Liststorm of Scariness

This list serves two functions: The first is to track the Shitstorm of Scariness October '12 (and '13) (and '14) (and '15) side-project of Messrs. Matt and Pat of the "Two Best Friends Play" Machinima series, in which they record themselves getting terrified at the best (and worst, ho boy) the survival horror genre has to offer. The second - and mostly incidental, if I'm being honest - purpose is to provide a list of scary games for y'all to consult for ideas this upcoming Halloween, or for whichever secular holidays scare you most. I know I'm terrified of Columbus Day, because... well... I guess I just find it difficult to talk about.

Have a safe and sane Halloween/Columbus Day everyone! And my thanks to Matt and Pat for adding some sterling entertainment to an already busy month, as if this crazy Quick Look deluge wasn't enough.

(Since they're doing it all over again for 2013, I'm adding the new games to the list. They've picked some really odd ones this year.) (Ditto for 2014, though the list is shorter as the first three weeks were taken up by week-long playthroughs of previous games Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Escape from Bug Island and Rule of Rose.) (Still going for 2015 too.)

List items

  • October 1st. What better way to start a series than with a licensed game for the Wii? Can't think of a thing.

  • October 2nd. Come to Innsmouth for the dread lord of R'lyeh, stay for the creepy fish people.

  • October 3rd. Will you accept the collect call for five bars of horror? Escape is only possible if you have a reasonable and affordable plan. (For escape.) Roaming charges?!

  • October 4th. Why is all this hobo murdering strangely familiar...?

  • October 5th. Fuck you, mountain!

  • October 6th. A legitimately good horror game. Or was, before all the cast whitewashing. But then that was the Japanese developers making fun of Americans for all their white J-Horror adaptations, and I guess a game where you get chopped to pieces by zombies that bleed from their eyes is as good a place as any for some sarcastic meta-humor.

  • October 7th. Closers be acting all like zombies in the mall?

  • October 8th. Not-Sadako is at her most psychiciest in this "survival horror but with way more guns" sequel. Oddly enough, ghost rape wasn't brought up at all.

  • October 9th. That pixel art horror game with the skinny dancing guys I ought to get around to playing one of these days. It's intimidatingly cryptic though.

  • October 10th. I'm with Matt and Pat, this game is just way too creepy and perhaps not in the way it was intended. More "Dead or Alive: Paradise" type creepy.

  • October 11th. Thanks to SoS and Giant Bomb, I saw two of these Saw II brief playthroughs, despite the fact I never sought to. Matt managed to get one of protagonists killed, and the other looked pretty sore too.

  • October 12th. For a game with space ghosts and dudes with face-concealing mechanical suits walking around, there sure is a distinct lack of giant insect bandleaders.

  • October 13th. The game that combines horror, Jurassic Park and a sub-par Resident Evil experience. Sounds like Patrick Klepek's past few weeks all right.

  • October 14th. While Ravenholm could give horror aficionados a running headcrab zombie for their money, it's actually a HL2 horror mod named Grey that is the focus here. One of the few games to genuinely unnerve the duo, thanks in part to a considerable build-up period.

  • October 15th. Playtime with Marcello, killing zambambos. Wow, this game is kind of bad, huh.

  • October 16th. The thing with The Thing is that it was made at a time where a lot of its clever features hadn't been standardized yet. That's the impression I got from seeing the duo struggle with the controls for twenty minutes. Still worth waiting here a little while... see what happens.

  • October 17th. No shit, this and The Thing are two games I have sitting on my PS2 pile of shame. Like I needed to feel more guilty about that thing. But then this whole game is about guilt so I guess it's congruous. I mean apropos. I mean... dammit, where did I leave my thesaurus?

  • October 18th. This is another HL2 mod, Cry of Fear. Apparently us Europe types are all about creating messed up Source mods about scary demon babies or whatever else we have stalking the streets of Europeville that we can use. I actually thought the photography section that began this video was pretty neat, I hope the mod uses it more.

  • October 19th. I don't think I truly appreciate the timing of the new Doom 3 BFG expansion/rerelease. There's no disputing that Halloween is the perfect time to get people interested in shotgunning imps that pop out of increasingly ludicrous hiding places. I just figured it would've been, you know, Halloween 2007.

  • October 20th. Not so much scary as just full of brutal murderizin', Rockstar's controversial (though I feel putting those two words together is mostly redundant) Running Man pastiche is light on chills but heavy on plastic bags and Jersey accents.

