Tag Archives: Horror

The Quarry

Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Supermassive Games
Year: 2022
Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series

Rating: 8

As one camp counselor drags her boyfriend into a storm shelter in the middle of the night to investigate some movement she saw, he half-nervously and half-sarcastically says, “Have you seen Evil Dead?” While there is no fourth wall breaking in The Quarry, the characters are definitely aware they are experiencing a horror movie. The forthcoming honest depiction of how nine teenagers might cope with near constant terror is one of the reasons this is one of the best scary games I’ve played.

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Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet

Publisher: Infogrames
Developer: Infogrames
Year: 1993
Platform: DOS, Windows, Mac, Linux

Rating: 3

I really wanted to like this game. While I’m not a fan of Lovecraft’s stories, the mythos fascinates me. I would not expect it to, since it more or less boils down to cult worshiping of tentacled gods. But the appeal to me, I think, comes from the notion that humans can be driven mad if they dare to know too much about the universe’s power. It certainly helps that Anchorhead, one of the best games I’ve ever played, taps into these insecurities so well. Shadow of the Comet certainly does a fine job in this arena as well. Sadly, the ghastly user interface along with some intractable puzzle design left me mostly cold.

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Publisher: The Brotherhood, Daedalic Entertainment
Developer: The Brotherhood
Year: 2015
Platform: Windows, Mac

Rating: 4

I regularly talk about my love for abandoned research stations and Stasis attempts to quench that thirst. While the premise and plot were interesting enough to hold my attention, I was ultimately left unsatiated thanks to some poor characterizations and ridiculous puzzles.

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The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow

Developer: Cloak and Dagger
Publisher: Wadjet Eye
Year: 2022
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux

Rating: 4

If as a child you ever agonizingly picked your way through a bland dinner just so you could get dessert, then you’ll have a good idea what it’s like to play The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow. The good news is that with this latest point-and-click pixel art adventure from Cloak and Dagger Games (and publisher Wadjet Eye), there’s a three-layer chocolate mousse waiting for you at the end.

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Trilby’s Notes

Developer: Fully Ramblomatic
Publisher: Fully Ramblomatic
Year: 2006
Platform: Windows

Score: 5

The third game in Yahtzee Croshaw’s Chzo series, this game brings back Trilby himself but in a slightly different manner than in 5 Days a Stranger. The results are mixed, but it’s a refreshing change of pace and a solid entry for fans of the series.

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Martha Is Dead

Publisher: Wired Productions
Developer: LKA
Year: 2022
Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4, PS5

Rating: 1

Martha is, indeed, quite dead. At the same time, she is quite lucky. I spent six hours in this world and grew increasingly jealous of Martha every minute. Because by being dead, Martha never had to play this game. Despite my jealousy, I would like to think Martha’s spirit was looking out for me, as a repetitive game-crashing bug kept me from finishing. 

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Author: Michael Gentry
Year: 1998
Development System: Inform
Cruelty Rating: Cruel
Length of Play: 5-10 hours

Rating: 9

Awards: Best Setting — 1998 XYZZY Awards

My introduction to H.P. Lovecraft, and frankly, well-written horror, Anchorhead remains one of my favorite games ever made twenty years later. While the free version stands on its own, the 20th anniversary edition is well worth the ten dollar price tag on Steam if you liked the original or are a fan of thriller/horror games.

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Pleurghburg: Dark Ages

Pleurghburg: Dark Ages DOS Title screen, start menu

Publisher: GASPOP Software
Developer: GASPOP Software
Year: 2001
Platform: DOS; Windows

If you’re a Sierra fan who ever wondered what it would be like to combine elements from Police Quest and Manhunter, then you’re decidedly an odd duck. But you’re also in luck, as Pleurghburg (pronunciation: fuck if I know): Dark Ages does just that, providing a tense, gory, exciting adventure.

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