These indie games might come from small studios, but they’re packed with enough creepy vibes to give you big time heebie-jeebies this spooky season! Adventures await you in these strange worlds and riveting stories. This Halloween you can be an antiquarian, roadwarden, lightsaber-wielding spider, and more with these five amazing indie games—all available right now.
These are adorable animals speaking gibberish in a cozy town, but it’s not the game you think it is. Beacon Pines from Hiding Spot is, well, hiding something under those warm fuzzies…
Beacon Pines is the adventure of Luka, who’s suffered several recent tragedies. Young Luka lost his father in an accident years ago, and his mother just went missing. He lives in the small town of Beacon Pines with his grandmother. He and his best friend, Rolo, decide to get into shenanigans one early summer day—but no one could have predicted just how much trouble it would turn into.
You play as the reader of Luka’s tale, and your decisions along the way determine his fate. Did your actions have unforeseen consequences that lead to a grisly end? Go back to earlier in the story and make a different choice. It’s a unique mechanic that makes you consider—and re-consider—each decision in the game, which can get considerably creepy, just in time for spooky season.
Beacon Pines is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Game Pass, Steam, and Itch.io.
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow
What mysteries lie buried in the murky moors of England? Thomasina Bateman is determined to find out in The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow. She’s an antiquarian who excavates the age-old burial mounds scattered across the English countryside. This traditional point-and-click adventure game is fully voiced with a compelling cast of characters who are all reluctant to reveal what’s lurking in the dark inside the barrow.
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow combines folk stories with horror and suspense for quite the creepy experience. “Yeah, right. How unsettling can pixel art be?” you might be asking yourself. The answer is: very. Very, very unsettling. The art, music, and story pull you in so well that you can practically smell the damp earth and feel it closing around you as you get closer to finding out the fate that awaits Thomasina.
Solve intuitive puzzles and interact with the locals to unearth the buried secrets of The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow. It’s available now on Steam.
You won’t find cutting-edge visuals in Roadwarden, but you will find adventure, mystery, and maybe a monster or two. Make that definitely a monster or two. Roadwarden is a text-based RPG set in a wild and dangerous world. Your job as a roadwarden is to travel from town to town with only your horse as your companion, helping those in need and keeping the roads safe.
Make choices that will not only affect the inhabitants of this unconquered wilderness, but that will also shape your character’s backstory, personality, and future. Do you fight the zombies and creatures you encounter on the road? What awaits you in the dark? The choice is yours. Roadwarden is an immersive and occasionally unnerving story with different possible endings that will have you ready to set off on your adventure again immediately after you finish it the first time.
Now for something completely different. We’re talking “spiders with laser swords” different. Depending on how you feel about arachnids, SpiderHeck might be the scariest game on this list. You’re a spider wielding the aforementioned laser swords, along with laser bows, buzzsaws, rocket launchers, and more in co-op PvE and frenzied PvP battles.
Battles are waged across a variety of stages that will have you and your friends slinging webs and attempting your best parkour moves as you fight physics and each other. It is chaos. If you prefer your Halloweens with more tricks than treats, SpiderHeck is the energetic, explosive, spider-filled game for you.
Moldy maps and enigmatic clues, a dash of the occult, and a lurking dread? It’s all in a day’s work in the quiet puzzle game Strange Horticulture. You’ve inherited a small plant shop in the gloomy town of Undermere. Customers visit with a variety of aches and afflictions, and it’s up to you to comb through the books and your strange collection of leafy seedlings to find just the right salve.
All the while, you’re fighting a rising dread that threatens to overtake you. This creeping fear grows each time you choose the incorrect plant or take a wrong turn. Combined with the gloomy, overgrown shop and its questionably stained desktop you work upon, the melancholic mood of Strange Horticulture is peak spooky season. And we didn’t even tell you about the black cat named Hellebore who perennially perches on the countertop yet! Peak. Spooky. Season.
So, what will you curl up with this spooky season: cute animals? Plants? Spiders?! (Yikes.) Or maybe all of the above?