• Rebecca Gallon

10 Spooky Interactive Stories To Try

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

2020. For some it was a positive year, for others it might have been the worst year of their lives. One thing is sure, for everyone 2020 was a strange year. Why not make 2020's Halloween strange too to fit this crazy year? Instead of watching Saw for the 10th time you could try some unique interactive stories!

From VR to interactive audio stories, here are my top 10 picks of spooky interactive stories:

  1. ØRDESA (2020, Nicolas Pelloille-Oudart & Frederic Jamain)

ØRDESA is a French interactive film that was released this month. This experience is on the border between video game and movie. In ØRÐESA the viewer embodies a ghostly presence, invisible on the screen, but whose movements can modify the scenery and be felt by the other protagonists in the film. By interacting with the image, the viewer's actions can have an immediate impact or one that becomes visible later in the film. Some interactions affect objects or elements of the set. Others make the characters react and can influence the story. Some interactions are required to keep the story moving. If viewers do not trigger them, they eventually get stuck in a loop until they interact.

ØRDESA is available on Google Play, the App Store and Apple TV for £3. https://ordesa.arte.tv/

2. Blair Witch Oculus Quest (2020, Bloober Team)

Blair Witch: Oculus Quest Edition is a story-driven psychological horror VR game based on the cinematic world of Blair Witch. Ellis, a former police officer with a troubled past, joins the search for a missing boy in the iconic Black Hills Forest near Burkittsville, Maryland. What starts as an ordinary investigation will soon make you confront your darkest nightmares - and an ominous force known as the Blair Witch. But you’re not going in alone: your trusty canine sidekick, Bullet, is by your side. He’s your eyes, ears, and nose in these treacherous and terrifying woods. The game has been rebuilt for Oculus Quest to offer a uniquely immersive and horrifying VR experience. With environments redesigned for more interactivity, new Bullet mechanics - such as gesture commands, actual hand-based petting and fetching - and additional creature encounters, you will experience the eerie atmosphere of the Black Hills Forest like never before.

If you don't have VR equipment, the game has also been available for more than a year on Xbox One, PlayStation, Switch and PC. Blair Witch Oculus Quest will be available on the 29th October for $30 here: https://blairwitchgame.com/news/blair-witch-oculus-quest-edition

3. Simulacra (2017, Kaigan Games OU)

Simulacra is an interactive horror experience where you explore a missing woman's phone to understand what happened to her. Through her texts, photos and more you will discover scary facts about her past. This is a lost phone game, a type of game that was quite popular a few years ago.

Simulacra is availble on Steam for £4. https://store.steampowered.com/app/712730/SIMULACRA/

4. 5 Minutes (2014, Unit 9)

Winner of the FWA’s 2014 People’s Choice Award, Five Minutes is the ultimate zombie countdown experience. In this interactive film, players have to stop the main character from turning into a zombie by keeping him focused on his memories. The tension mounts as you trace shapes on the screen (or try to) in order to fight the zombies.

This game offers three different levels (tourist, moderate or hell). You can play it for free here: http://www.fiveminutes.gs/

5. 63rd and Wallace (2019, Wanderword)

This audio story is made for Amazon's Alexa. 63rd and Wallace is a interactive horror story in 4 episodes, inspired by true events. It takes players on a terrifying journey for survival through the infamous murder castle in Chicago, exploring and unravelling its darkest secrets. Each puzzle solved brings them one step closer to the inevitable encounter with Dr. H.H. Holmes himself.

The first episode is free on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wanderword-63rd-and-Wallace/dp/B07MGK7FBD . (It might not be available worldwide)

6. Telling Lies (2019, Sam Barlow)

This interactive thriller is not led by a narrative thread but by you the player! Using key words on a fake computer interface, explore hundreds of stolen videos to solve a mystery. Slowly, you start to discover a web of lies to unravel. This game was created by Sam Barlow and produced by Annapurna Interactive, both key players in the interactive storytelling world. Sam Barlow created Her Story, another staple of interactive storytelling I recommend!

Telling Lies is available for £15 on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/762830/Telling_Lies/

7. REPUBLIQUE (2019, Simon Bouisson)

It's 10pm in Paris. In this interactive film made for mobile phones, two Youtubers, two laywers and a student are in the Place de la Republique when a terrorist attack occurs. Follow their stories through their Instagram livestreams. This type of parallele narrative very realistic and therefore engaging! You can jump from one story to the other to see how different people react to this stressful situation.

Republique is available for free here: https://republique-le-film.francetv.fr/en/ (It might not be availble worldwide).

8. Monster Prom (2018, Beautiful Glitch)

Maybe you love monsters but prefer not to be scared this Halloween? Then Monster Prom is for you! This dating sim game with a twist is great fun. Set in a monster High School, it gives you 3 weeks to get a date with a fellow monster. Experience absurd comic situations, raise your stats and persuade one of your classmates to fall for you.

Monster Prom is available on Steam for £12: https://store.steampowered.com/app/743450/Monster_Prom/

9. The House on the Haunted Hill (1959, Willliam Castle)

In this film, a millionaire offers a group of diverse people $1,000,000 to spend the night in a haunted house with a horrifying past. I know I said 2020 was the year to try something different than a film but I couldn't resist including this one in the list! This film is one of the first interactive films ever made, in fact William Castle created the "emergo" technology specially for it. But it only worked in cinemas. In the original experience, skeletons dropped down from the ceiling at given moments of the film, like an outsized ghost train scare. Watching it today, you won't get the interactive element and you will probably laugh more than scream in fright but it's an interesting watch, and a milestone in the history of interactive cinema!

You can rent this film for £3 on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/House_on_Haunted_Hill_Restored?id=RGEHz16W4LU&hl=en&gl=US

10. Necrobarista (2019, Route 59)

I love this visual novel. In a back-alley Melbourne cafe, the dead are granted one last night to mingle with the living. The text is presented much more dynamically than in the average visual novel: it floats in the air, for instance, and it’s snappier and more interactive. This game also has an original, unique mechanism: you “collect” keywords by clicking on them as they appear in each passing sentence. You can only gather a limited number, so eventually you have to make choices about which ones to keep. The specific combination of your selected words shapes the direction of the story.

Necrobarista is availble for £15 on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/725270/Necrobarista/

So what are you waiting for? Click on the links above to do some spooky interacting. Happy and safe Halloween!

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