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Niche Games to Watch in 2021: Horror Games

Little Nightmares II

Last time, I highlighted some of the action-adventure games releasing in 2021. If you missed them, you can also find similar articles on roguelites, platformers and Metroidvanias, city builders and management sims, strategy games, RPGs, and shooters.

Today, I’ll be showcasing a small sampling of the horror video games coming our way this year. As always, I’ll be taking special care to feature predominately niche, indie, or middleware games that you might not have heard of yet.

You’ll find everything up to and including traditional survival-horror, psychological horror, or more action orientated games with a heavy emphasis on resource management and horror elements. If you like being scared out of your mind while being chased down by eldritch abominations or haywire automata, then chances are you’ll find something to be interested in today.

Here is Niche Gamer’s selection of 15 of the most promising horror video games releasing in 2021:


Scorn
Developer: Ebb Software
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox Series X
Release Date: TBA 2021

Scorn

After a long stretch of silence, Scorn suddenly reappeared again last year during an Xbox Series X event stream. Hopefully, this means that we will soon get a chance to explore the game’s revolting H.R. Giger-inspired maze that blends advanced alien technologies with biological material.

Even the guns have a disgusting, “living” look to them, complete with squishy sound effects as you reload and manipulate them. Don’t let the fact that Scorn has guns fool you though, resources are scarce and it’s often better to run from the disturbing creatures that lurk in the depths of its pulsating flesh mazes.

 

Atomic Heart
Developer: Mundfish
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Release Date: TBA 2021

Atomic Heart

Another game I’ve personally been eagerly waiting for is Atomic Heart, which will finally, hopefully, release sometime this year. Atomic Heart leans more towards the FPS side of the spectrum, but it does feature a emphasis on resource conservation and unnerving atmosphere.

The quick pitch is that Atomic Heart is essentially Russian BioShock. You play as a Soviet agent sent to investigate the remote outpost of Facility 3826 after it goes radio silent. What you find there is a madhouse where the advanced technology that was built to save the Soviet Union now threatens to destroy it, and everything else.

 

Industria
Developer: Bleakmill
Publisher: Headup
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Industria

Another game involving an alternate history Soviet Union and robots is Industria.

The game is set November 9th, 1989, the day that crowds overwhelmed the Berlin Wall and East Germany effectively collapsed. You play as Nora, a scientist from East Berlin, who finds herself transported to a surreal alternate reality. This bizarre world looks like Nora’s own, but it’s full of deadly robots and intrigue that she must unravel if she is to return to her own time and reality.

 

Saturnalia
Developer: Santa Ragione
Publisher: The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: Q2 2021

Saturnalia

Saturnalia is a survival horror game with roguelite elements and some rather striking visuals. The game is set in a small and remote Italian village in 1989. There have been many disappearances from this village over the decades, and a group of strangers decide to team up to learn why.

Unravel the mysteries surrounding the village, and the strange rituals its residents perform during the winter solstice. Each member of your team is effectively a single life, and you’ll swap between them until you manage to escape the village, or until they are all killed off one by one.

 

Hidden Deep
Developer: Cogwheel Software 
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Hidden Deep

Last year saw the release of Carrion, a 2D “reverse horror” game inspired by classic sci-fi movies like Aliens and The Thing. Hidden Deep looks to take those same concepts, but from a more traditional angle of controlling the terrified researchers being hunted by shapeless horrors in the dark.

Lead a team of scientists that have been sent to a deep sea research facility after losing contact with the original team. Uncover the truth behind what happened at the facility, and ensure that enough members of your team survive to report back.

 

Undying
Developer: Vanimals
Publisher: Skystone Games  
Platform: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS   
Release Date: TBA 2021

Undying

Undying is a survival horror with roguelite elements about a mother and son trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Anling has been bitten by a zombie, and she must use the precious little time she has left to find a home for her son Cody before she turns. Teach Cody valuable life skills as you scavenge for resources, avoid zombie hordes, and figure out where you can leave him before the virus overtakes your body.

 

Unholy
Developer: Duality Games
Platform: Windows PC
Release dDate: TBA 2021

Unholy

Unholy is another horror game releasing this year that deals with a mother and her child. The game is set on a dying world, where the last remnants of humanity are confined to a single city that is besieged by a devastating plague, savage creatures that stalk the streets at night in search of prey, and a cruel regime that rules with an iron fist.

