Horror

On Its Anniversary, Check out These Fresh Horror Games You Can Play on the Nintendo Game Boy

It’s no surprise that after 35 years, people are still playing Nintendo’s classic grey brick in the Game Boy. What is surprising (well, not really) is that fans are developing and releasing games for the system. Thanks to programs like GB Studio, you too can develop your own Game Boy games, and that of course includes horror games. And there are plenty of ’em. So rather than listing off the usual suspects that includes Castlevania, Contra, and the like for the Game Boy’s anniversary, here’s a selection of more recent handheld horrors that you (if you have the right equipment) can play in all their spinach-coloured glory.

Batty Zabella

Developer Ice Cold Blood’s mix of horror and comedy a la Elvira in Game Boy form, Batty Zabella puts you as the eponymous heroine as she tries to save her family and rid her home of phantoms. The game plays out much like the classic Shadowgate on the NES, where you use the D-pad to move a cursor around the screen. Moving the cursor over objects will generate a response from Zabella, indicating what you should do next. In addition to a ROM, you can also purchase the game as a cartridge from Retro Room Games.

Deadeus

For those of the Lovecraft persuasion, -IZMA-‘s Deadeus is for you. This open-world Lovecraftian adventure game centers around a small boy who has a prophetic nightmare that reveals to him that everyone will die in 3 days. The boy now has to investigate his village to see how he can save them, if at all. The game has 11 endings and no direct path, leaving it up to the player to decide the best course of action. Much like Batty Zabella, you can also snag this in a nice physical version at incube8 Games.

Silent Hill Play Novel

Play Novel: Silent Hill is a Japan-only adaptation of the original Silent Hill that was released in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance. So naturally, you have to do a demake for the Game Boy, which is what Diega did. While it’s still in development (you can only play Harry’s scenario at the moment), Silent Hill Play Novel is still very functional, and includes a pretty good translation. The next version of the game will include Cybil’s scenario.

Bitterroot

Described by developer Horatiu.nyc as an exercise to see how far the limitations of the Game Boy can be pushed to create a true atmospheric game, Bitterroot is the story of the cursed Bitterroot Mansion, and the secrets it holds. You take on the role of a stranded stranger, who ends up trapped in the mansion. The game requires you to search for key items in order to escape mansion. All the while, you’ll fight off its otherworldly inhabitants, and try to piece together the origins of the curse.

Cryohazard

burst_error’s Cryohazard is a concoction that’s inspired by classic point and click games, Choose Your Own Adventure books, and B-movie horror. The story has you waking up from a cryogenic sleep in a dilapidated research facility. Said facility is also full of monstrous mutants. As you might expect from it’s inspirations, there are multiple endings for this game, along with numerous gruesome deaths.

Cargo

Another title from Horatiu.nyc, Cargo has you playing as Moira, a scavenger who receives a tip about an abandoned ship with mysterious cargo on it that “a lot of very important people want.” So, you head on over to check it out. In order to claim the cargo, you’ll have to make your way to the main deck, but you’ll also have to manage your oxygen and ammo in order to get there. What you find should have stayed lost.

Soul Void

Developed by Kadabura, this 1-3 experience is one for fans of body horror. You play as someone who has found themselves in an underground realm between life and death known as the Soul Void. Unlike others who are also in the Soul Void, you aren’t dead. Nor are you wanting to stick around. As such, you have to figure out why you’re in this place, and how to get back home. Along the way, you’ll encounter individuals whose bodies are in various forms of, shall we say, distress.

The Melting Apartment

A giallo on the Game Boy? Mixed with Junji Ito? flower studio’s title starts out simple enough: you play as an investigator assigned to find a young woman who has disappeared after moving into an old building at the edge of town. Remembering your gun this time, you’ve got to find her, and ultimately escape with your lives. Gameplay has you moving around the building to examine points of interest. You also meet several of the other residents in the building, who add to the disturbing atmosphere.

204863

We all miss the “What if?” of P.T.. Jonshaw01 certainly did, so they remade P.T. for the Game Boy. Don’t be fooled by the Pokémon-esque overhead view, as you’ll be creeped out pretty quickly while wandering the hallways. There’s also a hint menu that you can call up in case you get stuck.

The Dead in My Living Room

Don’t you hate it when you wake up to find something weird happened? MeteorArts’ eerie atmospheric title has a man named Jack waking up after an uneasy sleep to find the dead body of an unknown person in his living room. That’s on top of a few other things going on, including Jack’s wife being dead, a rather large spider roaming around your house, and Jack’s odd fascination with a plant that he’s been growing. The developer even has a short film that dives deeper into Jack’s story.

Opossum Country

Another short bit of horror, Opossum Country sees you as a delivery driver who while on a delivery finds himself in an isolated trailer park. Naturally, something isn’t quite right. Then again, you probably could’ve gathered that from the first resident, who warns you to move on quickly. However, your concern for one resident leads you to stumble into a situation that was best left alone.

Neighbor

Yet another title by Horatiu.nyc, Neighbor has you playing as a young woman who has just found a spacious apartment for a great deal. A dream apartment, for sure. But as you might expect, there’s a reason why the place was such a bargain. Comprised of three chapters, Neighbor has two separate endings in the first two chapters, as well as several hidden secrets that expand the game’s world.

Feed IT Souls

A Metroidvania, you are the offspring of IT. What’s IT? IT is a bio-technological monstrosity that requires delicious souls for sustenance. It’s your job to find said souls to feed IT. As you feed IT, his power grows, as does your own. Every soul retrieved will enhance your mobility as you explore your surroundings. Feed IT Souls features two difficulty modes, including a “butt clenching precision platforming” Hard Mode. There are also 25 lost eggs located throughout the map. Find all of them to unlock a Bonus Mode.

Days Without

Elvies’ Days Without focuses on the bleakness that comes with the zombie apocalypse. A narrative-driven survival horror game with the expected gunplay, you play as Job an orphaned boy who finds himself in the midst of the end of the world. Depending on your choices, you can encounter one of five different endings.

The Mist

Not related to the Stephen King classic, Yliader’s game still has some Lovecraftian tinge to it. The story goes that you’ve been sent to work for a few months at a lighthouse after the previous keeper mysteriously went missing. Your tasks involve lighting the lighthouse’s lamp each night. However, with an approaching storm, you’re haunted by strange dreams at night. That, and it seems as if there’s something calling to you from below the lighthouse itself.

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