6. Mr. Bones
Out of all of the games on this list, Mr. Bones is definitely the weirdest. It’s so weird, in fact, that it’s kind of difficult to describe. Have you ever played a game that’s so bad, it’s good? That’s Mr. Bones. The funniest thing about that, though, is that I’m not even sure if the game was trying to be as obscure as it actually came off as being in the end. Either way, though, it’s a perfect fit in this lineup of non-scary Halloween games.
Mr. Bones is about a skeleton who was raised from the dead as part of the nefarious’ DaGoulain’s plot to cover the world in evil so that it may – and I kid you not – eventually be overcome by good. While all of the other skeletons raised by DaGoulain’s magic were under his control, Mr. Bones managed to retain his own humanity (skeletonity?). Realizing what he must do, Mr. Bones then sets off to stop DaGoulain’s conquest by defeating him with… rock and roll.
Along with winning the award for being the weirdest game on this list, Mr. Bones also wins when it comes to gameplay variance. Nearly every level within Mr. Bones features a different style of gameplay, such as platforming or rhythm-based gameplay. There’s even a level where you have to drive a giant skeleton back by properly telling a series of jokes. Whether done intentionally or not, Mr. Bones is an ironically enjoyable journey from start to finish and, once you beat this game, you’ll probably never be afraid of skeletons again. It also features a good number of rock tracks specifically made for the game. They’re, um, not necessarily my kind of songs, but if you end up liking them, more power to you!
7. Trillion: God of Destruction
Trillion: God of Destruction, like Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, is yet another example of a game set within a scary environment that is anything but. And, while this game shares a few other similarities with Disgaea, it flips the script in many ways too. For starters, you’re not trying to replace the dead overlord; you are the dead overlord!
Trillion: God of Destruction is all about taking down the world-eating boss of the same name. That name isn’t just for show, either. You’re literally attempting to kill something with 1,000,000,000,000 HP. Don’t worry though, you won’t have to do it all at one time. Your goal in Trillion is to spend time powering up your servants (most of whom are named after the Seven Deadly Sins), and sending them off to battle when the time is right. Not surprisingly, Trillion’s incredibly tough. There’s even a decent chance that you won’t be able to kill him through your first playthrough. Losing doesn’t necessarily mean that all is lost, however. Each time you die, you’ll be able to re-start with more powerful characters than before. So long as you keep trying, you’ll be able to beat him eventually.
Trillion is yet another great example of taking all of the scariness out of a concept that is normally terrifying. While the entirety of the game may take place within the Underworld, these demons are more human than anything else. Even the Seven Deadly Sins, who are characterized by their major flaws, are incredibly likable. If you’re looking for a demonic JRPG that’s more cute than creepy, and don’t want to spend 100s of hours on Disgaea, then Trillion: God of Destruction is a great choice.
For more information on Trillion: God of Destruction, feel free to check out our review of the game right here!
8. Mary Skelter: Nightmares
I know what some of you out there are thinking, but don’t be fooled. Contrary to the game’s name, Mary Skelter: Nightmares for the PlayStation Vita won’t be haunting your dreams. Rest assured, the developers were too busy catering to a different kind of fanbase to bother appealing to those who love all things scary.
Mary Skelter: Nightmares is a dungeon-crawling RPG about a young boy named Jack and his friend Alice who, after being rescued by a mysterious girl named Red Riding Hood, find themselves engaged in a desperate struggle to escape from the living jail in which they’ve been imprisoned. Some of the more keen-eyed readers out there might have noticed that all three of those names are from famous fairy tales. The familiar faces (or names, I guess) don’t stop there, either. Along the way, you’ll meet other famous characters like Snow White and Thumbelina, all of whom are eager to fight alongside you.
While the fairy tale stuff is cool, it’s not what landed Mary Skelter on this list. Rather, it’s what the game does with the fairy tale stuff. Instead of depicting each fairy tale-themed dungeon as you would expect, Mary Skelter puts a unique horror-themed twist on them. Because of this, each of the fairy tales depicted become less Disney and more Brothers Grim (albeit a version with a lot of bright and neon colors). Morbid versions of fairy tales have been around for a while, but Mary Skelter handles morbidity in a way that makes things feel just creepy enough, without ever going overboard.
For more information on Mary Skelter: Nightmares, feel free to check out our review of the game right here!
9. Maniac Mansion
– Mike Vito
It’s hard for me to say that Maniac Mansion isn’t “scary” because when I was a kid it freaked me out pretty good. My first play through had me on constantly on edge. I remember coming down the stairs after doing some exploring and deciding to head into the kitchen. I positioned my cursor on the entrance and walked through the doorway. My character’s music suddenly stopped and was replaced with a horrific tune that still gives me the willies today. Accompanying the music was my first encounter with the green skinned wife/mother Edna Edison. The encounter itself didn’t scare me much. It was the sudden change in music that had me pulling the cover over my head!
Other than that creepy scene, this charming game has had me coming back to it every Halloween for close to three decades. The music, the characters, and the story have all stood the test of time. For some extra campy fun this Halloween, be sure to check out the Canadian/American sitcom that was based on the game.
10. Costume Quest
So far, all of the entries have been “Halloween-ish”, but none have actually been about Halloween. Well that’s all about to change, because our 10th and final game is Costume Quest!
Unlike the rest of these titles, Costume Quest actually takes place on Halloween. It follows siblings Reynold and Wren who, while out Trick-or-Treating, find themselves attacked by living, breathing monsters. These monsters aren’t out for blood, however, but candy. And since sibling that you didn’t choose as your protagonist is dressed up like a piece of candy, they are mistaken for the real deal and captured. Now, as the the lone, un-captured sibling, it’s up to you to rescue your missing family member!
Costume Quest is a short, turn-based RPG. The game itself isn’t exceptionally difficult, but it’s still a lot of fun. It also perfectly captures the spirit of Halloween. While exploring, the characters in your party are merely children in shabby-looking costumes. When they enter battle, however, they transform into monstrous, towering versions of what they’re dressed up as. There are plenty of cool and conventional costumes, such as the robot and the knight, but Costume Quest throws in a healthy dose of humor. Have you ever wanted to play an RPG that lets you fight monsters as the Statue of Liberty? Costume Quest is probably the best, and most likely only, choice. And, if you really end up liking this game, it even has a sequel!
There you have it, folks; 10 games that probably won’t give you nightmares. Just keep in mind that I said “probably”. Don’t go blaming me if you wake up in a cold sweat because you dreamt about guitar-playing skeletons, or a combat-ready Statue of Liberty How many of these games have you played? What other games would you recommend to those looking for some less-than-terrifying Halloween games? Let us know in the comments below!