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The best free horror games made on RPG Maker

Halloween is just around the corner and most people are wondering how they’re going to have the scariest night of the year. A sure-fire way to get my feelings around while keeping my bank account intact has always been to explore the RPG Maker scene, which has been a big boon to the horror realm for over two decades now. Many of these free software developers are unsung heroes of the genre and have greatly paved the way for more recognizable games like Subtitle and Omori.

Beyond just being free, these games are frightening experiences and often serve as passionate meditations on artistic creation as a whole. Made outside of the industry, often by a handful or even a single person, the inventiveness and innovation displayed while using more restrictive tools with much smaller or no budgets continues to impress and define a storytelling. more personal and shared. (Many thanks to the dedicated fan translators whose efforts go unrecognized!) There are many untold stories here and far more interesting to play than our handpicked list.

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Ib has become a classic and a mainstay of the 2010s RPG Maker boom, and it’s easy to see why – it’s a psychological horror game with a clear vision and charming Edward Gorey-style art direction. Released in 2012 by developer Kouri, Ib follows her titular young heroine as she attends an exhibition in an art gallery and gets lost after observing a strange painting. Much of the game involves Ib wandering the gallery looking for an exit and solving puzzles while avoiding attacks from strange muggers.

The game is unique in its immersion because the player, stuck at nine years old, is unable to analyze part of what is happening around them. The plaques will have words omitted because Ib doesn’t know what they mean, so some of the elements of the story that would otherwise be obvious are obscured, giving the game a dizzying sense of youthful fear.

Recently, Kouri announced on his blog that Ib will receive a remake for its 10th anniversary. The remake will feature redesigned graphics and a modified score. The original is still a wonderful game, however, and remains one of the best in the genre.


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Estonian developer Etherane is one of the most prominent figures in the RPGMaker scene today. His three-part game series Hello Charlotte is one of the more complex offerings to date and addresses themes common in Etheran’s work such as the intersection of religion and trauma and preventive childhood loss. Perhaps most notably, however, is Etherane’s magnificent work of art, which is often surreal and disturbing but sweet and nostalgic.

Hello CharlotteThe first episode of is available for free, with the next two episodes available for $ 2.99 each. His other games are also strongly suggested—tomorrow will not come for those who have not … … responds to many elements present in Hello Charlotte while retaining a fierce identity of its own with its own cosmology and suggestive storytelling, and its yet unseen sci-fi string epic Mr. Rainer’s Solve-It service seems like a possible opus in its wonderful lineup of metanarrative adventures.


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It’s no mystery that death games have slowly grown into one of the most enduring microgreens – from Danganronpa and Zero escape to the most recent TV hit Squid game, people don’t seem to get tired of seeing people die in extreme ways amid high stakes gambling and trickery. Your Turn to Die – Majority Death Game is developer Nankidai’s response to the illustrious genre through RPG Maker, and is arguably one of the more ambitious projects completed with the program.

Released in pieces since 2017, Your turn to die is an episodic mix of visual novel, point-and-click, and negotiation elements similar to the Danganronpa franchise. Unlike Danganronpa, however, the results of each trial aren’t set in stone – different characters can be knocked out of the game, dramatically changing the course of an individual game.

Like many other death games, the real mystery is why everyone is there in the first place; the plot twists and turns are thrilling and unexpected, but what is truly unique Your turn to die It’s the empathy she brings to her entire cast, alive or dead, and the dedication that each character slowly forges to protect each other and make it out alive. Despite the appalling content, it’s a genuinely upbeat game and a fine example of tragic horror.


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Flesh, blood and concrete is a hallucinatory journey of memory, depression and collectivism, beset by a rapidly decaying brutalist apartment complex. With melancholy art and detailed sentimental environments, it’s a game that looks head-on at the darkest corners of our melancholy, the specific but shared unease that separates us and plagues our present time with inexplicable grief.

His work of specific character juxtaposed with a gestural imagery makes it an evocative work and not for gays. Though he presents his horror with a gentle hand, the cavernous grief portrayed in Flesh, blood and concrete is a masterful psychological portrayal not only of its protagonist, but of anyone who tries to find their way out of a hole. Its hazy subject only further confuses dream and nightmare. This is a recent must-have game for horror RPG Maker fans.


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Although more of a horror parody than anything else, Space funeral is nonetheless an absolute must-have for anyone fascinated by free art games. Space funeral takes place in an irreparable standard JRPG that has been twisted into the unrecognizable. Echoes of Tied to the earth and Dragon Quest hide in plain sight, but have been twisted into hellish amalgamations and bugged into hellish forms.

Despite its bizarre presentation, Space funeral is a fun role-playing game and is more like familiar games than RPG Maker’s other horror offerings. Its psychedelic vibe is achieved not only by its garish artistry, but also by its use of music, such as a track by Japanese psych rock band Les Rallizes DéNudés. The reverberated guitars and plaintive lounge music here echo the original feeling of the game’s disappearance.


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taiwanese horror game Fausts Alptraum is a goethean tale of family tragedy and imagination. With gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations and a dynamic, killer soundtrack, the game carries a storybook charm reminiscent of several Gothic stories and cartoons popular in the late ’90s. The game follows a petite Elisabeth Faust. fearless girl whose father recently passed away. After returning to her mansion, she is trapped inside by Mephistopheles who bets that she can leave if she explores the whole mansion and never feels tempted to stay, but will be trapped in the house forever if she gives in.

The game is unique in its length, which lasts about seven hours or so without the help of a guide. If you’re looking for a longer adventure to fully immerse yourself in, there’s a ton of content here to stay and check out, including an array of journals detailing Elizabeth’s family history. In many ways, this is a tried and true haunted house story, which is part of why it works so well – it uses familiar tropes creatively and looks charming while doing it.


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Palette is one of the great popularizers of the RPG Maker genre, preceding the ubiquitous Yume nikki 3 years old in 2001. The game was so popular in Japan that it later received a PlayStation port courtesy of Enterbrain. The vanity of the game occurs through a phone call between a psychiatrist named Sian and a patient named BD, a young girl with amnesia who has lost her sight. Sian helps BD analyze his memories and uncover the truth of what happened to him. The game goes to great lengths to simulate this reconstruction of comic book memories and features a system in which the player can investigate different rooms and attempt to interface with missing or vague objects without the comic gauge. The gauge slowly depletes as you investigate, and if it drains completely BD claims to have a migraine and Sian needs to call her back.

It’s a creative take on puzzle-based gameplay and ahead of its time in many ways for its non-linear storytelling and stimulating use of memory and repetition. It’s a classic for a reason and helps contextualize the RPG Maker horror story as a trace of some of the genre’s endemic popular tropes.



Austin Jones is a writer with eclectic media interests. You can chat with him about horror games, electronic music, Joanna Newsom, and 80s-90s anime on Twitter. @beffroifeu