Indie horror games to make you need a change of pants

Who doesn’t love a good fright? Me, that’s who. That said, there are plenty of great indie games on the market for you sadists out there who can’t get enough of fear, dread, and terror.

Here are some great indie games that we reckon will result in a change of underwear.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Five Night’s at Freddy’s is quite easy to play, but it doesn’t make it any less scary. You play as a security guard in a family restaurant, but the animatronic mascots come alive after hours and you have to survive the night.

You have to manage the limited amount of power in your security booth to operate the cameras, doors, and lights of the building in an attempt to keep the roaming animatronics at bay.

It’s creepy as hell and guaranteed to provide you with some good jump scares.

Slender: The Eight Pages

Ah, Slender Man, the fantastic meme-slash-folklore character that spawned a plethora of urban legends in the late 00s and early 10s. In this game, you’re tasked with collecting 8 notes in a dark forest while avoiding the aforementioned Slender Man.

You can use your light, but the batteries are limited. You can run, but you’ll run out of stamina. The feeling of powerlessness and the fight for survival combined with the presence of a child-abducting internet legend is likely to make you feel quite uncomfortable.

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear is your classic psychological first-person horror game complete with corridors that defy the laws of physics, inanimate objects taking flight, and shocks so cliché that I would roll my eyes if they weren’t firmly shut.

You play as an artist who’s looking to complete his magnum opus but instead very quickly starts to lose his marbles. In terms of gameplay, the player is pretty much there for the ride, but for what the game lacks in gameplay mechanics, it makes up for in constant dread and terror.

There’s also Layers of Fear 2 if you make it through the first one and have a decent underwear budget.

Amnesia

Originally released in 2010, Amnesia: The Dark Descent has been hugely influential on the psychological horror genre, especially with indie developers.

It’s fairly safe to say that most of the games featured in this article will have taken some inspiration from this one. For those interested in the genre, we recommend starting with this one.

If you love it and make it to the end without needing a new wardrobe, then there’s also the sequels Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Amnesia: Rebirth, which was released very recently. Like most things, however, it’s the first entry in the series that’s considered the best.

Outlast

Outlast is one of the older indie horror games in this article but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of your time. If you’re looking for a scare, this has a ruined psychiatric hospital, spooky night vision, and the feeling there’s nothing you can do to save yourself.

This game was heavily inspired by Amnesia: The Dark Descent and it shows in the way the game makes you feel vulnerable and weak against the horror pursuing you.

Outlast 2 was released in 2017 and the third game in the series, The Outlast Trials, is due to be released in 2021, which will hopefully be less frightening than 2020.

Soma

Frictional Games, the devs behind Amnesia, definitely include some of their trademark psychological horror in this futuristic sci-fi survival horror game.

The game takes place in PATHOS-II, an underwater research facility in the Atlantic Ocean. This means that you can enjoy all the spooky fun of dark corridors that offer the horrible feeling of claustrophobia you don’t get with horror games set in the great outdoors.

The game was quite well received but it definitely didn’t do as well as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which is understandable. That said, fans of the team’s other games will probably still get a kick out of this.

Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight might be a bit janky in parts, but there’s nothing that makes me need new underwear more than being pursued by something and fairly powerless to stop it. Even though your mates are there to help you, they’re equally useless at stopping whatever’s hunting you.

In this asymmetrical multiplayer horror game, there’s one murderer and four useless targets who are running around attempting to fix generators to open a door out of the area of play. There’s not much you can do to stop the murderer so make sure you stay out of their way as you attempt your escape.

Bendy and the Ink Machine

Bendy and the Ink Machine probably stands out from the others in this article as it’s more stylised in terms of its presentation. While most first-person indie survival horror opt for realism in a supernatural or sci-fi setting, this has you in a creepy Fleischer-esque universe.

Don’t let that fool, you, though. This game will still have you applying a sepia filter to your underwear.

Blair Witch

The guys at Bloober Team definitely have a style and it’s first-person and creepy. This game, which is based on the 1999 film The Blair Witch Project, has you searching for a missing child in some harrowing Maryland woods.

Your job is to find objects and clues, but if it all gets too much for you, you can always play a few rounds of Snake on your wonderfully 90s phone! I know what I’d rather be doing.

Observer

Observer is a psychological horror game with massive Bladerunner vibes, so much so that the protagonist is played by Rutger Hauer, who sadly passed away last year.

In the game, you play as a detective in Krakow in the late 20th century and using your typically-sci-fi augmented vision, you set about on an attempt to solve a mystery where the victim’s not the only one to have lost his head.

The game has you both investigating and soiling yourself, with the downtime between scares lulling you into a false sense of security.

Which games would you have included? Do you know of any scarier indies than these? Let us know in the comments!

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