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In Canada, horror is about more than just entertainment; it’s a genre that has deep roots in our cultural storytelling.
From campfire ghost stories and narratives of isolation to Indigenous myths and legends of creatures in our wilderness, Canadians are no strangers to the art of fear; and sure enough, it’s Canadian game developers who seem to best capture this eerie essence of our culture.
As Halloween approaches, the team at TFS has decided it’s time to spotlight some of the greatest Canadian horror games ever created (we also cover the best Canadian horror films of all time here).
So, whether you consider yourself a connoisseur of the horror genre, a gaming aficionado, or are simply intrigued by games with Canadian settings, this is the blog for you.
Let’s dive in!
1. Until Dawn (2015)
“Until Dawn” remains a true stalwart in the Canadian horror games landscape. Set in an isolated, snowy wilderness, this survival horror delivers an intensely scary, highly replayable gaming experience. What makes it particularly unique is that players control eight different teenagers and must make ongoing decisions regarding who lives and who dies. Without a doubt, this is one of the best video games set in Canada!
2. The Long Dark (2017)
Developed by British Columbia’s Hinterland Studio, “The Long Dark” is an immersive survival horror game set in the Canadian wilderness. The game drops players into the middle of a “quiet apocalypse” where they must survive while navigating harsh Canadian landscapes. Part of what makes this game so compelling is its realistic survival mechanics; it offers detailed simulations of body temperature, hunger, thirst, and fatigue and players must adapt to full day and night cycles in order to survive.
3. Dead by Daylight (2016)
Created by Montreal-based studio Behaviour Interactive, “Dead by Daylight” has carved an interesting niche for itself within the multiplayer horror category. In essence, the game is an intense cat-and-mouse experience where one player takes on the role of a killer and the other players participate as survivors. What sets it apart from other games on this list is its focus on asymmetric gameplay, which forces players to choose to either cooperate or compete against their survivor counterparts.
4. Bendy and the Ink Machine (2017)
Set in an abandoned animation studio, “Bendy and the Ink Machine” combines a vintage art style with classic horror gaming elements. Thanks to its strong aesthetic choices, the game does an exceptional job of pulling players into its uniquely twisted world. Our take – if you’re a fan of indie games and want to give something “different” a try, go download this game on Steam!
5. Dead Rising (2006)
Developed by CapCom Vancouver, this zombie horror places players in the shoes of Frank West, a resourceful journalist determined to uncover the origins of a zombie outbreak. The entire game takes place in Willamette Mall where hordes of the undead roam. To fight off the hundreds of zombies, players must use the resources found in the mall, whether that’s a baseball bat taken from a sports equipment shop or a flat-screen TV robbed from the electronics store. What makes Dead Rising special is its open-world environment, dark humour, and unique time-sensitive gameplay.
6. Slender: The Arrival (2013)
“Slender: The Arrival” is an atmospheric first-person horror game praised for its ability to build suspense. Armed with nothing but a flashlight, players are plunged into the dark wilderness where they must navigate abandoned buildings and unfamiliar environments without being detected by Slender Man. With its moody visuals, tense cat-and-mouse gameplay, and pervasive sense of dread, “Slender: The Arrival” makes for a truly unnerving experience.
7. Psychroma (2022)
Developed by Toronto-based Rocket Adrift, “Psychroma” is an eerie side-scrolling narrative game set in a dystopian cyberpunk future. Players take on the role of a digital medium investigating a glitching cyber-house haunted by fragmented memories. With its moody pixel art visuals and synth-wave soundtrack, “Psychroma” will pull you into a brooding sci-fi story that tackles themes of trauma, identity, and technology.
Now go play some Canadian horror games this Halloween!
All in all, there’s no better way to honour spooky season than by diving into Canada’s best horror games.
Whether it’s the eerie whispers of the wilderness in The Long Dark, the heart-stopping chase in Dead by Daylight, or the sinister shadows lurking in the corners of Slender: The Arrival, this list has the perfectly haunting experience for every type of gamer.
Happy Halloween, brave gamers!
Oh and before you go!
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