  • October 21st. A goofy yet atmospheric Indie horror game named Candles. The duo have to stay one step ahead of a cartoonish photophobic satyr-looking mothereffer. Like Slender, it's a short game with a very basic premise that nonetheless manages to squeeze the bejeezus out of you.

  • October 22nd. The duo mistake Peter Mensah with Colin Salmon, but the mild social horror of mistaken identity of two awesome bald actors is nothing compared to the pointy-limbed horror of the Necromorphs. Honestly, Dead Space seems like a given for a list like this.

  • October 23rd. The duo is sitting around, SHODAN the shit while System Shock 2's many Hybrid mutants and malevolent AIs take them to school. Four years of marine training school, to be precise.

  • October 24th. Erie is another one of these freeware indie horror games with an effective if simple premise, in this case being chased around a ruined prison/lab by a big something while attempting to find a way out.

  • October 25th. Aren't many horror games with a "keep warm or die" rule, but it's one of many oddities Cryostasis has to offer. Time travel, ice zombies, nuclear icebreakers (apparently a euphemism for pulling one's old fellow out during a party) and a whole lot of Russian accents make for a particularly novel horror experience.

  • October 26th. Clock Tower 3 is a far cry from the SNES original that has our Scoops so enthralled, being as it filled with even more time-travelling ghosts than Cryostasis and a rather perturbing amount of Britishness. I mean, I live here, and I still thought it was a little much.

  • October 27th. After over three goshdarned weeks, they finally get around to the scariest survival horror series. In case you didn't already know about them; the Fatal Frame games are where haunted paintings jab you with their corners until you die.

  • October 28th. Killer7 isn't really horror-related. That is, unless, you earnestly try to figure out what's going on and turn irrevocably insane in the process. It's very much the Lament Configuration of video games; doubly so, since it doesn't get any less painful even if you do decipher it.

  • October 29th. The pair dally around an all-American high school with horrible ankle-biting monsters in the first co-op game to grace the list. If you've never heard of this game, well, they make that joke about five times so it doesn't bear repeating here.

  • October 30th. Apropos of nothing, the duo play the GameCube remake of the first Resident Evil for over an hour, speedrunning past all its scares and eliminating most of its creepy tension. I guess they just really like Jill Sandwiches?

  • October 31st. And thus Halloween arrives and we get what is promised to be merely the first part of a complete LP of Eternal Darkness, a.k.a. "That one Silicon Knights game that was good". How two chuckle...some fellows can produce as much video content as a major gaming website is beyond me, but I doff my cap to them regardless... only to reveal the Lovecraftian horror that dwells beneath! Happy Halloween, everyone.

  • October 1st '13. The pair seem to really dig this game. Presumably they don't know about the Nazi experiment ghost at the end. Hey, Patrick already spoiled it on SwS so I'm washing my hands of this one.

  • October 2nd '13. Kuon has an immediately evident Dark Souls vibe, and it takes half the damn video before they realize From Software made this game. Those guys clearly put all the spooky tension experience they gleaned from this game to work when making the Tomb of Giants.

  • October 3rd '13. One of those rare black case Wii games from Japan, Night of Sacrifice (Ikenie no Yoru) is a weird little corridor stealth game where you're outwitting insta-kill ghosts. It's like the Grudge meets Pac-Man, in so many words.

  • October 4th '13. Some neat creepy tension in this one. Unfortunately, it's an adventure game with classic adventure game puzzles, which means any LP of it is bound to be awkward and dumb. Something about being recorded that removes one's ability to solve brainteasers effectively.

  • October 5th '13. Patrick's already played this extremely dark (in tone and luminosity) Indonesian camera-focused horror game. Neither he nor the duo seemed to get very far, but then it's almost impossible to see where you're going.

  • October 6th '13. No idea where the pair dug up this budgety Victorian era horror/adventure game for the Xbox, uh, what are we calling it now? Xbox Original? Given its content, I'm surprised the developers didn't think to attach the Sherlock Holmes name to it.

  • October 7th '13. Resident Evil looking thing on a boat. Almost feels like the prequel to Cryostasis. I was secretly hoping it tied into Deep Rising in some way too.

  • October 8th '13. One of the priciest PS2 games on the market, Rule of Rose is more weird than it is tense or scary. The main character becomes a slave to a society of prepubescent aristocratic murderers on an abandoned blimp.

  • October 9th '13. With the exception of some sort of golem made out of prosthetic limbs, there's nary a creature to be seen in this unnerving orphanarium exploration game. Sure are a lot of daft FMV NPCs though.

