We’re getting closer and closer to Halloween every day, which means everyone’s gearing up to watch their favorite horror movies, make weekend trips out to pumpkin patches, and do all kinds of other, fun seasonal stuff before this month ends and everyone looks toward Thanksgiving.

If you’re in the midst of all your Halloween activities and you want to take a break with some games that match the spirit, we’ve got good news for you. There’s a bunch of great games on the App Store that can get you in the mood for Halloween, and we’ve compiled a list of the best ones in a handy little list. We've also added a "spookiness rating" (1=not scary, 5=scariest) to each one so you can find the right game for you. Check out the picks below:


Candies n’ Curses - download for iOS

If you want a dose of Halloween spirit while you’re waiting for the train, Candies n’ Curses is probably your best bet. This fantastic action roguelite has you killing ghouls, ghosts, and otherworldly creatures in close-quarters with your lantern.

The game simply involves swiping between floors of battle arenas, but it can get quite challenging. Luckily, between runs you’re gathering souls and ectoplasm to buy upgraded weapons and charms to help you get further on each subsequent run. Although it’s a free-to-play game, Candies n’ Curses can be turned into a “pay once and play” game for $9.99, and it’s worth that asking price.

Spookiness Rating: 2
It’s not exactly scary, but it’s got all the Halloween vibes you could ask for in a bite-sized package.


Zombicide: Tactics and Shotguns - download for iOS

What better way to celebrate Halloween than by killing lots of zombies? Zombicide: Tactics and Shotguns is a digital adaptation of the Zombicide board game, which is a pretty no-nonsense tactics game about fending off undead hordes while completing objectives.

If you want to think more about positioning and careful movements, rather than when something is going to jump out and scare you, Zombicide is a great game to pick up. It’s slow pace makes it a fun game to plink around on as you’re watching Halloween specials.

Spookiness Rating: 1
Zombicide isn’t really scary at all. There’s some gore, but everything is so separated by a top-down view that even that isn’t all that thrilling.


The Walking Dead - download for iOS

The game that reinvented adventure games and put Telltale on the map is still fantastic, despite coming out seven years ago. It’s a story-heavy game that nails the tension and uncertainty of surviving a zombie apocalypse in a way that few—if any—other games have done.

For those seeking a game that feels like a horror movie or series, The Walking Dead is the best way to go.

Spookiness Rating: 4
Like a zombie movie, the monsters themselves aren’t all that scary, although there are geniune moments of high tension and jump scares.


Cultist Simulator - download for iOS

Interested in somehing a little more arcane? Cultist Simulator could be the ticket. This game simulates what it is like to start a cult (hence the name), though all the action takes place through a sort of tabletop game where you slot cards into tiles to take actions, like recruting underlings or evading police suspicion.

This definitely isn’t the most straightforward game, but that can also be part of its dark allure. Playing Cultist Simulator over extended periods can lead to discoveries and horrors you weren’t prepared for.

Spookiness Rating: 2
Discovering disturbing information is about as spooky as Cultist Simulator gets. As a result, you can find a way to play into it and make shivers run up your spine, or you can let it wash over you without making much of an impact.




Oxenfree - download for iOS

Oxenfree is an adventure game with a paranormal storyline that is sure to make your spine tingle a few times as you play it. In addition to being a bit creepy though, Oxenfree really shines because of its writing.

You play the game as a group of teenagers that get stranded on an island for the night when a bunch of weird stuff starts happening. While it might not sound like the most original plot out there, the voices that tell it are remarkably authentic. Your group of teens actually sound like teens. They make fun of each other, tell lame jokes, get embarrassed, and freak out as things around them go south. This sounds like really straightforward stuff, but most games fail to create believable dialogue in the way Oxenfree does.

Spookiness Rating: 4
Oxenfree is a fairly cinematic experience and features some truly frightening moments, though this is interspersed with characters having endearing and charming conversation with each other.



Dread Nautical - get on Apple Arcade

In Dread Nautical, otherworldly creatures have invaded a cruise ship. Your goal is to survive by scavenging through the ship’s decks, looking for food, loot, and other survivors. You’ll also have to kill some demons, which happens via turn-based strategy mechanics.

Something about Dread Nautical’s production values make it feel like a PC game from the 90s, but in a good way. Pick this game up if you want some throwback nostalgia and weirdness alongside your spooks.

Spookiness Rating: 2
With stiff animations and blocky character models, nothing in Dread Nautical looks particularly scary, but the game’s environment design definitely sets a somewhat spooky tone.




Simulacra - download for iOS

Out of all the entries on the list, Simulacra is probably the most hardcore horror experience on this list. In it, you happen upon the phone of a woman named Anna, and it’s your job to snoop through her phone to figure out her story.

As you sift through emails, text messages, and other files on Anna’s phone, you discover some deeply disturbing stuff and experience moments of both overt horror and subtle, unsettling tension-building. What helps sell the scares here is that the game takes place entirely through a simulated phone screen, so you feel like you’re really just using a phone you found as you play. Simulacra definitely won’t be for everyone, but if you want some legitimate scares in a mobile game, give this one a shot.

Spookiness Rating: 5
Simulacra is the only game on this list that is genuinely creepy. This is a game that goes out of its way to make you uncomfortable or hit you with a jump scare, and it all works surprisingly well on a small screen.


Dead End Job - available on Apple Arcade

Dead End Job is essentially a Ghostbusters game. You work for a ghost-capturing agency, which leads you to investigate all manner of haunted locations, sucking up ghosts with your vacuum gun as you go.

The peculiar thing about Dead End Job is how deceptively hard it is. Dual-stick shooting ghosts is pretty easy until a few stack up and make short work of you. Dead End Job isn’t afraid to punish you for dying either, so pick this game if you’re up for a challenge.

Spookiness Rating: 1
With its bright colors and jaunty music, there’s nothing scary about Dead End Job. It just happens to be about ghosts and stuff.




Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville - download for iOS

Rebuild 3 tasks you with figuring out how to create a new semblance of society in the wake of zombie hordes roaming the lands. The result is a 4X game in the vein of something like Civilization, but with added complications like building fortifications to keep wandering zombies out, deciding what to do with new survivors that stumble into your compound, and how to deal with other groups of survivors that may compete with you over resources. It may not be an explicitly scary game, but Rebuild 3 is still a solid, seasonally-appropriate addition to include on this list.

Spookiness Rating: 1
This strategy game is too colorful and caught up with interpersonal relationships to feel scary in the slightest.

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