Hidden Object Games (HOGs) are my favourite form of casual gaming. I love that most of them can be completed between two to five hours, making them ideal for one to two sittings. The puzzles are always relaxing and effortless while still being enjoyable. The storylines can feel rather formulaic if one plays enough HOG titles, but at the end of the day, the familiarity of them also contribute to the overall relaxing vibe they can surround me in. My favourite time to play HOGs are right after a tough bout of studying or a long, stressful day of working. When I feel like playing a video game but am having a terrible time trying to narrow down what the mood desires, I pick up HOGs then as well and it almost always satisfies that gaming urge.
Since I am such an avid player of HOGs, I thought it would be fun to share with y’all five of the creepiest ones that I have encountered thus far, making them rather ideal for chillaxed Halloween entertainment. These five titles aren’t going to scare the absolute wits out of you, but they all have excellent atmospheres and ambiances to them for this spooky-licious season of frights, and that is what makes them ideal for Halloween. All of them can also be played in four hours or less, with trophies that are effortless to obtain (if you’re into that sort of gig).
Most of these HOGs are available across multiple platforms, making them accessible for just about any sort of gamer out there. So, if you’re in the market for some rather tranquil yet mildly terrifying video games, check out the list below, ordered from least creepy to most ghoulishly hair-raising.
Sherlock Holmes & the Hounds of the Baskervilles
Loosely inspired by the original story, it follows Sherlock Holmes as he investigates the legend of a supernatural hound in a supremely eerie moorland in England during the 19th century. If you’re searching for an accurate and authentic adaptation of the story, then you will be disappointed because it’s only inspired by the tale. This version has some magical twists to it that make it marvellously ominous and dark, which I found to be quite enjoyable. The scenery are all wonderfully ambient and match the time period well, with beautifully detailed settings. There is a detective element to this game that makes you feel like you’re actually Sherlock Holmes, piecing together various obscure clues. What sets this apart from other HOGs is that it’s one of the very few Sherlock-inspired ones out there and it plays like a genuine, somewhat unpredictable mystery. — GOG || Steam || Big Fish Games
Sacra Terra: Angelic Night
I initially came across this game via Madame Gabs and tried it out based on her recommendation. I’m glad that I did because this was one of the first super creepy and dark HOGs that I had ever played. It’s about the demons of the Seven Deadly Sins who have broken out of their supernatural prisons and become Hell-bent (pun mildly intended) on destroying humanity. The story takes place in the residence of Sacra Terra and has some rather disturbing backdrops, such as a decaying hospital, a medieval abbey riddled with secrets, and sinister catacombs. The storyline is also somewhat sombre, which heavily contributes to its overall dreary aesthetic quite well. Since this game is an older title (released around 2011), some of the cinematic graphics aren’t as great as the other titles on the list, but the gameplay visuals still hold up well, especially for a HOG. — Steam || Big Fish Games
Endless Fables 3: Dark Moor
I actually just finished playing this last night! Even though it is the third instalment in a series, it can be played as a stand-alone. It follows a woman who travels to Scotland to celebrate her niece’s birthday. But then her niece is kidnapped by a terrible spectre and it’s up to Pamela (the main character, or you, the player) to rescue her and rid the lands of this unwanted ghoul. Out of all the titles here, this is the one that really encapsulates that Halloween aura perfectly. There are pumpkins and skeletons everywhere, with crunchy red and orange leaves, tons of overgrowth, suspicious NPC (non-playable characters) encounters, and olden run-down manors. A couple of the puzzles have a tiny bit more of a challenge to them than typical HOG puzzles, which make them more engaging. The designs of the locales and the voice acting are pretty great and the fable that the game is based off of is really quite a fascinating one that I had never heard of before. So, if you want something that has some genuine Halloween moods to it, look no further than Endless Fables 3: Dark Moor. —Android || Apple || Nintendo || Microsoft || Steam || Big Fish Games
Demon Hunter 5: Ascendance
Another game that is in a series but can easily be played as a stand-alone. In fact, this fifth instalment has a completely different main character than it’s predecessors and is very loosely connected to the franchise overall. The story follows a dude named Hector, who is a member of long-forgotten order, as well as a demon hunter. One night the owner and curator of The Museum of Mysticism and Monstrosity calls upon Hector (i.e.: you) to help him uncover the mystery of a visitor who vanished under strange circumstances. This game has tons of creepy-crawly critters and plenty of disembodied shenanigans to make the hairs on the back of your neck rise right on up! Between the eyeballs and the bones and the menacing animals, the atmosphere is ripe for skin-tingling discomfort. Since the game released last year, it’s also quite breathtaking visually. The details are rich and vibrant, the music a perfect complement to the scenes and storyline, the voice acting rather decent all-around. This title is definitely ideal for the ghost-enthusiasts of Halloween. — Android || Apple || Microsoft || Steam || Big Fish Games
Out of all these titles, Hope Lake is certainly the most disturbing one. The story is about an old boarding house called Hope Lake that was abandoned many years ago when one of the teachers drowned by accident. After all this time, the female students who attended start to disappear one by one. It’s up to you to visit this land-of-gloom-and-doom to figure out what is happening. Out of all the HOGs I have played, the story for Hope Lake is the most fucked-up and twisted. I remember walking away from this game with a knot in my stomach because of how dark it was. It’s constantly cloudy and rainy and the boarding house is in utter shambles, but with some unique secrets to it that kind become a bit mind-blowing as you go on. The music is chilling and keeps the tension tight, which was a new experience with HOGs for me at the time. If you’re someone that enjoys very dark and macabre crime mysteries, then Hope Lake is positively the game for you! — Steam || Big Fish Games
What are some of your favourite video games to play during Autumn and October? Have you ever played something that legitimately scared the wits outta you? If I had to choose one, it’d definitely be Little Nightmares. Now that is a game fit for many, many frights.
Anyhoo, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Thank you for stopping by. Until next time, keep gaming. ♥