Return of the Halloween Adventure Games

A year ago I wrote a couple of articles (here and here) recommending some indie adventure games for Halloween, and since it is the Halloween season again, or at least it is according to a lot of enthusiastic people, I thought I would do a few more recommendations.

The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow

screenshot from Hob's Barrow of a woman looking at a girl play the fiddle on a pile of rocks

The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow is a folk horror point-and-click adventure game developed by Cloak and Dagger Games and published by Wadjet Eye Games. I’m a big fan of both studios and even mentioned Football Game by Cloak and Dagger Games in a previous recommendation article. This may be their best game so far. The game features some fantastic art and sound. I especially love the use of light and color in the artwork. The game is very approachable for people newer to point-and-click adventures, with a more simplistic interface and never feeling too frustrating.

The Aching

screenshot from The Aching of someone walking by a giant mouth in the wall

I’ve mentioned this game on the blog before but it’s a very nice game and I’d love to see more people check it out. The Aching is a parser graphic adventure inspired by classic Sierra adventure games from the 80’s. I enjoyed the game’s horror setting and how it feels like a game from the 80’s without the frustrating softlocks you frequently run into in those games. I don’t mind death in adventure games but this game has a unique take on it where you must do things that would typically cause player death to proceed. I also think it’s cool that the game is built to run on DOS, although it has a DOSBox wrapper so it runs on Windows without any issues.

ParaMonsters and the Haunted Escape Room

ParaMonsters screenshot of a green monster saying "C'Mon, now. Things always taste better during the holiday. Tell me I'm wrong."

If you’re looking for something a little less scary this Halloween season, check out ParaMonsters and the Haunted Escape Room. It’s a very short (30 to 60 minutes) and cute adventure game where you help a group of monsters investigate an escape room that may be haunted. It’s been in one or two of the big bundles on Itch too so you may already own it.

No Rest for the Wicked

No Rest for the Wicked Screenshot of a servant saying "He really loves darkness while he sleeps." next to a vampire sleeping in a bed

No Rest for the Wicked is a short, comedy game where you are a vampire’s servant and must help him make the spell that will bring humanity to an end. The free game features voice acting, nice pixel art, and well-designed puzzles. But don’t take my word for it, it won the 2023 AdventureJam game jam, where teams have 14 days to develop an adventure game.

More Adventure Games for Halloween

A few days ago, I wrote a post listing some adventure games that I would recommend for the Halloween season. I thought I would do another one since there’s so many games I wanted to recommend. 

Before I do that, I should probably mention The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow, which comes out today. I haven’t played it yet but it’s probably a game that will be good since it’s developed by Cloak and Dagger Games, a studio I recommend later in this article, and published by Wadjet Eye Games, who are responsible for a lot of wonderful games as well like Unavowed and The Shivah.

The Corruption Within

The Corruption Within is a first-person psychological horror game set in the Victorian era. The game was developed by Cosmic Void and Dave Seaman, who both made adventure games on their own that I enjoyed. Cosmic Void created the Space Quest-inspired series Tachyon Dreams and Dave Seaman created the comedy series Captain Disaster under the developer name CaptainD. I was really charmed by the atmosphere in this game, the interesting cast of characters, and pixel art. The puzzles were challenging but never felt unfair or held me up too long, and the game only took me about 90 minutes to complete so it never wore out its welcome.

Both developers have new games coming out very soon. Cosmic Void is creating a sci-fi adventure game called Blood Nova and CaptainD has the retro-looking puzzle game Snow Problem.

Dark Fall

Dark Fall is a first-person adventure game created by Jonathan Boakes in 2002, which I guess makes this both an indie and a retro game. You play someone who has received a message from his frightened brother asking for help at an abandoned train station. The game involves you investigating the ghosts that inhabit the station and felt authentic to me, someone who doesn’t know a single thing about ghost hunting. I have a soft spot for it since it came out during a time when there weren’t many commercial adventure games being released and very few of them were worth playing. That said, I think the game holds up outside of that context. The game manages to be very creepy without resorting to jump scares and I thought the various storylines of the people you read about in the station were interesting. 

