Spotlight: Indie Horror
Updated: Mar 4
Happy Halloween! I had a real think about what I could post about for this most spooktacular day as there are so many different options to choose from! In the end however, I settled on highlighting some horror-themed games from the Indie TTRPG community that I'm excited to try and talk about!
There are so many mainstream horror-themed games that people play when they are in the mood for something scary! Video Game lovers may turn to survival horror titles such as Resident Evil, Until Dawn, or Dead By Daylight for the multi-player experience. Board game fanatics might sit down for a game of Betrayal At House On The Hill or Eldritch Horror. Those that enjoy the RPG experience will probably sit down for a spooky DnD One-Shot or a game of Call Of Cthulhu. But there are SO MANY Indie titles out there that are equally as engaging or fun and deserve just as much love and support! Websites like itch.io are a great place to find these! Let me give a few suggestions.
Lichcraft (Laurie O' Connel)
The Year is 2069.
The setting is Great Britain. The Tories have been in power since 2010. Due to National Health Service cuts, trans healthcare has become increasingly hard to access. The waiting list for a first appointment at a gender identity clinic is now 300 years. They don’t want to outright refuse you; that would imply that the health service is over capacity or underfunded. Instead they will simply add you to the end of the list and wait for you to die.
But they are fools. For you have learned the secrets of immortality. And you will get to the end of that waiting list, even if it means waiting another millennium...
When I read the concept for this game I immediately fell in love. Its hilarious and satirical take on the very real issues that trans people face everywhere (being British with trans friends myself I can confirm that this is a pretty accurate description of what goes on) while bringing in some elements of fantasy and a dystopian setting is ingenious. Its for 2+ Players and uses an interesting D6-pool resolution mechanic. On its own you can nab this game for $10, but currently it is also a part of the TTRPG Halloween Spooktacular bundle!
End Of The Line (Urania Games)
You and your friends have just survived a horrible accident that killed TONS of people. It sucks for them, but hey, at least you’re alive! Unfortunately, Death is seriously pissed, and will do whatever it takes to balance his books. Your only hope for survival? Kill somebody else, add their lifespan to yours, and hope beyond hope you don’t fuck up and die. Get through the day, plan during the nights, and try not to reach the END OF THE LINE.
Is Final Destination one of your favourite movies? Then this might be the game for you. If you aren't really after a game that's going to creep you out, and are more interested in a game that you can play with friends and have a ton of fun with then this is also a good shout! For 2-5 Players and using a very simple D4 system, it's easy to pick up and re-playable. It's currently Itchfunding and also available in the Trick And Treat bundle, or can be picked up for a very reasonable $2.34! Check it out!
The Northwood Fables (Mythical Mystery Games)
Penelope Press, a journalist with the Salchester Gazette, is investigating the bizarre, impossible events surrounding the Wytecliff family and the Northwood House. The events reveal an inconceivable world—one filled with unsettling monsters, arcane tricks, and eerie magic. These fables illustrate a family steeped in deception and a manor with secrets that permeate its walls. The contents of these tales are full of inexplicable illusions, harrowing adventures, malicious mischief, and—in many cases—murder. Will you be able to uncover the truth?
Raise your hand if you are a fan of murder mysteries, haunted houses, or both? Well then why not give The Northwood Fables a try? This is a game released in chapters, which is VERY exciting and it can be played either with 3-4 players, or using the single player ruleset! Episode 0 - A Northwood House Overture, is available for free if you wanted to try the game out first, and then Episode 1 - The Ghost Of Northwood House is a very reasonable $10 on their Itch page.
Lady Hope's Garden (JC Darcy)
All is fallen to rot and ruin. The King’s scions have fled the frantic peasant uprisings. The nobility, murdered in their homes. The fields are barren, and the granaries riddled with blight. Still, foul things fester in the Western Kingdoms. Lady Regina Hope was once renowned for her resplendent gardens. Since the uprising, the house and environs have lain abandoned. Now more barrow den than open garden, the overgrown hedges and borders are pervaded with steely black thorns. The greenhouse now yields only sticky lichens and swollen, putrefied fruits. And here she has stayed. In the quiet gloaming, she nurtures her children, her hopes for the future, her legacy. Their withered forms droop from branches or huddle under mounds of soil, preparing to overcome the darkness that shall swallow the darkness. Her fecund children will outlive her. Outlive us all.
When I stumbled across the MORK BÖRG system I was instantly intrigued. The in-your-face visuals coupled with rather horrifying concepts really spark the imagination. But it was stumbling across this add-on that really made me want to try it out, and I think fans of the RPG will love it! It adds new player classes, locations, treasures AND monsters and for an AMAZINGLY priced £3.25? Pick this up immediately!
Bar The Windows, Bolt The Doors (Stoneshore)
The town of Inchwick holds a deadly secret. In its dark woods, in its maze-like streets, in the depths of the old coal-mine, nefarious rituals are carried out for the veneration of a terrible, unseen master. You have stumbled across their secret.
Now they are coming for you.
This survival horror TTRPG experience looks like a TON of fun for a Halloween night with friends. You play as a group of outsiders defending a remote cabin against various monsters and dangers, and plays on every horror film trope you've ever seen in the BEST WAY. It's simple - designed for 2-6 Players using only 1d6, 1d12 and a deck of cards to play. It's fast-paced with plenty of opportunity to replay for a different experience each time. Alone, it's available for $10, but as part of the TTRPG Halloween Spooktacular bundle, you can grab this and a ton of other games for a BARGAIN.
Basic Witches (Alicia Furness)
Basic Witches is a game of teen femmes casting spells with pumpkin spice lattes and making sigils with liquid lipstick to hex high school sexual predators and ace exams.
I'm a bit of a sucker for YA novels, and the high-school themed supernatural antics really sold this game to me. I love the visuals - simple, yet well-designed with character creation and GM instructions included. The concept is really fun too! It is part of the TTRPG Halloween Spooktacular bundle but can also be picked up for $3 alone.
English Eerie (Trollish Delver Games)
English Eerie is a storytelling game about horror in rural England.
The game takes inspiration from folklore, along with the works of M.R. James, Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood to help players tell their own haunted tales of the English countryside.
You didn't think I'd be able to go a whole article without talking about a Solo Journaling RPG did you? Especially a spooky one! I grew up loving tales of the haunted English countryside, and what I love abut this is I can write fictitious experiences that bring me back to some of those stories! Not much is needed to play - a journal, a pen, a deck of cards, a d12 and two different coloured sets of tokens (you could easily use beads for this). It's an easy purchase as it's currently marked at Pay What You Want (suggested price - £4). If you're spending Halloween alone, and want to scare yourself silly, try one of the five included adventures in this game out!
These are just a few suggestions, but there are an absolute TON of games available to try at really good prices, and I would definitely recommend snapping up the bundles that I've mentioned in this post ASAP as they will soon be gone!
Do you have a favourite Halloween game to play? Will you be trying one of these out? Let me know!