Horror games offer a level of terror that no other medium can match – that’s how they do it

The best horror games put the player in a constant state of fear and increase the tension by introducing new monsters and scenery. But how exactly do they do this? And what elements really make a horror game scary in ways other mediums aren’t?

Horror games have a lot in common, with one of the more obvious ideas centered around using darkness to instill in the player insecurity and fear of the unknown. Memorable creature designs are equally expected, be it creepy ghost children, the iconic Xenomorph or a big white dude patrolling a farm. Spooky music and panicky sound design can be more than enough to startle a player, especially if they carefully patrol every hallway in anticipation of a jumpscare.