13 Spooky Casual Games for Halloween

By Erin Bell and Gamezebo Staff | Oct 30, 2009 |

What Halloween-themed games are you playing this weekend? Gamezebo put together a roundup of 13 of our favorites to help you get into the spirit. Some are light-hearted romps with pumpkins and dancing zombies, while others are downright scary. So turn the lights down, pull out the bowl of candy, and let's get spooked!

Mystery Legends: Sleepy Hollow

Type: Hidden Object

In American folklore, the Headless Horseman was the ghost of a slain soldier who would ride out at night searching for his lost head while ridding unlucky townsfolk of their own heads. This brooding hidden object game brings the character to life in all his grimness. You'll even hear him growl out random threats like "Your head belongs to me!" or "Blood, bone and flesh!" (Eww...)

Scare factor: The atmosphere is convincingly creepy - especially if you have an over-active imagination.

Download the demo.

 

Redrum

Type: Hidden Object

Hidden object game fans are no strangers to murder mystery plotlines, but Redrum - with its story of a crooked psychiatrist and his patient Rose, a disturbed young girl who hears voices - takes things down an even darker path. Not one to play in front of the kids, the game is a chilling psychological thriller that combines crime and the supernatural. While still pretty tame by horror movie standards, it's still one of the closest thing to "horror" that you're likely to see in a casual game.

Scare factor: The story is great, but be warned: if you're easily disturbed by images like blood, syringes, bones, and bodies without skin then you should approach Redrum with caution.

Download the demo.

 

Daycare Nightmare

Type: Time Management

We're calling this one Carrie the Caregiver meets The Munsters. Poor Molly gets trapped into running a daycare for little monsters - and we aren't talking about children who misbehave. Her clientele is literally the pint-sized offspring of vampires, blobs, ghosts, Cyclops and dragons. Caring for the little tykes isn't easy - in fact you can expect some pretty frenzied mouse-clicking gameplay - but the theme is sure cute.

Scare factor: Let's put it this way: you think a tantruming child is bad? When a baby dragon gets upset it breathes fire on everyone around it.

Download the demo.

 

Fishdom: Spooky Splash

Type: Match-3 Puzzle

In the "Halloween Edition" of Fishdom, a popular match-3 game where you completed puzzle levels to earn cash to decorate a fish tank, you'll swap jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and witch's hats in addition to sea shells and fish; listen to vaguely eerie music; and decorate your tank with plastic skulls, bat sculptures, and other Halloween kitsch. There's also the special "Spooky Fish" to add to your tank.

Scare factor: Ok, it's not scary at all, but it's still good Halloween-themed fun. If you're the kind of person who loves decorating your house with fake spider-webs and garbage bag ghosts, you'll get a kick out of decorating a spooky virtual fish tank too.

Download the demo.

 

Trapped: The Abduction

Type: Hidden Object

Helene wakes up not remembering who she is or how she got into the trunk of someone's car. Now she's being toyed with by a serial killer who has her confined to a strange warehouse full of hidden rooms and traps. She must not only try to escape, but find out who she is and discover enough evidence to nail the serial killer along the way.

Scare factor: The premise, which reminded us of the movie Saw, is definitely creepy, but hokey voice acting and repetitive dialogue make the killer a less frightening figure than he could have been. Safe to play with the lights off.

Download the demo.

 

Campfire Legends: The Hookman

Type: Hidden Object

Remember that old campfire story about the escaped killer with a hook for a hand that terrorizes two teenagers in lover's lane? In this hidden object game you'll follow Christine and Patrick as a romantic weekend in the woods turns into a nightmare. Suspense, creepy environments, eerie music and unsettling gameplay make this one of the most genuinely scary hidden object games we've ever reviewed here at Gamezebo.

Scare factor: Lock the doors and don't play when alone!

Download the demo.

 

Plants vs. Zombies

Type: Strategy/Tower Defense

A relentless gang of the undead are trying to cross your lawn and make their way into your house. Why? To eat your brains, of course. In order for you to stop them, you must plant a number of flowers, bushes, trees and other foliage that can take down these zombies in a number of humorous ways: decapitating them, blowing them into black powder or running over them with a lawnmower.

Scare factor: We don't know about you, but we've always had a profound fear of sunflowers. You just can't trust a plant with that many seeds.

Download the demo.

 

PuppetShow: Mystery of Joyville

Type: Hidden Object

At first, PuppetShow: Mystery of Joyville seems like many other hidden object games. Its story, about a detective being called in to find a missing child, isn't all that unusual, and its setting of a town in decline provides the locations and background that you might expect. But what begins as a fairly straightforward mystery soon takes a very dark and disturbing turn.

Scare factor: It's not that PuppetShow is gory - it's barely even animated, and there isn't any voice acting - but the implications of its final chapter are sure to put a chill down your spine.  

Download the demo.

 

Zombie Bowl-O-Rama

Type: Bowling (Duh!)

This game ramps up the usual excitement of bowling by replacing the customary pins with flesh-eating undead monsters. And instead of just bowling, you get to be a zombie hunter...armed with a bowling ball. It's the tricks and treats that make this Halloween-themed bowling experience so entertaining, such as random power-ups that appear inside gravestones that pop-up along the lane during each turn, werewolves that can be summoned to blow the opponent's ball into the gutter, and power-ups that turn your bowling ball into a swarm of bees.

Scare factor: The zombies dance. 'Nuff said.

Download the demo.

 

Graveyard Shift

Type: Arcade Shooter

Halloween is the time of year when all the ghouls and goblins come out to play, and Graveyard Shift puts you in charge of a one-man Halloween death squad. Graveyard Shift is a browser-based side-scrolling shooter where you're tasked with shooting the unholy armies of the undead with little more than a click of the mouse and a whole lot of courage to protect you. Well - courage and a shield. And we can honestly say that doing battle with the things that go bump in the night has rarely been this much fun.

Scare factor: Not only does this game come with the requisite hordes of ghouls, zombies, poison-spitting plants and assorted monsters, but it's hard. You'll be just as afraid of losing as of what you see on the screen.

Play this Web game for free.

 

Ghost in the Sheet

Type: Point-and-Click Adventure

The Ghost in the Sheet is actually a poor fellow who gets hit by a bus and finds himself in a sort of afterlife limbo with his essence held together only by the sheet that's been draped over his body. He can't actually pick up and carry items and he's unable to touch objects directly because he's... well, a ghost. But he has cool supernatural powers, like Telekinesis, to make up for this.

Scare factor: The subject matter is grittier than the average casual game, but if it's a mature, darkly humorous adventure you're looking for than you've come to the right place.

Purchase this game.

 

Wonderburg

Type: Strategy/Building Sim

Pirate ghosts, yeti-like snowmen and creepy pumpkin-creatures flying on brooms are the stars of Wonderburg, a Build-a-lot style strategy sim that boasts a unique fantasy setting. You must help Alisa, a young magician, and her friend Rudi, a dwarf, to get to the bottom of the mysterious force that is threatening local villages.

Scare factor: There are some pretty dastardly curses, but the content is more fairytale than House of Horrors.

Download the demo.

 

Costume Chaos

Type: Time Management

Being in a place that sells costumes a few days before Halloween is almost as crazy as braving Walmart the day before Christmas. Costume Chaos captures that hectic energy through the eyes of Cleo and her costume rental shop. By guiding customers through the fitting, hair styling and face/accessories stations you'll help transform them into Hawaiian dancers, pirates, fairies, superheroes, police officers and even, er, Santa Claus.

Scare factor: Non-existent, but if your Flo costume isn't working out you might get inspired by one of the mannequins in the window.

Download the demo.

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