Horror, Op-Ed

Point and Click Horror Games

Lately I have seen a number of articles and videos that include statements claiming that point and click is not a genre normally associated with horror. I won’t point them out because I don’t wish to bad mouth these people directly. In fairness if you do bring up point and click games a large number of gamers will go straight to LucasArts games or more comedic titles. That being said point and click and horror have gone hand and hand for a number of years. I thought it might be nice to discuss some of the best point and click horror games you can play.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

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Any chance that I have to talk about this underrated gem I take. I Have No Mouth is based on an older short story. The writer of the short story was the writer for the game (as well as a voice actor). The game does go pretty far from the story itself, but due to the writer being involved in both it keeps the same feeling, tone, and overall message intact. The game is dark, disturbing, and challenging. It’s not only the player that is being forced to deal with the horrific events, but the characters themselves can also be negatively impacted by what’s around them, thus changing the outcome of the game. It’s all at once horrific and beautiful.

Gabriel Knight

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You play as lead character Gabriel Knight (never saw that coming) who is an owner of a bookstore. He discovers that he is meant to be a Shadow Hunter. The series unfolds as mystery horror games. Each one shows different cases that Gabriel must solve. While going through the games Gabriel is haunted by a number of terrifying things. From nightmares to actual enemies. It’s a dark but well done series.

Dark Seed

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Dark Seed features a normal world and then a “dark” world that is directly base on work by H.R. Giger. When you start with “inspired by Giger” you can only go to truly dark, horrific, but oddly beautiful places. The story itself follows Mike Dawson as he attempts to stop the dark world from over taking the normal world. The challenge of the game is that the clock is often unforgiving. So the game is sort of in a limbo between being a great point and click game and an unforgiving one.

Clock Tower

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It’s hard to sum up the entire series into a nice description. Many of the games are directly related to one another, but the stories themselves are challenging and far reaching. It is an impressive series, and went on to make a number of great spin offs as well. They are challenging, fear inspiring, and down right horrific at times. The series has taken inspiration from a number of other figures in horror, including (but not limited to) Dario Argento. It’s a great series, and a rather popular one that people often forget is a sign of how well point and click works together.

Decay- The Mare

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Moving into more modern horror point and click we have Decay- The Mare. This is another often overlooked but surprisingly pleasing horror game. It manages to build a lot of suspense and tension, making gamers almost want to stop solving puzzles because of what they will be faced with. Once you reach the end of the game and discover the secrets behind the horror it also stands out as one of the more unique horror games I’ve ever played.

The Cat Lady

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This game is not always classified as point and click, but I feel it really does belong there. It is a hard game to play. I don’t mean in that it is challenging, but that it is emotionally draining, forces gamers to deal with a large number of difficult subjects, and is just… hard. Despite that it’s also terrifying, and terrifyingly beautiful. It has a unique art style, and will stand out as one of the best games I’ve played in recent years.

These are by no means the only point and click horror games out there, they aren’t even all the good ones. However, they do paint a rather large picture of the two genres’ relationship. While again it’s easy to go straight to mystery or humor with point and click, it has had a pretty strong relationship with horror in the past. The modern revival of the point and click genre has a strong leaning towards horror, especially with indie games. So get out there and explore, you’ll find some pretty incredible point and click horror games.

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