Feb 03 2014
I think the proper way to start this would be to settle on the difference between scary and unsettling. First of all, the two can, and often do, co-exist. I tend to think the main difference is something that is scary is scary in that very moment. Alien is a scary movie that stops being scary once you shut it off. Exorcist is an unsettling movie. You can shut it off, but you cannot really shut it out. The images and ideas stay with you and dance around inside your brain. I jump out of a closet, that scares you. I scratch on your closet from the inside while you are in bed and you open it to find nothing there, that unsettles you. That stays with you, often begging more questions than answers.
With that out of the way, here are five genuinely unsettling games. Games that go one step beyond scary and tend to stay with you like a lucid nightmare, invading your thoughts. Be forewarned, this shit gets pretty heavy. I may have spoken of many of these games, but nothing like I speak of them here.