It's All Hallows' Eve once again. And what better way to enjoy the holiday spirit(s) than to have a good scare - or ten?
Since nobody at 148Apps could come up with an answer to that question we've created a list of our top picks for spooky, creepy, scary, and unsettling iOS titles in honor of the ghoulish festival. Hopefully these games won't be too much for you to handle...
The Walking Dead - Season 1
The Walking Dead isn't conventionally scary in the "Aargh! What the heck just jumped out at me??" kind of way, but it's distinctly unnerving. It taps into that instinct to protect those we care about then shows us just how easily the life we once knew can be taken away forever. Forcing you to make tough decisions that are a matter of life and death mean you never get a chance to calm down or relax. Instead, you're constantly on edge in a world that makes no sense any more. If that's not deeply scary, I don't know what is. - Jennifer Allen
Ellie - Help me out... please
Ellie - Help me out... please is a short, but creepy puzzle game that revolves around the player's interactions with a kidnapped girl through a security camera feed. It definitely has some Saw vibes thanks to its puzzle room nature and voyeuristic perspective.
Although the puzzles are a little opaque, immersion in the very tiny game world is precisely what makes it kind of creepy. Not necessarily creepy in the "spooky" sense, but in the sense that players start questioning the game's bizarre setup. Who is the player character? Why is this girl in this room? What does it all mean? - Campbell Bird
Horror is really about vulnerability. One of the common complaints about modern Survival Horror is that there's just too much 'survival' - it's hard to be scared when you're loaded down with so much shotgun ammo you can kill zombies by choking them with it. But Limbo is different.
Limbo makes it clear, from its very first haunting moments of darkness, that you are powerless in a world of shadows and that there are things in the night that will be more than happy to end your frightened, frantic, insignificant little life. Designed with a 'less is more' approach to visuals, the spectacularly unsettling atmosphere and music set the perfect scene for your desperate, often abruptly unsuccessful struggle for survival. Though the platforming can sometimes be frustrating, ultimately Limbo will draw you in. Not just by beckoning you forward into its depths, but also through a profound fear of what lay just behind you. - Andrew Fisher
Haunting Melissa isn't really a game so much as a chaptered movie of of creepy images, jump scares, and cringe-worthy moments. It's a film about a young woman dealing with the death of her mother, as well as an emotionally and geographically distant father, and heaping spoonful of horror movie tropes. The thing that really gets me about this app is when I forget to silence the sound and leave my iPad laying around at night. Just as things in my apartment are dark and quiet a creepy whisper will emanate from seemingly no where scaring the bejesus out of me until I remember that Haunting Melissa sends notifications via a disembodied voice that haunts your mobile device. Leave it by your friend they next time they come over to watch a scary movie and watch the chaos ensue. - Jessica Fisher
This "oldie-but-goodie" may have originated in the era of the iPhone 4, but it still found a way to produce an uneasy atmosphere in spades. Not only were Dead Space's visuals both disturbing and stunning for the time, but the sound design was far and away superior to virtually everything else on the platform. Sure the creatures looked like they could tear you limb from limb, but it was their terror-inducing cries that would give even Jason Voorhees the heebeegeebees. Mix in some good old fashion monster closets and it was a recipe for a classic that not only withstands the test of time, but can still spook the bejesus out of me to this day. - Blake Grundman
Haunting Melissa is a revolutionary interactive horror movie for iOS, from the producer of The Ring. It was originally released in episodic installments, but now the whole thing is available to purchase/unlock. Players follow Melissa as she uncovers terrifying truths that will unravel her life as she knows it and will react to prompts and interact with the environment as time goes on, strengthening the sense of immersion.
It's a unique horror experience that will grip you until its chilling final moments, and leave a lasting impression on your very soul (or y'know, maybe just your memory). - Lee Hamlet
The House of the Dead: Overkill - Lost Reels
The House of the Dead may have never been the biggest or the best zombie gaming franchise, but it's managed to steadily chug along. However, with The House of the Dead Overkill, the undead light-gun series found new life with a wickedly vulgar sense of humor and a great, grainy, grindhouse aesthetic layered onto thoroughly disturbing visuals. And that gory exploitation is just as terrifically tasteless in the iOS port, The House of the Dead: Overkill- The Lost Reels, which is a mobile "greatest hits" of the original. But nothing sums it up better than the amazingly overwrought dialogue of the perfect faux-70s trailer: "So frightening, you'll cry blood from your own eyes." - Jordan Minor
My vote for creepiest iOS game goes to Simogo's DEVICE 6. There aren't any hellhounds, jump-scares, or possessed twins standing in knee-deep pools of elevator blood, but there is a lot of "What's going on? Where am I? Why is this happening to me??" ("Me" being Anna, the seemingly unremarkable woman the player is cast as). And as you progress, things come to a head during a very special, very creepy concert held in your honor. - Nadia Oxford
Papa Sangre II
The most unsettling moments for me in any sort of horror story are those in which I'm forced to use my imagination, which is about all you do in Papa Sangre II: imagine.
As a recently-deceased soul trapped in Papa Sangre's world, you'll need to hunt down lost memories to gain your freedom. Unfortunately, this hellish realm is completely and totally dark. You can't see a thing. All you can do is listen to the world around you, and walk. But tread lightly, because there are horrible things lurking around every corner that would love nothing more than to make a meal out of you.
It's this audio-only approach, coupled with some very effective 3D sound design, that makes Papa Sangre II so terrifying. You never get to see the horrors that are hunting you. All you can do is listen to them as they clack and skitter through the darkness, while at the same time trying to piece together what they must look like (or not, because yikes). Or worse: trying to imagine what will happen if they find you. - Rob Rich
Mikey Shorts Halloween
Mikey Shorts Halloween isn't exactly the longest or scariest game on this list, but it's certainly something you should think about downloading this Halloween if you've got a spare five minutes. The game serves as a bite-size introduction to the Mikey series of platformers from BeaverTap Games, which is quite possibly one of the best controlling series in the genre on iOS. The Halloween edition's four levels likely won't take you very long to master, but there's plenty of jumping of the same sort if the urge for more levels persists. Which, if you're at all a fan of speed-running, coin-collecting, or shorts-searching, it very likely will. - Ellis Spice
Five Nights at Freddy's
I know it hasn't been that long since I originally reviewed Five Nights at Freddy's but this is the perfect time of the year to revisit this simplistic yet utterly creepy tale of a hapless night watchman and pizza parlor animatronics gone horribly wrong. Plus a sequel was just announced recently, so you have even more cause to see what all the fuss is about.
If you want the optimal Five Nights at Freddy's experience, I'd recommend turning the lights down low and playing it on an iPad in a room with two open doorways to really simulate that control center feel. If, by the end of the night, you're not nervously scanning the darkness for the cold, dead-eyed stare of the murderous mascots of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, then you're a braver soul than I. - Rob Thomas
I tried Year Walk after a friend recommended it a while back. Because of my disabilities I very rarely play a game longer than an hour, but I was glued to this all the way until the ending (which took about three hours). The scenery is incredibly creepy, and the story is even more so. Not knowing what you're doing from the start gives it a great sense of desperation. Best of all, there are multiple endings to give you reasons to keep taking that walk. - Jade Walker