-A releases storm the market, its indie division still retains a huge portion of the overall player base. The question is, what games are users sinking the most hours into, and which are still worth playing years after launch? Well, here’s how we see the current Steam rankings. Here are, in our opinion, the five best indie horror games on Steam right now.
Of all the maze-like homes we’ve traversed and conquered over the years, only a few of them have been able to compel us in the same way as Caustic Reality’s Infliction. Similar to games like PT and Visage, players must branch out and trek the inner nooks and crannies of an anomaly-infested labyrinth. Along the way, travelers will have to dismantle various puzzles and remove any potential threats that loom in the shadows.
Infliction drops you among the remnants of a broken home. Living a Groundhog Day-esque lifestyle, the player must go through the motions and assemble a picture of what caused the once-loved suburban home to spiral into a nightmarish hellhole. The question you’re made to answer, though, is who is the woman that roams your otherwise vacant halls? What is your connection to her? And, above all, why does she seek revenge against you and you alone?
4. Layers of Fear
Layers of Fear dares to push the boat out and conjure the darkest of fantasies in a mind-bending story-driven adventure. In spite of the campaign only just about scraping the three-hour threshold, it does possess one of the most enthralling storylines in survival horror. What makes it twice as captivating is its impeccable attention to detail and the element of surprise. When thrown together, Layers of Fear becomes a comprehensive banquet of trials and tribulations bolstered by an endless wave of genre-defining psychological horror.
As a painter, you must navigate your manor home in search of inspiration to help draft the magnum opus of the art world. To envision the masterpiece and bring it to fruition, you must battle your inner demons and atone for your questionable past. Easier said than done, of course, as said past is laced with violent tendencies and sadistic morals. The bottom line is, there’s no redeeming what’s already too far gone.
From the minds that delivered us Emily Wants to Play comes Pacify, a psychological horror game that sees players once again going on a series of mind-rendering ghost hunts. However, unlike its predecessor, the 2019 segment crams in a multiplayer mode to help alleviate the intensity that binds with roaming a network of ghostly hallways. So that’s something.
Pacify drops you in the boots of a paranormal investigator. After being assigned to a suburban villa that’s notoriously known for housing a plethora of evil spirits and, more importantly, a fiendish girl who goes by the name of Emilia, you must learn to counter the wickedness that hangs over you like a dark cloud. To truly pacify the wayward soul, though, you will first have to uncover the truth, as well as the motives that drive her sadistic actions.
Detention isn’t like your typical survival horror games. Instead of being taught to shy away from your biggest fears, Red Candle Games’ tale urges you to confront them head-on. And of course, this immediately adds a thick layer of intensity over an already terrifying concept. Remove it, and you’ve got yourself a relatively simple puzzle game, clear as day.
In Detention, players must explore a cursed Taiwanese high school that houses the wayward spirits of the damned. In a bid to unlock the secrets that haunt the school, you must face your deepest, darkest fears and immerse in a hell-bent reality that radiates a hybrid of paranoia and mystery. To connect the dots and construct the final portrait, you will need to go through hell and back in search of clues and keepsakes that aid its creation. The problem is, you’re being followed, and the only way to remove the shadow is to venture further into the rabbit hole. Much, much further.
1. Happy’s Humble Burger Farm
At a first glance, it’s easy to discard Happy’s Humble Burger Farm as being just another run-of-the-mill Five Nights at Freddy’s skin. Look a little deeper, however, and you’ll start to notice the oddities that make it unique in its own special way. The fact of the matter is, well, it’s a restaurant simulator, laced with elements of survival horror and Silent Hill inspired monstrosities. Who’d have thought, right?
The goal of Happy’s Humble Burger Farm is relatively simple: tend to the restaurant, and carry out all of the expected duties of a valued member of staff. Between the slew of monotonous chores, though, lies a cascade of bone-shattering chills and terrifying schemes. There’s a band of unruly mascots treading on your toes, and it’s your job to satisfy them before meeting a fate worse than death.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any indie horror games that you think we should check out? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.