10 Free Spooky Indie Video Games You Should Check Out

4. The Prototype

The Prototype tells the story of the Plaything Prototype, an advanced humanoid puppet you are testing for sale. The Plaything looks deeply disconcerting, talks like a clown, and is incredibly creepy. But the truth about its nature is worse than you could imagine. This game is a kinetic novel, which means that it’s a lot like a visual novel with no branching paths. Fortunately, what it lacks in player agency it makes up for with excellent sound design and sheer dread.

Unlike other titles on this list, nothing bad happens to the player in this game. The horror comes from realizing what happened before you even arrived. The Prototype is incredibly short at about 15 minutes per playthrough, but it’s a very intense experience that I definitely recommend.

Content warnings: unsettling imagery, loud audio, kidnapping, robot transformation.

3. Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion

Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion is a classic horror experience that never gets old. In this game, you’re challenged by a cute little ghost girl named Spooky to get through all 1000 rooms in her mansion. At first, you’re only confronted by, well, cute little jump scares. Then the real monsters start coming out to play. As the full story unravels, it becomes clear that Spooky is anything but harmless, and the Specimens in her house are hungry. They want you to stay for dinner. They want you to stay forever.

This title is a piece of online horror history. And if you enjoy running from scary monsters, you’ll have a great time at Spooky’s.

Content warnings: blood, death, ghosts, chase sequences, insects, creepy deer, demons, man-eating monsters, and just about everything else.


2. ZENO Remake

ZENO Remake is a blast from the past in two ways. First, it’s a nostalgic throwback to the era of RPG Maker horror. Second, it’s a remake of a Japanese game from 2015, translated into English for the first time. Two young men, one with red hair and one with black, wake up in an underground cell with amnesia. In order to escape, they need to handcuff themselves together. However, while searching for a way out, they find files indicating that one of them is a genius doctor… and the other is a serial killer with 15 confirmed victims.

But what they may or may not have done won’t matter if they can’t escape the corpse-filled facility they’re stuck in. And there’s another homicidal maniac running around determined to make sure they both die here. ZENO Remake features 3-4 hours of gameplay and 15 different endings. It’s a great exploration of illness, obsession, and love.

Content warnings: cannibalism, blood, gore, murder, torture, child neglect/abuse, depictions of mental illness, suicide, minor in love with adult (unrequited) and a general epilepsy warning.


1. Walk

Packaged as part of the 2021 Haunted PlayStation 1 Demo Disc collection, Walk is a short but absolutely chilling experience. The game puts you in the role of a little girl walking home from school from the POV of fixed-angle security cameras. Trailing after her is a shadowy monster that will kill her if it catches her. To survive, she must hide, run, and gather useful items from her environment. But the placement of the security cameras limits the player’s ability to guide her through the streets. And the monster may well spot her before the player spots it. This game is short but truly chilling, and it comes with 24 other short horror experiences. Why would you ever pass this title up?

Content warnings: stalking, child death, isolation, a monster that does something if it catches you.


Honorable Mention: Iron Lung

That’s all the free games we’ve gathered for you, but the list isn’t over just yet. For those of you who just can’t get enough scares, no matter the cost, we’ve also added a great paid game: Iron Lung. You’ve probably already heard of it, but for those of you who’ve been living under a rock, here’s a summary.

In the distant future, every planet and star has disappeared, leaving only space stations and barren moons. A prisoner is welded into a rusty submarine and dropped into a blood ocean on one of these moons. Your mission is to investigate several points of interest, then return and earn your freedom. But your captors may not intend for you to come back, and the moon may not be as lifeless as originally thought.

Iron Lung is a short game that asks more questions than it answers. However, it’s still an incredible experience that we heartily recommend.

Content warnings: drowning, the ocean, fire, sea monsters.

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