I think I would maybe have a hard time recommending it to someone who doesn’t enjoy puzzles, but if you do or at least don’t mind having a hint guide open, then I think it’s a game worth checking out if you have an interest in ghost stories. Jonathan has continued making games in the Dark Fall series so if the game sounds interesting but you want a more modern game, consider checking out one of the later games in the series since they’re standalone outside of some references and two games sharing the same location.

Don’t Escape: 4 Days to Survive

Don’t Escape: 4 Days to Survive showed me how much an adventure game could innovate on genre mechanics that I used to think should have been left in the 80s. It is a post-apocalyptic survival adventure where you must carefully manage your time if you want to survive. In many ways, this game reminded me of early Sierra adventure games which I felt had dated mechanics. It’s easy to die and you can softlock yourself if you aren’t careful. But with the way the game is broken down into four chapters and relies on replaying them to maximize your time use, these mechanics felt very fresh to me and I didn’t find it frustrating in the ways that I often do with early adventure games. If you bought the Bundle for Ukraine that was on Itch earlier this year, you already own the game.

Football Game

When people describe something being Lynchian, it usually means that it’s set in a small town and there’s some quirky characters. Football Game is certainly a game inspired by him but its inspiration is more than just borrowing the aesthetics of his work, and tonally feels closer to later Lynch works like Twin Peaks: The Return. There is a feeling of uneasiness that carries through the entire game, assisted by the fantastic soundtrack by JUPITER-C. The game is only an hour long and I’d recommend it to any Lynch fan.

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Halloween Adventure Game Recommendations

Since it’s now the Halloween season, I thought I would do a tiny write-up on four indie point-and-click adventure games I would recommend for this time of year. I’m missing a ton of great games so I’ll try to do another one soon.


Stasis is an isometric horror adventure by The Brotherhood released in 2015. You play as someone who wakes up from stasis on an abandoned spacecraft and need to figure out what happened to everyone. This is the only game on the list that features death scenes which I know not everyone is into, but they are kind of fun to watch since they are very over the top and the game encourages you to find them as well since they award achievements as well. I’ve seen a few people compare it to the classic game Sanitarium since they’re both isometric horror games and while they’re different kinds of horror, I do think fans of that game would enjoy this as well. HowLongToBeat lists the game at around 8 hours long which sounds right to me.

The developers of the game went on to develop Cayne, a free standalone horror game set in the same universe so if you are unsure about picking up Stasis or just don’t have the budget for it right now, consider checking that out. More recently they released a post-apocalyptic adventure game called Beautiful Desolation and are working on another Stasis game right now.

Stasis is available on Windows and Mac

Darkside Detective

If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, I would recommend The Darkside Detective. It’s a comedy adventure game released by Spooky Doorway in 2017. You play as Detective McQueen and investigate nine paranormal cases. The game isn’t very difficult and each case is short, making it a good game if you want something more relaxing at this time of year. 

A sequel was released last year that follows the same format of a bunch of small cases, so if you enjoy the first game then the sequel is worth playing.

Darkside Detective is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S

Midnight Scenes

Technically this recommendation is a series of games, but Midnight Scenes is an anthology series by Octavi Navarro, who also worked on Thimbleweed Park. There are currently three games in the series, with each one being completely standalone. The games feature gorgeous pixel art and are only 15-20 minutes each, perfect if you’re looking for something that can be played in one sitting. Octavi also developed a few other short horror games outside of this series that I would recommend, The Supper and The Librarian. If you picked up the Bundle for Ukraine that was on Itch earlier this year, you already own the entire Midnight Scenes series.

Their games are available on Steam and Itch

If On a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers

If On a Winter’s Night, Four Travelers is an isometric adventure game with horror elements about four people on board a train during a masked ball, with flashbacks that focus on each individual character. Even if it wasn’t a free game I would be impressed by the art and amount of care that went into the writing. Since the game does handle some sensitive topics, please read the content warnings at the bottom of the page to make sure it’s something you can play. 

The game is available for free on Steam and Itch, but I would encourage you to pick up the Supporter Pack to support the developers and get some cool stuff like the soundtrack and art book.

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