  • October 10th '13. A reboot that's fortunately not THAT reboot. You know, the "fire bullets" one. New Nightmare looks more Resident Evil-ish. Like a lot more.

  • October 11th '13. Really quite strange sci-fi shooter from the dinosaur-based Capcom series that might as well have been called "Keycards and Carnivores". The traditional route for "horror but in space" is cramped corridors and ventilation shafts, but DC3's white and shiny setting looks more like it came right out of Vanquish.

  • October 12th '13. An X-Files survival horror that doesn't look or play awful and has writing on par with the show's? Why hasn't Patrick jumped all over this yet?

  • October 13th '13. Though noted Giant Bomb fans, it wasn't clear if the duo chose to cover this much derided NES game on the basis of Patrick and Ryan's adventures or due to its AVGN coverage. As expected, Jason wears them down despite knowing (kind of) what the hell they're supposed to be doing.

  • October 14th '13. Afterfall kind of looks like an alternate universe Metro 2033 that had gone for more overt horror themes rather than shooting irradiated mutants and collecting valuable bullets. Well, I mean it's still all Eastern European irradiated mutant funtime adventures, but there's more of a zombie/cultist vibe to it all is what I mean.

  • October 15th '13. Miasmata was almost too hardcore for even Drew, so the duo had no chance before they even began. They did manage to almost get themselves killed just by tumbling a few times and taking a swim, which is somewhat of an accomplishment.

  • October 16th '13. Oh hey, it's a game I've covered in the past. Creepy, artsy allegories on feminine sexual awakening as told through a series of bizarre vignettes set in an ever-changing forest of mysteries and terrors. Or, if the pair's video is to be believed, hours spent running around in circles picking up shiny gewgaws.

  • October 17th '13. Though I'm still waiting for its Spookin' With Scoops premiere, I'm glad more folks from across the internet are checking out this extremely odd Dreamcast horror game. Unfortunately, they don't get much further than the opening few rooms before the game's byzantine spook detection system gets the better of them.

  • October 18th '13. Very much a potential Spookin' With Scoops replacement for Slender some day, SCP Containment Breach is about escaping that ridiculous looking paper mache creature that is thought to move faster than sound but only when no eye contact is being made with it (like those angel statues in Dr Who, oddly enough). So the duo do the sensible thing and walk through every doorway backwards, putting themselves fully at the mercy of the thing. Hey, what's good horror fiction without suicidally stupid protagonists?

  • October 19th '13. The spiritual predecessor to the Amnesia games, Penumbra sticks a very British man underground to tangle with ugly wolves and physics.

  • October 20th '13. And right after Penumbra we get the most recent game in the Amnesia series, with even more British accent mockery. Does it stack up to Outlast? How many more jokes about "Shark Week" can we expect? Is the player really a bipedal pig?

  • October 21st '13. This would be Insanidade, the free Portuguese-language horror game where you skulk around dark asylum corridors filled with monsters with only a mobile phone as a light source (as opposed to DreadOut, which is mostly the same thing but Indonesian). The game demands a prohibitively high level of skill of the duo in order to get past some stabby mannequins.

  • October 22nd '13. While the Sims can be horrifying in an invasive voyeuristic "Sliver" sense, the game in question is One Late Night, that "night at the office" game Patrick tried showing off on a fairly recent Spookin'. Though he didn't reach the point where the ghost actually shows up to sad piano music. Eerie stuff.

  • October 23rd '13. A waggle-enabled survival horror game seemingly created by and for entomological fanatics. Probably the most disquieting Wii game for arachnophobics after Deadly Creatures.

  • October 24th '13. Best known (if at all) as a flagrant Resident Evil 2 clone, the duo (who are huge Resident Evil fans) have fun tearing its weird mechanics and goofy setting apart, despite the fact that Resident Evil 2 wasn't exactly the least obtuse game ever made either.

  • October 25th '13. This would be Pesadelo, another free Portuguese horror game. I bet you'll never guess what Pesadelo means. This one seemed a bit Slenderish, giving you a series of tasks to accomplish across a wide area while avoiding an insta-kill beastie throughout. Actually, that's a distressingly common mechanic with these games...

  • October 26th '13. So envious. Without importing the game, loading up a Dolphin Emulator and patching the file, there's no way I'll be able to enjoy the last Fatal Frame game in English any time soon. Thanks Nintendo. Some trippy blurry face action with the ghosts this time, it looks like, and now they make you slowly reach out for every important item juuuuust in case a ghost wants to grab you. Still as terrifying as ever, then.

