Are There Horror Strategy Games?

Do you know what really ruins the tension of a horror game? Ease! If you’re simply walking from room to room, waking to be spooked, you might find yourself bored, wiping any chance for scares. If you’re a lover of horror games, you might want to dial up the tension by adding a puzzle element. The best horror games add some strategy to make you really sweat. Now you have a problem to solve and usually a deadline to meet, often in the form of a guy with an axe reaching you. If that sounds interesting to you, take a look at our list of the best horror strategy games for your next midnight gaming session.

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (2005)

Every Lovecraft fan will be happy to know there is a horror strategy game called Call of Cthulhu, not to be confused with the 2018 version. Inspired specifically by the novella, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, it’s set in 1922 and follows protagonist Jack Walters as he investigates disappearances in the eerie town of Innsmouth. This real-time strategy game brings madness and horror together in an oppressive atmosphere of isolation and paranoia, which needs puzzles and investigation to survive. Though buggier than other RTS games, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth has been praised for its horror elements.

Silent Hill (1999)

There’s nothing like a classic to get you scared. Have you ever noticed the scariest movies are the ones with the grainy, dark films that really scare the most? Games are the same. The more they improve in resolution the less they leave a mark.

Silent Hill is a classic that should never be remastered. That fog that was due to the game reloading is iconic for its fear-inducing use. Focused more on psychological horror and atmosphere than combat, it has puzzles and resource conservation that require strategic thinking.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017)

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is iconic for being one of the most effective depictions of mental health. Your protagonist, to avoid diagnosing a warrior woman in a grimy Celtic fantasy world, is hearing voices. It’s recommended that you wear headphones to get the full effect of intrusive thoughts telling her to turn back while you traverse through a forest to find the soul of her dead husband. In this reverse take on Orpheus’ story, you have to endure combat with carefully timed dodges, blocks, and attacks to defeat horrific enemies and solve a series of puzzles complicated, or sometimes aided, by hallucinations to get past gates and progress.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

Though light on the horror and heavy on the Spider-Man inspiration, Ghostwire: Tokyo is nonetheless filled with horror aspects. The villain is a kabuki mask-wearing supernatural scientist trying to revive his family, but the way he does that is to spread horror across Japan. In between the main game story, you can travel around the city cleansing it of demons and the haunting creatures and atmosphere they bring.

The Dark Pictures Anthologies

We’re cheating a little bit since The Dark Pictures Anthology is not made up of many games. So far we have Man of Medan in 2019, Little Hope in 2020, House of Ashes in 2021 and The Devil in Me in 2022. The Man of Medan was inspired by a ghost ship during World War II, Little Hope the Salem Witch Trials, House of Ashes Alien and Predator, and The Devil in Me, a Holmes-esque serial killer. So you’ve got the full range of spirits, space, and other popular horror tropes. It’s full of celebrity cameos so at least you can be scared of Sharpay while you’re playing. Must like the famed Little Nightmares series, it’ll really leave a mark.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!