Slender: The Eight Pages [download link]
Released in June 2012 from Parsec Productions, Slender is one of the most recognized indie horror games today. Part of its success appeals to the simple gameplay (run and collect items) and unexpected scares. Slender gained popularity from the Youtube user Pewdiepie. While not only being the first to display game footage, he also exposed the indie title to his large fanbase which encouraged other to play and upload reaction footage.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent [demo link]
Frictional Games, the creative minds behind the Penumbra series, released their latest creation on May 17, 2011 as a $20 download. Amnesia quickly became a success, claimed by many to be one of the scariest games on the market. What makes it terrifying is the inability to defend yourself against the horribly disfigured monsters.
Erie [download link]
Erie is a fairly recent release (October 11, 2012), but is gaining popularity quickly. Created by students at the University of Utah’s EAE Master Games Studio Program, this game features a classic monster chase in an atmospheric environment. The monsters of Erie use a distinct sound effect, which in essence sounds like someone breathing heavily. This alone gives Erie an edge to stand out among the rest.
Imscared – A Pixelated Nightmare [download link]
Released on October 12, 2012 (a day after Erie), Imscared – A Pixelated Nightmare both frightened and fascinated gamers. Implied in the title, Imscared takes place in an 8-bit, 3D environment with a single enemy that resembles a face. Along with chasing the player through the game world, White Face also sends creepy text and image files to the player’s computer.