10 Best Free Horror/mystery RPGs (created with RPGMaker)
With the Christmas Holidays around the corner I thought it would be nice to create a list of the best indie RPGs, all made in RPGMaker that are, according to me, the best way to spend Winter and holidays with. Despite their themes being horror and mystery, which are not very indicative of the Christmas spirit, I believe that the old-school, nostalgic feeling they create, is perfect for these days. With no further ado, let’s dive in!
The Witch's House (PC)
Possibly the most famous RPG that inspired many more, The Witch’s House tells the story of a young girl named Viola who visits the forest and for unknown reasons finds herself trapped by roses that prevent her from exiting the forest. Her only option is to enter a mysterious big house that lies up ahead and find there refugee and probably some answers as to why she is trapped. Accompanied by a talking cat she will face many scary enemies and curses, all connected to the witch’s house. It is puzzle oriented which means that as the player you will have to explore all around the house, find hidden items, use them correctly and avoid traps. Detailed review here.
Misao is an RPG in which you explore, interact, solve puzzles and collect items. It tells the story of an unfortunate girl, Misao who has disappeared 3 months before the time the game takes place at. The player takes upon the role of one of her classmate’s and you can choose to be either a boy or a girl. The whole adventure takes place in the school grounds where after an earthquake the whole school gets sucked inside a different world, the spirit world. Now, it is up to you to discover what caused it and uncover the secrets behind Misao’s disappearance and break the curse. Detailed review here.
Mad Father (PC)
Mad Father is connected to Misao and similar to it, itis also focused on solving puzzles, escaping dangers, collecting items and exploring around the huge mansion. It tells the story of 10 year old Aya who living in a mansion with her father and their maid Maria. Her mother passed away a long time ago and Aya is very attached to her father. His work however, is not so normal…he is a scientist, always locked in his lab and strange noises and screams can be heard from inside. When all hell breaks loose demanding revenge, Aya must do her best to survive and discover the secrets behind the monsters and her father’s work. Detailed review here.
Yume Nikki (PC)
Yume Nikki is one of the oldest horror RPGs created on RPGMaker as it was first released back in 2004. It follows the story of a young girl named Madotsuki as she enters the dream world and your goal is to seek out and acquire all 24 'Effects'. The dream world is full of strange creatures and abstract environments. Nothing else is explained and many theories are floating around regarding the story. Many fan-games have since been made and it is still considered one of the best of its kind.
Ao Oni (PC)
Ao Oni (Blue Demon) is a very unique game in the sense that it inspired many rpg horror games and has a large fanbase and fan-made games. It tells the story of a boy who must find his way out of a mansion that is occupied by a large ugly monster that kills anyone who trespasses. For the most part you have to escape it and solve some puzzles in the process. It is a very challenging and hard game despite the easy premise. I suggest you play every version you find available because each has its own merits and differences from the rest. He looks very unsettling, doesn't he?
From Next Door (PC)
From Next Door is not as lengthy as the rest of the title in the list, but its uniqueness lies in its plot and the fact that it is influenced by a Junji Ito story. It was developed for the 2016 Pixel Horror Jam and tells the story of a young woman moves to a new house, only to experience weird occurrences from the seemingly empty house next door. Depending on your choices the outcome will change and could even grand her safety or not. The fact that the story belongs to one of the masters of horror, Junji Ito, was reason enough for me to try it out and was not disappointed the least.
Ib is a game that relies heavily on solving puzzles and comes with a variety of endings. The game takes place in an art gallery full of weird paintings and sculptures. Our heroine, a girl named Ib, visits the gallery with her parents in what seems like a normal family outing until everything turns upside down and Ib finds herself trapped in the gallery alone and with only company the strange and dangerous artifacts. Why is she trapped and what does she need to do to get out? These are the questions that demand an answer from you. Detailed review here.
Nightmare of the Snow (PC)
Nightmare of the Snow is a game based on Japanese horror stories, and includes many Easter Eggs of famous legends like The Ring. The main story is rather complicated and the game is lengthy and keeps you interested right until the end. A high-school girl and her friends find themselves transported in a different dimension full of trapped ghosts and curses and must find their way out. A sequel is also on the making and hopefully it will be released soon.
Pocket Mirror (PC)
Pocket Mirror tells the story of a sweet girl who is on a quest to find her true identity, uncovering sad and scary truths in the process. I loved the colors and puzzles on it even though they were difficult. The character designs are also gorgeous and the music stands out. Also, you might need a walkthrough if you are aiming for the True End on your first gameplay because it is very hard to get to it on your own. The story itself is never full explained but it is open for interpretation.
The Strange Men Series (PC)
There are currently four games released of this series and each one has a unique story and characters but all of them are connected in very strange and surprising ways. Even though you can play them in any order you want, it is still preferable to do it orderly in order to understand better the characters, and the past because characters from previous games also appear and the enjoyment is higher that way. Probably, and hopefully, more games are on the way.
Hide & Seek deserves its own spot in the list because it is one of the rare free horror RPGs that are available on phones. Unlike other games of its type, in Hide and Seek the player starts off by knowing basically nothing regarding the plot or the characters. The only thing we know is that the main character, a young girl named Dorothy has hidden herself in her closet while playing Hide and Seek but when she came out everything was different, and not in a good way. Bloody corridors, traps, supernatural occurrences and more, will keep you entertained for a good amount of time. Detailed review here.
This concludes the list of the best indie horror RPGs I gathered as a gift to all of you. There are more I would like to include but probably on a different list. I wanted this to have the most known and lengthy ones. Their re-play value is also high not only because of the multiple endings but because of how intriguing and interesting they are. I hope you found this list helpful! And Merry Christmas!