Video games have come a long way since the Pong days, and with a heavier and heavier focus on narrative, more cinematic qualities have become present in recent days. So what’s the obvious place to look for inspiration when it comes to adding a narrative flair in this ever-emerging medium? Slasher movies, of course! Let’s go! Here are five badass video games based on 80’s slasher movies!
Power Drill Massacre
Retro games are cool, but it seems like every single throwback title we see is exclusively harkening back to the NES days. That’s where Puppet Combo and their game, Power Drill Massacre comes in. Not only does it perfectly capture the feel of low budget 80’s slasher movies, but it’s done in the style of a PS1 game, complete with gross polygonal character models and blurry face textures. What’s genius about the whole thing is that even when the PS1 was out, 80’s slasher flicks already would have been retro. Only a demo is out so far, but even in this state it’s already incredibly difficult and nerve-racking. You wander around an abandoned building until inevitably a masked killer with a power drill destroys your life. Have fun trying to survive!
I’m sure that this one needs no introduction, as it was pretty popular upon its recent release. Much in the vein of Telltale’s The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones choice-based narrative games, Until Dawn pretty much has you playing through an ’80s slasher movie as the entire cast of characters, and your choices will decide who lives and who gets brutally murdered. There’s a bit of a Saw twist to the killer, but he looks more like a combination of Hatchet’s Victor Crowley and Babyface of The Hills Run Red. Awesome. What brings this one above and beyond are the really unexpected places the story goes in the second half. If it hasn’t been spoiled, you won’t see it coming.
This one’s a classic, but unfortunately it was never released in the States. Sure, there was a game called Clock Tower that made its way over here, but that was actually the sequel. The original Clock Tower was a Super Famicom point-and-click game based loosely on Dario Argento’s film, Phenomena, with a villain ripped straight from The Burning. The “Scissor Man” is kind of terrifying when he appears, and for someone half your size that’s pretty hard to pull off. The fact that you don’t directly control your character and you have absolutely zero chance to fight makes the chase sequences of the game even more tense. It’s dated for sure, but it’s absolutely worth another look, especially now that series creator Hifumi Khono is working on his spiritual successor, Nightcry.
Similar to the recently announced Friday the 13th video game, Last Year is an isometric multiplayer match, pitting a group of teen archetypes against a vicious killer. Last Year launched its Kickstarter campaign way before Friday the 13th and has an expected release of November, 2016. What’s cool and puts this one a step up is the variety of killers and locations, featuring nods to the aforementioned Friday the 13th, Halloween, as well as plenty others.
The Lakeview Cabin Collection is another retro game. It features 8-bit graphics with a tone similar to Hotline Miami and a look sort of like Broforce. You enter a movie theatre and attempt to survive each “movie,” which are all nods to classic slasher flicks. The first one is Friday the 13th and the second is Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but they have enough details changed up to still feel fresh. It’s very easy to get yourself killed and at least in the first chapter, setting up before the killer arrives is everything. It’s a really unique and interesting take on the subject and absolutely worth checking out.