All About Japan

The 4 Scariest Japanese Horror Games

| Gaming , Spooky

Horror adventure games are like stepping into a movie, unlocking more of the story the further along you get. However, before playing any of these four Japanese horror games you may want to get into the right frame of mind—especially if you're playing alone in the dark!

4. Calling: Kuroki Chakushin

Calling: Kuroki Chakushin didn't get quite the recognition it deserved when it was released for the Wii console in 2009, but for anyone interested in getting their feet wet in a bit of scare-action video gaming, this game is for you.

The game begins with rumors about people trying to find a cursed chat room called "The Black Page." From there, it centers around four people who awaken in a realm between the living and the dead called the "Mnemonic Abyss." Once you've chosen a character to play you have to explore the various haunted rooms within the realm.

The Wii controller takes on two functions for this survival-horror game: first, it allows you to interact with objects while roaming the creepy territories, and second, it acts as a mobile phone that catches you by surprise when it rings and ghosts begin talking to you! And of course, since we're talking about the Wii here, players can also fight ghosts by swinging the controller.

3. Night of Sacrifice (Ikenie no Yoru)

Another great Japanese horror-filled survival game, this one also designed for the Wii console, is Night of Sacrifice (known in Japanese as Ikenie no Yoru). It was released in Japan in 2011, but unlike the other games on this list, Night of Sacrifice wasn't released outside of japan, so unless you have the Nintendo Wii Japan import, your chances to play are slim—which is a shame!

The story leads in with a group of college students who take a trip to Tsukuyomi Ravine, a place known for secret worship and sacrificial practices. You're able to control five students who decide to explore the haunted mansion they were invited to stay at during their visit. But little do they know, the mansion is also home to ghosts they must then try to avoid. However, it's a bit tricky, since you've been given absolutely nothing to protect yourself with! Sneaking past ghosts is undoubtedly eerie, especially knowing that if you're seen and touched you'll inevitably die!

2. Siren: Blood Curse

Most survival-horror fanatics will be familiar with the game series Siren. These games are a creep show to say the least, but it's the third installment of the series, Siren: Blood Curse, that really got people's skin crawling. It was developed by a team from SIE Japan Studio known as Project Siren, released both in Japan and internationally for the PlayStation 3 in 2008.

The plot revolves around a group of characters who must try to survive a cursed village somewhere in Japan. Unlike the first two games in the series, Blood Curse doesn't use a Link Navigator system to keep track of scenarios chronologically, but instead consists of 12 episodes that reveal intersecting chapters for each of the characters.

Like any survival game, you have to complete missions to progress the characters' stories, but in this case you also have to evade bloodthirsty enemies known as shibito (literally, "dead people"). For those who haven't had the pleasure of playing this dark and twisted game, here's some advice from one gamer to another: pay attention to that chilling heartbeat drum sound—death is near!

1. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly doesn't just showcase subtle spookiness—it's also jam-packed with a whole heap of WTF moments that might leave a sour taste in your mouth! The story is as sad as it is sadistic, and will probably make you think twice about visiting any creepy vacant village in Japan (they do exist, by the way).

Crimson Butterfly is the second installment of the video game series Fatal Frame, also known as Zero in Japan and Project Zero in Europe. It was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2 and rereleased on the PlayStation 3 in 2013 by popular demand—surely in no small part because Crimson Butterfly has topped or come close to the top of a number of gaming publications' "scariest games" lists! And don't let these cute, sweet twin sisters Mio and Mayu distract you from what's really going on, which is having to explore the creepiest abandoned village you've seen and encounter grudge-holding ghosts who need more than a bit of closure.

As the title, Fatal Frame, suggests, you're given what's called a Camera Obscura (the series' signature tool) to defeat these ghosts and uncover clues to learn the secrets of the village. You can take photos of these paranormal entities from afar, but that's not going to save you, because the damage you do depends on your range. So let's just say, don't be afraid to look death in the eyes—if you want to live, that is!