There’s something awfully intriguing about searching for clues that rest beyond the grave, as several people and first-party studios have proven time and time again. Little known fact, the paranormal world and its sinister inhabitants are among some of the most talked about things in gaming, which of course answers the question: why on earth are there so many ghostly asymmetrical horrors on the market in 2023? Well, turns out, Paranormal Hunter isn’t the only product to capitalize on the dead this year.
It’s safe to say that Paranormal Hunter, being the survival-driven horror that it is, was quick to secure a spot in this year’s most anticipated thrillers on PC. But seeing as it has already come and gone, it does raise a new sort of question: which, if any at all, games tick all the same boxes? Or better yet, which of the countless asymmetrical horrors on the web have even more to brag about? Well, if you’ve found yourself looking to cure that post-Paranormal Hunter hangover, then look no further. Here are the best alternatives you can currently get on consoles and PC.
The most obvious port of call, and not to mention one of the most popular overall, is Phasmophobia, an online asymmetrical horror game that’s suited for up to four players. As one of several paranormal investigators, it is your solemn duty to explore cursed locations and capture evidence of the afterlife. The only issue is, well, most ghosts don’t tend to take too kindly to strangers — especially ones with all the gadgets and gizmos built to exploit their weaknesses.
The goal is simple: accept a contract that outlines the details of a ghostly presence in one of several haunted locations, and set out to unmask its identity either alone, or with a group of fellow paranormal fanatics. Easier said than done, mind you, what with your sanity levels forever on the decline and the ghost seeking for an opportunity to claim you for the shadow realm. Question is, how quickly can you identify the ghost? Time’s a-wastin’.
4. Midnight Ghost Hunt
If you’ve ever idolized the thought of being the fourth Ghostbuster, then Midnight Ghost Hunt will certainly scratch that itch, and then some. As a paranormal-type multiplayer game that takes the asymmetric blueprint to a whole new level, players can finally live out their fantasies of playing either a ghost-busting innovator, or a ghostly apparition with the power to not only scare the living daylights out of the enemy, but possess everyday household objects that range from lamps to figurines.
Midnight Ghost Hunt is split between two five-minutes stages: pre-midnight, a time during which the ghost hunters must vaporize the spirits while they hide in plain sight, and the post-midnight phase, where the ghosts double in power and have the ability to fight back. As one of these two factions, you must work with your team to either hide, fight, or escape the evil clutches of the location you’re bound to. Make no mistake that, whatever strategy it is you choose to adopt, every match will play out differently, and things, no matter how big or small, will always go bump in the night.
3. Ghost Exorcism Inc.
Remember in The Exorcist, when the priest had to spew out a passage from the Bible to pacify the demon? Well, it’s the same basic scenario in Ghost Exorcism Inc., only with five additional priests in frame. It’s a six-player co-op game, and a pretty darn good one at that. And sure, it’s a little dated and silly even at the best of times — but it’s also some of the most fun you can have in a multiplayer horror. And, let’s not forget that it’s also a stone’s throw away from the likes of Paranormal Hunter, too.
Again, the idea is pretty straightforward, in the fact that you and your team must venture out to a ghostly domain and banish the evil that lurks within. Armed to the teeth with all the gadgets and tools of the trade, you will need to fight right through to the devil’s doorstep, even if it kills you. And yes, one of you will need to take on the job of hurling out the words to excise the poltergeist. Question is, who’s less likely to drop the book and flee for the exit at the first sign of danger?
2. The Blackout Club
What happens when the adults in an otherwise wholesome town transition into sleepwalking brutes during the twilight hours? Why, the children of the night spring to investigate, of course. That’s really the basic setup of The Blackout Club, and it takes in a few ingredients from the likes of Hello Neighbor and SCP along the way. But the biggest catch of all, really, is the fact that said children are forced to close their eyes in order to see what looms beyond the shadows; a supernatural entity known as “The Shape.”
It’s a story-driven horror at heart, so expect plenty of lore and DLC to lop up on top of the standard story. It’s also one of the best alternatives to the likes of Paranormal Hunt, too, with a few similarities that make it a love letter in its own right. But what’s more, it’s an online game that boasts an ever-evolving world, with more patches and add-ons than your bog-standard romp through the motions. So, if you’re after a bone-chilling narrative that’s also suited for up to four players, then you’ve just stumbled upon your latest haven.
1. Emily Wants to Play Too
If you’re an avid fan of all things indie, then you’ll definitely want to check out Emily Wants to Play Too. While it may be a lot shorter than your average live-service title, it does manage to compress a lot of the genre’s core elements into a single story-driven experience. And the best part is, it’s absolutely terrifying, to say the least. Or at least, it was when we shoveled through it a fair ways back, anyway.
Emily Wants to Play Too is a first-person survival horror adventure, and one that takes place in a deserted office complex during the midnight hours. Locked in and without an escape, you must venture deep into the root of all evil and survive until dawn. The downside to this, however, is that Emily has a band of otherworldly creatures and possessed dolls at her fingertips, and none of them are overly fond of letting anyone who isn’t her go snooping. Sucks to be you, then.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five Paranormal Hunter alternatives? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.