Puzzles, photography, phenomena of the occult! Madison is an exhilarating journey through the horrifying dwellings that surround the mysteries of Luca and his impending demonic possession.
Puzzles, visions, and tense sequences make Madison a real treat that will keep you reeling even after the credits roll. This first-person psychological horror brought something fresh and mysterious to the genre, so it’s bound to leave you wanting more. To help with your search for some more of that threatening goodness, there are some equally satisfying games you can check out.
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10 outlast 2
Outlast 2 puts you in the shoes of Blake, equipped with his camera, as he goes in search of his wife after crashing somewhere in Arizona. You have to face off against violent cult members, increasingly intense hallucinations, and a steadily depleting camera battery that’s always a menace in the moments you need it most.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to sneak your way through a village hell-bent on prepping for the end times, it’s time to give Temple Gate a visit. Ah, the joys of investigative journalism.
9 Witching Hour
Witching Hour has five different endings that largely depend on your decisions throughout the game. You kick things off by going to your worse-for-wear family home that was just abruptly abandoned by the tenant you were renting it out to. You eventually come upon a door in the home with a crucifix on it and chains keeping it shut, so that’s a promising welcome.
Throughout this tale, you must puzzle-solve and confront your way to the heart of the town’s powerful witchcraft. The Mummy has taught us all that “you must not read from the book!”. Thankfully, Witching Hour’s protagonist goes against that sacred rule, and you get to enjoy this quick horror adventure in return.
Devour takes you through various periods of a cult’s history, with each level having a different setting and main antagonist. As the story goes, the Watchers of Azazel have abandoned their former lives in order to worship the demon Azazel. As expected with demons, he decides to possess the cult’s leader and attempt to unleash his wrath onto the world.
Here, you and three other friends can band together to perform a ritual that will stop this great evil. Your membership in the cult will obviously be tarnished now, but it’s all worth it, since the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Azazel keeps finding new hosts, though, so you can expect more updates that build on the lore.
7 Resident Evil Village
The entire Resident Evil series is notorious for having massive and imposing villains that stalk you throughout the game, and Resident Evil Village keeps that going in an entry that is otherwise quite a departure from previous titles.
On top of puzzles, you also have combat to consider as you face off the various abominations in this game. Bioterrorism, gigantic lady “vampires”, fish men, and saves that can be few and far in between will terrorize you as you try to find your missing child. As if Ethan Winters didn’t go through enough in Biohazard.
Visage is another title that cemented itself into the horror gaming scene as one of the best psychological horror indie titles in recent memory. It’s pretty beautiful, despite being absolutely terrifying. It doesn’t hurt that it’s part of the Game Pass for Xbox and PC either.
There is a lot of puzzle-solving to be done here, which can be challenging because of the unique scares and relentlessly tense atmosphere throughout the game. Things get surreal as you try to figure out why you’re in this deserted house being tormented by ghosts.
5 Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia: The Dark Descent has become a horror classic despite being little more than a decade old. Hostile creatures lurk in every corner, but you also have to contend with the darkness and your own character’s sanity.
It takes you through a story worth finishing despite the scares you must face to get there. If you enjoyed the narrow halls, perception shifts, and troubled protagonist of Madison, this is the next stop.
4 Alien: Isolation
Few games establish the absolute feeling of dread like Alien: Isolation does. You play as Amanda, the daughter of the iconic Ellen Ripley. Despite your badass lineage, you are decidedly more vulnerable than you try to find your long-lost mother.
While you traverse space stations with less-than-friendly occupants, you must also avoid getting captured by the Xenomorph. As if the cinematic game wasn’t rattling enough, the Xenomorph’s AI also learns from your behavior, so you can’t stick to one strategy if you want to live.
3 The Backrooms 1998
The Backrooms 1998 builds on the expansive lore of popular creepypasta, The Backrooms. The goal is simple — hide, explore, and escape. Naturally, stamina, entities, and puzzles prevent you from accomplishing these tasks easily.
Although there are tons of games that deal with The Backrooms, this one, in particular, stands out because of its use of claustrophobia and built-up tension to enhance every jumpscare and the gnawing vibe of liminal space. Pick this up if you want a fun, found-footage horror entry that also happens to listen to your microphone. Try not to breathe challenge, anyone?
2 Layers Of Fear
Layers of Fear does a remarkable job of creating a unique psychological horror experience. Just like Madison, this game manages to create clever scares and interesting ways of changing up the game when you least expect it.
As you explore, you learn more about the story of your protagonist and why you’ve gotten to this state of near-mania. Continue to slip down the rabbit hole and face ever-changing locations, dark themes, and doors you don’t want to open.
1 Martha Is Dead
Martha Is Dead is a psychological horror game that truly gets under your skin. It is an extremely grim setting smack dab in the middle of war and loss. A lot of moments can be hard to stomach, but the game is deeply engaging, and its visuals are genuinely captivating.
If you felt like Madison was already too brutal, you may want to brace yourself for this one. Keep in mind that the PS4 version is even censored, so expect an unsettling six to ten hours.
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