While we appreciate Western horror’s slashers and CGI-infused jumpscares, Asian horror also has a distinct way of scaring us viewers– thriving from beliefs that are close to home, like curses and local urban legends, and slowly building up dread before a terrifying climax. But this style of Asian horror does not just apply to films or TV series, as video games created by Asian developers also create that distinct atmosphere for players.
If you’re looking for such video games, this list has you covered! We’ve rounded up some Asian horror games that can be fun and terrifying at the same time! Note that to give more attention to lesser-known titles, this list skipped some of the globally recognized horror games from Japan, such as the Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and The Evil Within franchises. If you haven’t played those, be sure to also add them to your list of games to play soon!
PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, & Nintendo Switch
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is the fifth installment in Japan’s Fatal Frame, aka Project Zero, series. It puts players in the shoes of different protagonists as they try to uncover the truth behind the mysterious incidents in Mt. Hikami. Along the way, you will be faced with vengeful ghosts trying to drag you into the afterlife, but with the help of your camera obscura, you can defeat these spirits and be able to see their last moments in Mt. Hikami, leaving clues on what really happens in the sacred mountain.
PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, & Android
Taiwan’s Detention is a 2D side-scroller set in the 1960s when Taiwan was under Martial Law. It follows two high school students who got trapped inside their school, which has transformed in unsettling ways. To escape, the player must navigate the haunted campus that’s filled with tricky puzzles and evil creatures.
Mad Father Remake
In this horror adventure puzzle game from Japan, players take the role of Aya Drevis, an 11-year-old girl who must uncover the secrets of the Drevis mansion where terrifying experiments are being conducted every night. Make use of dangerous tools such as knives, hammers, chainsaws, and bottles of eyeballs to survive and discover the truth.
PC, PlayStation 4, Android, & iOS
White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is a chilling horror stealth game from Korea. Set on the eve of the gift-giving holiday White Day, the young student Hee-Min slips into school to hide a box of candies for the girl he likes. But soon, he finds himself trapped in the building with a killer janitor and the souls of the dead close on his heels. Play as Hee-Min and survive the night in the haunted school that’s full of secrets and horrors.
Set during the night of the Hungry Ghost Festival, this first-person horror game follows a group of young people who gathered in Kowloon Walled City to shoot for their online supernatural channel “Beyond the Invisible”. But as the crew members begin to disappear one by one, Ah Lok finds himself faced with a series of terrifying phenomena. The only thing that pushes him is to find their actress Kathy and get her out of there as soon as possible.
This Chinese horror game will also be appreciated by puzzle-loving players. Plagued by nightmares of paper dolls attacking you, you decide to take your daughter to your ex-wife. But when your disorientation causes theca, you find your daughter missing and your search for her leads you to a deserted Asian mansion. As you investigate further inside the mansion, a tale of terror buried for a hundred years starts to unravel.
This horror game gives players a dip into Indonesian folklore. Explore haunted places, interact with mystical objects, and discover the mysteries involving Indonesian myth, coupled with the country’s taboo and culture. Ultimately, survive the night filled with horrors in every turn.
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters
This Korean survival horror game is presented as a 2D side-scroller. You play as Mina Park, a Sehwa High student who suddenly awakens in her school during the night. The school that was once so familiar looked eery, and she finds herself being stalked by a sinister figure that looks like her teacher. To survive, she must explore the school and its surrounding district where she will have to face mysterious beings and creepy creatures.
BONUS: Ikai (Demo)
PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, & Nintendo Switch
This psychological horror game is another title to look forward to, set to release on March 29 this year with a demo now available on Steam. Steeped with the darkest tales from Japanese folklore, the game takes the player to the feudal era where a priestess of a shrine must defeat the spirits of both her past and present.