You play as Saidah, a mother in search of her abducted child in this hellish world on the verge of collapse. Use stealth to sneak past monsters and guards, and deal with the ever looming threat of losing your sanity.

 

Little Nightmares II
Developer: Tarsier Studios
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platforms: Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: February 10th, 2021

Little Nightmares II

Embark on a new adventure with Mono and Six in Little Nightmares II, the sequel to the hit horror platformer from 2017. Explore a dark and terrifying world that has been distorted by the transmissions from a distant signal tower. Solve puzzles and avoid the strange denizens of this nightmare world as you guide Mono and Six on their journey.

 

Succubus
Developer: Madmind Studio
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021  

Succubus

The developers of the rather infamous Agony are working on a spin-off called Succubus. While Succubus shares the same setting as Agony, it’s more of an action-RPG than a real horror game.

You play as Vydija, a demonic priestess of lust that has been scarred and betrayed by her kin. Embark on a rampage of revenge through Hell to destroy those who wronged you, and reclaim your kingdom of sin and debauchery.

 

Tormentor
Developer: Madmind Studio  
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Tormentor

Madmind Studio is working on another horror game that is sure to drum up a fair bit of controversy as it gets closer to release. In Tormentor, you play as a completely deranged, mentally ill psychopath that has turned an abandoned prison into his own personal torture maze used to film the most depraved snuff films known to man.

Kidnap new victims and hunt them down for sport to please your twisted audience. Use sponsorships to upgrade your hell labyrinth with new torture devices and traps.

 

In Sound Mind
Developer: We Create Games
Publisher: Modus Games
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
Release Date: TBA 2021

In Sound Mind

In Sound Mind is a surreal psychological horror set inside the inescapable confines of a damaged mind wracked with trauma. Make your way through scattered and uncomfortable repressed memories. Each of these memories act as a single level; with unique mechanics, puzzles, and boss encounters that you must piece together to figure out the full story.

 

Tormented Souls
Developers: Dual Effect, Abstract Digital
Publisher: PQube Limited       
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: TBA 2021

Tormented Souls

Tormented Souls is an old school survival horror experience inspired by the classic Resident Evil games. You play as Caroline Walker, a young woman who wakes up in a decrepit old mansion turned into a horrifying hospital while investigating the disappearance of two girls.

Explore the mansion looking for clues and solve puzzles as you scavenge for resources and avoid terrible creatures. You’ll also need to use strange mirrors that transport Caroline to another dimension as she finds a way to escape the mansion.

 

The Medium
Developer: Bloober Team
Platforms: Windows PC, Xbox Series X
Release Date: January 28th, 2021

The Medium

Another upcoming horror game about dual realities is The Medium. Explore the abandoned Niwa resort as a psychic medium trying to unravel the mysteries of what transpired there. Use your powers to solve puzzles and reach new areas by entering an alternate reality, all while avoiding The Maw, a monstrous creature born from the terrible tragedies that happened at the resort.

You can expect our review soon!

 

Black Steel
Developer: Glob Games Studio
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2021

Black Steel

Black Steel is a stealth horror game set in a noir world that blends technology and magic.

Infiltrate the abandoned Flamel Motors car factory to unlock the mystery behind the supernatural forces that have brought all of its dormant machinery to life. Use alchemy to solve puzzles by affecting the world around you to reach new areas. Just be careful to avoid the murderous machines that now freely roam the factory’s hallways.

 

Strangeland
Developer: Wormwood Studios
Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: Q1 2021

Strangeland

Finally, we come to Strangeland, a point and click psychological horror from the developers of the beloved adventure game, Primordia. You awaken in a demented carnival just in time to see a mysterious golden-haired woman fling herself to her death. Navigate this nightmare world full of monsters and metaphors to not only find a way to escape, but also to simply figure out who you really are.


That’s all for our latest batch of articles highlighting some of the promising games coming our way in 2021. Next time, we’ll be taking a look at some of the adventure games releasing this year.

Until then, which of these games are you looking forward to? Are there any other horror games you are excited for in 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

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Frank Streva

About

Niche Gamer’s resident indie expert. Digs through the Steam new releases so you don’t have to. Massive fan of miniature and board games as well.




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