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8 Scariest Mobile Games for Halloween

Explore haunted mansions, a derelict space station, a deserted island, and a post-apocalyptic zombieland, and just pray you come out alive.

Apps in this Guide

October, the month of Halloween, is synonymous with frosty mornings, dead leaves, and deepening shadows. Before we begin the long bone-cold and grey darkness of winter, we contemplate the dead and whethermore

October, the month of Halloween, is synonymous with frosty mornings, dead leaves, and deepening shadows. Before we begin the long bone-cold and grey darkness of winter, we contemplate the dead and whether or not we will join them before the snows finally give way to spring. The following eight games explore the zone in between life and afterlife, where we fear to tread. They may not inspire terror in broad daylight, but when played in the dark with a tablet and a pair of headphones, you may view the dancing silhouette of tree branches outside your bedroom window in a new light. Don't worry, though...it's probably just the wind.

When you're done, be sure to check out our sister site, Chowhound's guide to throwing a creepy yet classy Halloween party.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are any of these games inappropriate for kids?
As you might imagine, a Halloween theme isn't for everyone. Distraint and The Walking Dead are rated M for Mature and can get pretty gross. The game Gabriel Knight has you investigating a grisly murder, but you don't commit violent acts -- it's somewhere in between a T rating and an M rating. In Limbo, your character can die in some nasty ways, although the game’s in black and white, so it doesn’t look and feel as real. Stranger Things should be fine for all ages, even though the TV show is at least PG-13.
If I decide I don't like one of these games, can I get a refund?
With Android games, you have a two-hour window in which you can get an automatic refund, performed within the Play Store app. Between two and 48 hours, you need to go to the Play Store website while logged in to your Google account and go into your account settings to make your request. After 48 hours, you can request a refund, but it's up to the app publisher to give one to you. Meanwhile, Apple does not have a time frame for app refunds. You can ask for one at any time, but the company will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to give it to you.

The 8 Best Scary Games for Halloween

Stranger Things: The Game

Stranger Things: The Game

It's arguably Netflix's hottest new show, deeply influenced by vintage Spielberg, Bradbury, and Stephen King, and and now there's an official mobile game for it, timed to coincide with the release of season 2 on October 27. The game is like an old-school Zelda: 2D, top-down exploration, and a simple combat style. It also retains a lot of the eeriness of the show. Over the course of the game, you'll unlock several different characters from the show, who each have a unique ability that allows you to access different areas of the town's map. Despite being completely free to play, there's a lot of game here, and it's very polished.


Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

This is a 20th-anniversary remake of a seminal '90s point-and-click adventure game. The story -- a spooky murder mystery set in New Orleans and involving voodoo -- is the same, but you get new and lushly detailed artwork, a remastered soundtrack, and re-recorded dialog, in a portable package. On Android and iOS, you get part 1 of 10 for free, and it's $12 to get the rest. Not cheap for a mobile game, but this genuinely premium title earns its price tag, and old-school adventure game fans wouldn't want to miss it.

Distraint: Pocket Pixel Horror

Distraint: Pocket Pixel Horror

"Distraint" means seizing someone's property in lieu of payment. It's not the kind of term that will strike fear into most people's hearts. But when you're the one doing the seizing and the property is packed with spookies and strangeness, it's another matter. This indie side-scrolling adventure game might have you shutting your closet door at night. You can play the game for free with ads, or pay $1.50 to make them go away forever.

Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities

Forgotten Memories: Alternate Realities

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Although mobile gaming is heavily populated with 99-cent titles, Forgotten Memories makes a compelling argument for opening your wallet a little bit wider. And the franchises that influence it -- Resident Evil and Silent Hill -- have only sparingly been ported to mobile devices, making Forgotten Memories one of the most prominent survival horror games on iOS (Sorry, Android gamers.).

The over-the-shoulder camera and control can take some getting used to, but you'll soon be wandering the rooms of a haunted mansion populated by mannequins and illuminated mostly by your flashlight, and that's just the beginning of your attempt to figure out how you got here, and how to get back to safety. Forgotten Memories costs $6, which may be a tough sell for mobile gamers. But if you want to feel like you're actually in a horror movie, this may be the closest you can get with a portable device.

Dead Ringer: Fear Yourself

Dead Ringer: Fear Yourself

Scary stories don't always involve haunted houses or graveyards. Derelict space stations and murderbots are all the rage these days, and Dead Ringer is a great example. If you've ever played Dead Space, System Shock, or Prey, you'll be right at home in this first-person 3D creeper. The game is supported by ads, but you can pay 99 cents to remove them.


Limbo

Limbo

Limbo is one of those games where the less you know about it beforehand, the more mystery you'll get to uncover for yourself. But we can tell you that this deeply atmospheric side-scrolling puzzler has you playing a boy who's entered a shadowy land in search of his sister, and you must navigate some deadly traps along the way. $5 gets you the whole game.

The Walking Dead: The Game

The Walking Dead: The Game

In case you've somehow never heard of The Walking Dead, it's a show about a group of people trying to survive in a world that's fallen to a zombie apocalypse. The game tells a separate story with separate characters, but Telltale Games rises to the challenge with engaging situations and characters, tough choices, and heart. This adventure game is on the traditional side, favoring dialog and location exploration over action, so you don't need twitchy reflexes or attack combos to enjoy it. You can also play the first part for free. Getting the whole game will run you $15, which is fairly pricey for mobile, admittedly. But it's an impressively well-designed experience, and the story quality actually holds its own against the TV show.

Oxenfree

Oxenfree

If you enjoy the Stranger Things vibe, Oxenfree also taps into it, with some influence from The Goonies. Described as "an overnight island party gone horribly wrong," this eerie and surprisingly layered retro side-scrolling adventure will have you exploring a seemingly deserted island in search of a way to close a portal to the netherworld. The conversation system is dynamic, so the story will evolve according to how you talk to people, and the voice acting is really good, as is the soundtrack. You can get it for $5, a fraction of the cost of the desktop version.