It is actually rather strange that this particular brand of fiction could have thrived that much when its’ progenitor was starved to death, unable to pay for even basic expenses. H.P. Lovecraft’s influence has been growing stronger and stronger to this day – numerous writers of various genres have been inspired by his works – from movies, books, music, anime, and lastly, video games. Amongst all of them, the video games genre seems to be influenced the most, as there are just so many titles inspired or otherwise referenced Lovecraft’s works. There have been more and more of them getting made – with October 2019 being the largest month. Nine “Lovecraftian” titles were released on that month alone.

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Unknown tentacles of horrors outside of human imagination

Why is this “cosmic horror” genre so popular? Why are people so obsessed with these tales of people stranded at the mercy of unknown terror? After more than a century of research, science has more or less figure out the answer.

The genre is a product of his time, with the main theme being “the insignificance of a single human being amongst the vast universal scale. The reason that the genre is getting popular is that it mirrored real life nowadays: The rising inequality and the growing of massive corporate entities that can shape our thought along with all aspects of our life while operating outside of our control or understanding. This sounds pretty much the same as the premise of a cosmic horror story: a character helpless before the might of unfathomable entities.

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The artistic world design that should be able to blow you away

In the following section, we will list out some of the most notable Lovecraft themed titles and their approach to the theme.

A Place For The Unwilling

Solving the mystery by talking to various characters to get clues

ALPixel’s A Place For The Unwilling is one of the biggest titles with Lovecraftian influences this year. In this game, the protagonist would be recruited to manage the estate that his childhood friend left after suicide. While investigating the unlikely suicide, the protagonist would have to deal with the local inhabitants and their various conflicts.\

The hand-drawn environment is definitely one of a kind - it looks like a creepy children's book

Every decision you make would affect the world and the fate of the city – from the day you arrive until the end of the game, there are only 21 days. There would be no puzzles or gameplay, just story, and choices. With over 100 events scattered throughout the city, every new playthrough would be a brand new experience.

Overall, this game is an amazing narrative experience that set in a Dickensian world, with a dash of Lovecraft and Majora’s Mask.

Stygian: Reign Of The Old Ones

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Fight against the cultist with your party - the combat is pretty challenging

While the first game is just inspired, Stygian is an outright adaptation of Lovecraft’s works. In this game, players would travel from the ruined Arkham into the abyss. Explore the mysterious new world and brave untold danger to find a way to get out of this madness.

Discover strange locations and quests

You would be forced to the limit of your ability, as the combat is really challenging and not without consequences. The main meat of the game is the quests, environments, and storylines inspired and adapted from the original stories. You would be able to influence them with your choices and role-playing style.

The gameplay is turn-based 2D combat, similar to Darkest Dungeon or Heroes of Might and Magic.

Sea Salt

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Guide your horde of monster to attack the town and nearby locations

Sea Salt is actually the opposite of previously mentioned games – in this game, you would role-play as one of the Old God whose job is to summon various strange horror to corrupt and destroy the lands of humans.

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All boss fights in this game are pretty unique and challenging

The story begins with the humans of a fishing colony decide to rebel against you, their patron god, by cheating on their yearly sacrifice. Summoning a horde of deathly monsters, you would have to control and direct them to smash through the defenses and overcome everyone else that stands in your way. As you progress through the game, more units, and upgrades would be unlocked, enable further strategic customization.

Gibbous—A Cthulhu Adventure

The main character of the game is a Detective of the supernatural

This one is actually rather different from the other titles – it is a comedy cosmic horror that was made in actual Transylvania. You would be put into the shoes of the protagonist, detective Don R. Ketype, who have to go on an adventure to stop an evil book, the Necronomicon, with the help of his librarian friend and a talking cat.

The secondary protagonist would also play a big part

The game features gorgeous animated art along with an epic adventure story, seeing the three main characters travel around the globe to deal with all the manners of horrors and abominations, both man-made and cosmic. This is a point and clicks adventure game so there wouldn't be much gameplay involved.

Moons Of Madness

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The strange altars appeared all over the station, with tentacles sprouting out from under it

Space is a popular setting for horror/semi horror titles, with its remote and claustrophobic nature. Because of that, it is just a matter of time until we get a true game with cosmic horror in space.

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Explore strange and terrifying ruins

The events of the game take place on a space outpost on Mars, with the protagonist encountering strange events that originated from the mysterious broadcast. You would question your own sanity, along with what’s happening currently, as the monstrous apparitions and terrifying visions threaten to tear out the very fabric of reality. Your job would be to explore Mars and trying to stay alive until rescue arrives.

Interested in more of our articles related to horror video games? Please check out this post for the top 10 Resident Evil Games.