Top 10 Spooky Visual Novels to Play This October

These are games that will get you in the Halloween mood!

Happy spooky season! It is officially October, so that means it’s time for everything horror, magical, paranormal, or all of the above. This article is a countdown of ten of the top spooky games to play right now.

Full disclosure, some of the game’s images below might be scary to some. Due to the themes included in some of the games in this article, I recommend reading the content warnings provided on the games’ individual pages before playing.

10. Livingtale

Platforms: Windows (itch.io)

Price: Free

Livingtale is a game made for fans of the RPG Undertale. Livingtale is an alternate universe of Undertale, and it takes place in a barren and creepy world known as Livingland where a boy named Zane is the king and trees have bird-skull heads. The imaginative artwork of desert landscapes with surreal trees and giant, dark, and somewhat malevolent-looking mushrooms perfectly illustrates the dark void that is this world. The game is riddled with evil creatures and sinister landscapes that give it a powerfully spooky vibe.

9. A Monster’s Insight

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (itch.io)

Price: Free

Out of all of the games on this list, A Monster’s Insight spooked me from initial launch thanks to the eerie, whispering voice effects. The intro scene is remarkably done and well written, setting the tone for the rest of the story with a bang. The artwork is hair-raising as well, as it features grotesque-looking and vaguely familiar creatures. Navigate word games and puzzles to heighten your INSIGHT, a power that allows you to see inside the minds of other creatures. Another notable feature is the different play modes you can choose from, which can enable or disable certain abilities depending on which mode you choose.

8. Stardander Revenant

Platforms: Windows, Linux (Steam) (itch.io)

Price: Free

Stardander Revenant is perfect for players looking to live a Hogwarts kind of witches and wizards experience. What is amazing about this visual novel is the way it makes use of the entire screen: from animated wall torches, to moving textboxes, to dancing colored auras, to lively sprites, this game certainly knows how to decorate a screen. Visually, Stardander Revenant is cleverly and beautifully composed, creating scene after scene of what can only be described as eye candy. It’s easy to feel immersed in this fantasy world thanks to the strong worldbuilding and the spirited characters.

7. The Spider and the Bride

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (itch.io)

Price: Free

The Spider and the Bride is a dark fairy tale about a spider that falls in love with a soon-to-be bride. The story is profoundly moving thanks to the fantastic writing and hauntingly beautiful artwork. The atmosphere of this game gives me Corpse Bride vibes, but what unfolds within this story is both heartwarming and spooky in an entirely new approach. The final ending had a wonderful and unexpected twist that left me shedding a few tears of joy.

6. First Bite

Platforms: Windows, Mac (Steam) (itch.io)

Price: US $9.99

Nothing screams Halloween more than vampires, and attractive vampires make it all the more fun. First Bite is an adult queer vampire visual novel about paranormal fan and human Noe, who finds a trio of impossibly beautiful—and hungry—vampires. The sprite art in First Bite is undeniably polished, and when you unlock the CGs, you’ll be in awe at how exquisite the characters look. The dangerous trio are very much what you’d expect a vampire to be and look like: confident, powerful, and fatally attractive.

5. Candy Scabs

Platforms: Windows (itch.io)

Price: Free

Can you imagine celebrating Halloween in terror of the The Void, a gluttonous creature that demands candy for its birthday or else it will be your demise? In Candy Scabs, Eschar and Slough are up against the threats of The Void, and their salvation is to take a trip to the human world and steal some candy as an offering to the beast. Not only is the story instantly captivating, the art is profoundly moving both in color and design, and the characters have a scrappiness to them that reminds me of the children in The Nightmare Before Christmas, which makes their personalities somewhat of a novelty and provides for a very entertaining read.

4. Play Dead!

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (itch.io)

Price: Free

Play Dead! is a series of supernatural stories revolving around a budding punk band called “Stop, Thief!” that embarks on ghostly adventures after their van breaks down somewhere along the east coast. The first episode in the series starts off with the band trekking into the woods and discovering an old, unoccupied log cabin, and what they find inside is spine-chilling. The visuals are remarkable and very similar to that of a webtoon or an animated comic book. Play Dead! has a lot to offer, from full voice acting and impressive and plentiful visuals, to an intriguing plot, so this visual novel is a must-read for spooky season.

3. CORPSE FACTORY

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Nintendo Switch (eShop) (Steam)

Price: US $19.99

A notorious internet site, Corpse Girl’s website, reveals photos of victims who died. The twist: the victims receive these photos before their death. Corpse Factory tells a gripping story following the main character Noriko, a well-composed high school girl who now faces the reality of this chilling mystery. CORPSE FACTORY offers stunning anime-style art and an extraordinary story. It’s everything supernatural horror fans need to gear up for Halloween spooks.

2. Don’t Toy With Me

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (itch.io)

Price: Free

Toys are alive in Don’t Toy With Me, and these toys are a little worse for wear both inside and out. The characters have a cute charm to them, but the adorable cast is juxtaposed with a more sinister underlying story. Dahlia is the hospitable doll of the dollhouse, but there are secrets in her attic and clues in her journal that leave players to wonder what’s really going on inside this illusorily peaceful dollhouse. The most unique aspect of this game is the inclusion of you, the player, as the all-seeing “God” of the story, with choices that effect the characters of your dollhouse.

1. Hooked on You

Platforms: Windows (Steam)

Price: US $9.99

Hooked on You, also known as the Dead by Daylight dating sim, was released this summer, just in time for Halloween. You don’t need to be a player of the famous Dead by Daylight horror game to enjoy this visual novel, because it’s for anyone who might enjoy the thrill of romancing serial killers. As twisted as that sounds, these developers have made the killers dangerously lovable. Sure, dating serial killers is unconventional, but that’s exactly what makes this game so enticing: it leaves you wondering where on earth a serial killer romance could possibly lead.

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