There are plenty of articles dedicated to the best horrors in honour of Halloween. But what about those at the other end of the scale: releases so toe-curlingly bad that, rather than covering your eyes in fright they have you laughing at the screen in disbelief?
As if making ourselves watch the trailers for the worst-rated games on Steam earlier this year wasn’t painful enough, my other-half and I recently decided to subject our minds to a special extended Halloween edition. Read on to find out about the worst-rated titles with a ‘horror’ tag currently on the platform and our reactions to them. Prepare to be scared… or probably not.
10. Bunker 58
Steam rating: Negative (0%)
Example review: What the game description on the store page should be: ‘After playing this game, you will question yourself how much the devs value their reputation, and how far will they go to pursue their dreams.’
Kim: “Oh look. Zombies, now there’s a surprise. Hang on a minute – did that zombie just run through a wall?”
Pete: “Yeah. This looks absolutely terrible.”
Kim: “It just seems really boring, like the same thing over and over again.”
Pete: “I wouldn’t play it even if it was free.”
Kim: “What, no jump-scare ending?”
Pete: “Now I’m really disappointed.”
Steam rating: Very Negative (19%)
Example review: I’d rather have someone squeeze my nipples until they lactated than ever even look in this game’s general direction ever again.
Kim: “Ok, I can’t seem to find a trailer for this game anywhere so you’ll just need to look at the description and screenshots for this one. *Reads description out loud*”
Pete: “If you’re not going to have a trailer and are going to rely on your write-up, you’re going to need to come up with a better description than that. I’ve not even seen the screenshots yet and I already don’t want to play the game.”
Kim: “And now for the screenshots!”
Pete: “I don’t really want to see them.”
Kim: “Tough. *Shows screenshots*”
Pete: “I still don’t want to play it.”
8. VIGIL: Blood Bitterness
Steam rating: Very Negative (17%)
Example review: No other game quite has the gameplay or graphical stylings that this does. However it soon becomes apparent WHY no other game has these.
Pete: “Well he looks about as evil as my arse. I’m sure Frank Miller appreciates the Sin City rip-off but the rest of us aren’t so bothered.”
Kim: “I kind of like the way it looks though. I wonder why the reviews are so bad?”
Pete: “Because it’s quite obviously s**t.”
Kim: “Ok, it seems as if the majority of people on Steam are complaining about technical issues. They’re reporting a lot of bugs.”
Pete: “I suppose ‘buggy as hell’ sounds about right for a horror game.”
Kim: “Maybe we’ll skip over this one too then.”
7. The Tower
Steam rating: Very Negative (16%)
Example review: This isn’t a game, it’s a poorly designed chore. An actual chore wouldn’t have you bumping into invisible walls the entire time.
Pete: “Well that doesn’t look that bad, compared to the other ones anyway.”
Kim: “Considering all these games come up under a search for ‘horror’ on Steam, I’m really surprised at the lack of jump-scares we’ve had so far.”
Pete: “The developers were just trying to build the atmosphere with that trailer.”
Kim: “Sounds as if you’re contemplating buying it then.”
Pete: “No. No I’m not.”
Kim: “Let’s move onto the next one then, shall we?”
6. VERGE:Lost Chapter
Steam rating: Very Negative (16%)
Example review: One of those games that even if they paid you to play would be considered a horrible waste of time.
Pete: “Surely if you had several dismembered bodies hanging from chains from the ceilings, the floor wouldn’t be spotless would it?”
Kim: “Maybe they cleaned up before we arrived.”
Pete: “What is this game? A zombie-type thing?”
Kim: “*Reads description out loud*… but is it really abandoned? ”
Pete: “Well apart from the monsters and the cleaner, obviously not.”
Kim: “I hope they get paid well.”
5. Age of Survival
Steam rating: Very Negative (15%)
Example review: [insert negative review here]
Pete: “A dude threw sticks at an elephant.”
Kim: “I can’t believe we’ve just watched a trailer where some guy takes ages to craft a beating stick, which then just turns out to be a branch.”
Pete: “It’s quite obvious that the person who did the backgrounds isn’t the same person who drew the sticks.”
Kim: “So this is a horror game about sticks then?”
Pete: “And elephants. And there was a helicopter.”
Kim: “Nope. Still not getting it.”
4. The Culling 2
Steam rating: Very Negative (15%)
Example review: If you for some reason bought this game, remember that it is possible to get a refund.
Pete: “Yet another battle royale game. It wasn’t really horror though, was it?”
Kim: “Yes it was. It’s an example of how horrifying it is that developers want to continue ripping off Fortnite.”
Pete: “Still wasn’t horror though, was it? Although I suppose any game where you’re shooting someone is now classified as a horror. I expect more from the genre.”
Kim: “Can we go back to Bunker 58? At least that game had zombies.”
Pete: “Would you really want to go back?”
Kim: “On second thought, maybe not.”
3. Skyscraper Simulator
Steam rating: Very Negative (6%)
Steam rating: Very fun, if you like watching paint dry.
Pete: “Another one. How is this horror?”
Kim: “Either the Steam tags are screwed or the reviewers have been having a bit of a joke.”
Pete: “I don’t know what’s worse: the game itself, or the fact they’ve marked it as a horror. Someone call Trading Standards and get that sorted out.”
Kim: “The game is so bad, that even the backing track sounds like a death march.”
Pete: “It just wasn’t a horror. I don’t understand. Why is it in the horror category? Why is it there? And why would building a skyscraper be entertaining in a video game anyway?”
Kim: “Sweetheart, I think you just need to let this one go.”
Steam rating: Overwhelmingly Negative (19%)
Example review: The only good thing about this game is that after the insufferable torture that is GASP, they were kind enough to plant a massive tumor in my head to end my misery.
Pete: “What was that that just hit his head?”
Kim: “*Laughs hysterically*”
Pete: “He must be the unluckiest astronaut alive.”
Kim: “*More hysterical laughing*”
Pete: “*Joins in with hysterical laughing*”
Kim: “That has to be the funniest thing I’ve watched in a very long time.”
1. Flatout 3: Chaos & Destruction
Steam rating: Overwhelmingly Negative (12%)
Example review: After playing this game, buying a noose seems like a great idea.
Pete: “Hang on, didn’t this one come up the last time we looked at bad games on Steam? The one with the really bad physics.”
Kim: “Yes, this is the one. Still got dem physics.”
Pete: “Apparently it’s one of the best driving games of the year according to the trailer.”
Kim: “But notice how that’s not even a quote – the line isn’t attributed to anybody. The developers just slapped the text in there.”
Pete: “And also notice how it’s still not a horror game.”
Kim: “So much for a great Halloween post.”
That’s all we can take for now – we’re going to lie down in a dark room for a while and recover. If you made it to the end of this post, congratulations on making it through and have a excellent Halloween!