  • October 27th '13. Another spooky, foreign (or maybe not, since there were a lot of British terms), Indie horror game, Iledefonse tasks you with walking through a dark apartment tower getting spooked by noises and getting turned around a lot. From what I can tell.

  • October 28th '13. It took a while, but the duo finally knuckle down with The Most Terrifying Game Ever Made (TM). Oh hey, Luigi's Mansion is still a fun, inventive little game you guys. Well I'll be.

  • October 29th '13. Despite all its odd little Beta quirks, the pair are nothing if not effusive about this DS horror sequel's in-progress PC adaptation. I'm still sore with the developer about their Mutant Mudds though.

  • October 30th '13. The ugly specter of Kinect rears its head (or maybe its arm, or some kind of body part the sensor can't recognize) with what might've been a fun goofy B-Movie horror game were it not for those unmanageable controls. Hey guys, the Kinect comes built-in with the Xbox One. So we're apparently not done with this shit for a long while yet.

  • October 22nd '14. Y'all know about this minimal interaction animatronic spookfest. Patrick's played it often enough. I keep wanting to call the main puppet/villain "Freddy Fassbender". Maybe it's because of his robotic turn in Prometheus?

  • October 23rd '14. Korean schools seem similar to Japanese schools, but the ghosts are scarier and the alarms are louder. Dare you discover the mysteries of the ladies' bathroom?

  • October 24th '14. An Indie horror game named Phobia 1.5, which deals with phobias one would assume. Nyctophobia primarily, given how dark everything is. And, uh, what's the Greek root for "non-diagetic screechy horror movie violins"? That-phobia too.

  • October 25th '14. It's babytown frolics with Among the Sleep, a game that amplifies the terror by putting the player in the pajama footies of an infant. It's not clear if Pat's high-pitched noises of terror are baby impressions or simply his usual timbre.

  • October 26th '14. Scissorman's terrifying countenance is less surprising than his excellent hide and seek skills. Can Jennifer Connelly escape the Barrows mansion mostly intact?

  • October 27th '14. The "LOST but Minecraft" survival(ist) horror is still in Alpha, but no amount of glitchy legs and Commando logs are stopping those creepy cannibals.

  • October 28th '14. A supposed college project, but seems suspiciously well-crafted. I really like the feature where you build the mansion yourself by dropping floor models next to each other. Fair to say I'm Kraven more of this.

  • October 29th '14. It's crosshatch city with Neverending Nightmares, a horror game equally inspired by Edward Gorey and Groundhog Day (maybe I made one of those up). Come for the jump scares, stay for the art criticism of the game's many portraits.

  • October 1st '15. It's art history lessons and glacially-paced spookin' with the duo's first scary game of 2015. Well, besides that full LP of Until Dawn they just did.

  • October 2nd '15. Hey, screw you guys. Jeunet's the shit. Go watch yourselves some The City of Lost Children. Not Amelie though; she's too small to fit on the Blu-Ray you'll lose her. (The game's a PS1 FPS that's apparently not awful? Score.)

  • October 3rd '15. Lemony Satan's Series of Unfortunate Events continues with this Omen-inspired uber-janky "fatal-accident-'em-up". The duo don't merge with the ceiling, unlike Vinny, but they do get hideously confused at the game's complexity. You know what's scary? Obtuse game mechanics.

  • October 4th '15. Essentially Resident Evil in space with a protagonist-switching gimmick right out of TRAG: Mission of Mercy or Project Eden. Come for the ambulatory corpses, stay for the hilariously stilted voice acting.

  • October 5th '15. How could you not make constant boob jokes with a title like that? This is another puzzle variant of survival horror in which you're avoiding darkness by activating light sources in clever ways.

  • October 6th '15. This series is at its best when the game being featured is complete bullshit, or at least seems like it. The duo somehow miss the menu option to save anywhere and constantly find themselves starting over when they fail to bat off a zombie.

  • October 7th '15. Quick substitution here. It's an Indie horror game named Deliverance (no relation to the movie) that is clearly inspired by PT. Since PT no longer exists, sort of, I imagine more than a few horror games will attempt to recreate it.

  • October 8th '15. The duo Khollect themselves to take on this mountain hiking survival/survivalist horror based on true events. Sean Bean is the narrator, which doesn't necessarily ensure his survival.

  • October 9th '15. The duo plays through Penumbra Necrologue - a "total conversion" Amnesia mod - and once again encounter their persistent Shitstorm of Scariness nemesis: inventory puzzles. Will they escape the spooky underground facility? Will they figure out how to fix a radio? Will either of them look up the definition of "penumbra" any time soon?

