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Are You Brave Enough? 10 Nintendo Switch Horror Games that Spook

January 6, 2024 • April Miller

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Nintendo has built a reputation for being a family-friendly console. Fond memories of Wii Sports and hours of finding secrets in Mario games led to this image. Do fans of scarier games have anything to look forward to on this machine? Yes. Nintendo Switch horror games are out there, and they will test your resolve. These are our top recommendations for which games will keep spooky season alive, no matter the time of year.

Doki Doki Literature Club

We are starting strong with a deceptive visual novel. Meet Monika, the head of the school’s literature club. Here, you’ll also meet Sayori, Natsuki and Yuri — girls with diverse personalities with an intertwining passion for poetry and reading. Get to know them in this dating-sim style experience.

If you have never heard of Doki Doki Literature Club before, stay out of the loop. Let the pink, anime aesthetic lull you into a false sense of security. One quick internet search will reveal spoilers for the true psychological horror this game brings. Question your agency and get surprised at how much it twists your expectations. The Nintendo Switch re-release adds many extra features for fans of the original game, so it even warrants a replay. 

Detention

This horror game becomes even more horrific as its history and lore unravel right before your terrified eyes. Detention is a point-and-click game set in 1960s Taiwan. It follows two students, Wei and Ray, who find themselves trapped in their high school, tormented by wangliang — Chinese demons. Your goal is to guide them through without meeting a terrible fate.

The game is a stunning yet ominous look at the White Terror period of Taiwan’s history dominated by martial law, which is just as haunting as the game’s atmosphere.

person with nintendo switch controllers attached to pants

PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo

In this mystery adventure, you will feel like a necromancer in your mission to bring back someone from the dead. With a more supernatural lean, this has a different horror vibe than the rest of the entries on this list. Curses, rites and mythology abound for Shogo Okiie, the main character who gets too close to a ghost story. The strategizing in this one might distract you, but only temporarily, from the horrors that await.

Little Nightmares Series

How are developers so good at making side-scrolling horror games so scary? The Little Nightmares series has developed a cult following for a reason. With its mastery over environmental storytelling, the lore is as mind-bending as the ambiance is fear-inducing. From grotesque body horror to panicked chase scenes, don’t be fooled as you play the endearing Six and Mono in their respective games. Dark secrets lurk in their hearts and stomachs.

Amnesia Series

The Amnesia series has a long history with horror fans, but its re-release on the Switch is worth noting. These three games have some of the most fascinating and stressful mechanics in psychological horror. For example, in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, sanity is a core mechanic. Players lose their wits every eight seconds until they succumb to the darkness. 

Mad Father

Walk through a demented house with an even more twisted family as you play as Aya Drevis. Discover the relationships between her father and mother as you walk through and solve puzzles to navigate a family home transformed by trauma and malicious intent. The pixel art is as nostalgic as it is disturbing, as the character sprites and dialog create an unforgettable atmosphere. Beware the occasional jump scare.

SIGNALIS

This is one of the top horror games of 2023. Fear the future in a dystopian nightmare with cosmic horror vibes. In this game, you are Elster and you want to find your dreams. However, nothing seems right.

Can you survive the mind-bending puzzles and psychological torment when everything seems to be falling into disarray? Is it a good thing that humans have traversed the entire solar system? Is there something unsettling about how this dystopian future utilizes surveillance tech? With unique art direction and chilling narratives, you’ll be sitting with this one for a long time.

nintendo switch pro controller close up

Little Misfortune

Little Misfortune has the art style of a storybook and a naive main character in a world of chaos. Explore a world, led by the mysterious Mr. Voice in search of true happiness. It has the horrifying undertones of a fairy tale instead of a monster story, but it will leave you with the paranoia and existential dread of a Lovecraftian story. Who can you trust? Can love override the shadows of bad luck?

Darkwood

Darkwood is a survival game set in the woods, so you’re already off to a great start for scares. The trees are more than looming in the dark — they are engulfing the entire region. Discover how the trees are spreading sickness, killing citizens and putting you in danger.

This has more gameplay mechanics than other games on this list in which players predominantly walk around, interact with the environment, and solve puzzles. Darkwood has combat, stealth and skills to perfect. You’ll need them in an attempt to survive the woods come nighttime. There is only so much daylight to wrestle together a strategy. You take it one day at a time as the forest’s assailants remain at the ready. For a slow burn game with a true test of challenge, Darkwood might be the game for you.

The Witch’s House MV

The Witch’s House is an old RPG Maker-style game that has been revitalized. You are Viola, and much like in Mad Father, you are journeying through a mysterious home with secrets to find. This game is rife with body horror and disturbing ultimatums. Death is everywhere, and puzzles are ready for you to solve, if you can stay alive.

From monsters crawling toward you quickly in the dark to unexpected gore, the story might make you want to unread what you just read. Also, playing with headphones is highly encouraged for the full shiver-inducing experience.

Nintendo Switch Horror Games

You can purchase any of these games from the Nintendo eShop, though some have physical editions for collectors. From popular Nintendo Switch horror games like Resident Evil and Outlast, underneath that hype are other hidden gems to keep you scared all year. We couldn’t include every incredible horror game out there, but here are a few potentially understated titles. Did we miss any of your favorites?



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