Top 10 Scary and Unsettling Games on Nintendo Switch
Considering Nintendo’s brightly colored portable console has such iconic titles as Legend of Zelda or Mario Kart it can be easy to forget that this is a console Nintendo wanted to make sure could compete with the likes of Sony and Microsoft. For every Star Fox there is a Wolfenstein II, for every Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, there is DOOM. The Switch is a console not to be trifled with yet the games we only seem to talk about on the handheld are the cute and lovable titles we expect from the family-friendly gaming giant.
The Nintendo Switch has a wild number of games available, particularly in the eShop. These range across all manner of genre and difficulty, but what we often overlook is the inclusion of those titles that leave you unsettled, creeped out, and scared. With Halloween just around the corner it’s time for you to think about just what kind of horrors that little touch screen can produce in your hand as you play under the bed covers late into the night. Here are the top 10 Scary and Unsettling games available on Nintendo Switch.
Let’s start this list out with a lighter entry. Oxenfree is a game everyone needs to play at least once. An indie title that sells for under $10, Oxenfree tells the story of four teenagers headed out to party on a small island off the coast, long into the night only for unsettling and unimaginable things to start happening. While this isn’t a game of horror, gore, and bloodshed, the exemplary voice acting and very real consequences of your potentially terrible actions make this a game you simply can’t put down. Evil forces are at work here and the powerful narrative will pull you in as you try to keep everybody alive. The game’s ending is by far one of the greatest payoffs I have seen in a game and left me in contemplative silence as the reality of my experience set in.
9. Hello Neighbor
If someone showed you a few screenshots of Hello Neighbor you might think this is some adorable little romp through a Pixar-esque game about your quirky neighbor. That is until someone shows you gameplay footage and you question why they made you watch that and your skin really needs to stop crawling. The bright and colorful art style of Hello Neighbor is wonderfully juxtaposed against the very nature of the game; attempting to break into your neighbor’s house to uncover the truth about them leaves you incredibly on edge, and the fact your failed methods will be thwarted during future attempts gives the game its own life as it reacts to you and the decisions you made. Hello Neighbor is unsettling, to say the least and knowing you could be caught at any moment makes this a fantastic title for jump-scares on the go.
8. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
While not traditionally scary, The Binding of Isaac is an incredibly graphic and visceral experience for fans of rogue-likes. Isaac’s mother has heard the word of God, asking her to kill him. Hiding in the basement to get away from her murderous wrath, players begin the game naked and alone as they travel through a procedurally generated dungeon in the basement using tears as weapons and battling all manner of disturbing and disgusting enemies until finally coming face to fatty leg with his mother. Binding of Isaac features zombies, blood monsters, bloody tears, drugs, unborn fetus’ allies, and much much more to help you overcome your mother.
The game has been around for some time but made its way onto the Switch with all of its content included. While it might not scare you, this isn’t a game for the squeamish or easily disturbed.
7. Don’t Knock Twice
If you’ve ever been playing the Switch and felt “I could use some help voiding my bowels” then taking advantage of the consoles portability while playing Don’t Knock Twice in the washroom just might be the thing you are looking for. Set in an abandoned mansion, you’ll be tasked with finding your lost daughter. Did I mention there is a terrifying witch creature who is able to appear in any room at any time to kill you? Because that. That is a thing in this game. Don’t Knock Twice didn’t necessarily review very well and being it was originally made for VR it’s length isn’t stellar, but if you are looking for a quick fix of a short fright then Don’t Knock Twice might just be exactly what you need. It’s haunting, it’s beautiful, it wants to rip your face off.
6. Outlast 2
What are some tropes for a perfect horror experience? First person? Got it. Your significant other is taken? Got that too. A Doomsday cult and a terrifying leader who murders babies believing said babies are the anti-christ? Probably fits the bill too. Outlast 2 is a truly terrifying experience of gaming. Players need to be careful of the battery levels of their camera (used to pick up audio and for night vision), health rations, and even the very glasses on your characters face. Should they fall, your vision will be impaired. Should you run too much and not manage your stamina, you’ll move much slower and louder.
This is survival-horror in the most authentic sense of the word as you – armed only with your camera – must find out the truth about a dead pregnant woman found in the desert, survive the cult, and save your wife. Being able to play this anywhere you go only reinforces that feeling of the cult being right behind you, breathing down your neck, challenging you to make a move.