  • October 10th '15. This is the Clock Tower that isn't the first Clock Tower (for the Super Famicom), but was released in the US as Clock Tower because the US didn't get the first Clock Tower and leaving off numericals is a thing over there. It's a bunch of blocky polygon people getting chased by a guy with scissors who's great at playing hide and seek, so really it's just business as usual.

  • October 11th '15. The Obscure teens go to college in this sequel, presumably set some time after math class. The demons aren't interested in keggers, bongs and sorority pledges, though, and so Matt and Pat must team up to teach the forces of evil the true meaning of... toga parties? Man, my college clich√© handbook is hideously out of date.

  • October 12th '15. It's off to jolly old England to staff fight a whole bunch of, well, see title. Wow, this game really is Bloodborne 0.

  • October 13th '15. Ritual on Weylyn Island is an alpha demo of a horror game that concerns evading your foes with ingenuity and good cardio. Stay one step ahead of the devil worshippers on the island, or they'll start "weylyn" on ya.

  • October 14th '15. The one Silent Hill game so bad they refuse to do a full LP (time will tell there, I'm sure), the duo find out how it all began alongside their trucker buddy.

  • October 15th '15. The sequel to Matt and Pat's second favorite prison break game (after Prison Break), Ties That Bind might as well be called "Overstimulation: The Game". Eschewing the usual suspenseful tension for wall-to-wall flashing imagery, weird filters and explosions is a bold choice for a modern horror game.

  • October 16th '15. White Night makes brilliant use of cel-shading, depicting its work in stark black and white shades. The duo, in full Simpsons reference form, talk about how the 1930s involved so much talking because "the country was doing great back then."

  • October 17th '15. A car crash leads to a subterranean world of creepy Peter Jackson thumb monsters and "Do Not Push" buttons. Buttons are duly pushed. By thumbs, ironically.

  • October 18th '15. Well, I could've warned them about this one.

  • October 19th '15. More Outlast, this time the better-regarded DLC "The Whistleblower". Repeatedly killed by the first hostile inmate of any note, the duo barely outlast anything. At least they didn't reach the naked buzzsaw scene.

  • October 20th '15. I swear this is the same game as that first-person scary roguelike Patrick played on one of his Oculus Spookin' With Scoops. The guys run around avoiding cash and crafty skeletons.

  • October 21st '15. The duo play the Half-Life 2 Episode 2 mod "Nightmare House 2". This game could've used the tagline "If you think there's a lot of number twos now, wait until this game scares some more out of you!". As the new pledges of Nightmare House, Pat and Matt get hazed with gooey zombies and busted stairways.

  • October 22nd '15. Not this Never Mind, though it also looks kinda weird, but the new Indie "walking spookalator" based on dreams. The duo find Something in The Way, but are undeterred by the warnings to Stay Away and commit their usual Territorial Pissings.

  • October 23rd '15. A Dreamcast game that gets persistently more deranged, culminating with a boss fight against a giant vagina computer and the end of the world. Before then, though, there's a lot of snowmobiles and Parasite Eve-style random encounters.

  • October 24th '15. Don't trust a word of that Jamaican crab: it is definitively not better down where it's wetter. All there is is giant crabs, ass-biting barracuda and insanity.

  • October 25h '15. Powerdrill Massacre, an intriguing Indie horror game which resembles a PS1 game that's been recorded off the TV onto a VHS tape. It's the classic slashers and mazes archetype, but it sure doesn't mess around.

  • October 26th '15. I think suddenly active mannequins might be sneaking up on zombies for ubiquitous horror game villains. It's a break from all this note reading, at least.

  • October 27th '15. The RE5 DLC, which goes into Chris and Jill's revisit to the Spencer Mansion in the game's main story, would be an eerie homage to the original RE but for all the co-operative puzzles that the duo don't seem too jazzed about.

  • October 28th '15. Comely Japanese waifs Matt and Pat visit lovely Suicide Mountain for all the wonderful photo opportunities.

  • October 29th '15. A goofy love letter to 70s slasher flicks and, apparently, the Home Alone movies what with all the dangerous crap lying around. When's the Wet Bandits vs. Jason movie coming?

  • October 30th '15. Is this a new genre? Horrodorable?

  • October 31st '15. Those spooky Scandinavians Frictional Games fill their gruesome Swedish meat halls this time around with a dash of sci-fi and existential transhumanism. Oh, and monsters and gross stuff too, of course.