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Seven Queer Horror Games You Should Consider Playing

Feature art by Autostraddle // image by no_limit_pictures via Getty Images

If you spent most of your childhood watching horror films through partially closed eyes or blanket shields but now want to watch or play horror or thriller focused media to widen your experiences, you might be like me.

One of my first experiences with anything remotely in the horror or thriller genre was when I was about nine years old. I had woken up sometime in the night and was going downstairs for some water when I stumbled upon my dad watching Alien. Yes, in that moment maybe I internalized something about Sigourney Weaver in a jumpsuit. But what really stood out to me was the little alien bursting through that guy’s chest. From that day on, that memory would haunt the inner workings of my brain.

But as time progressed and my friends became more interested in horror, I felt obligated to watch along with them at a sleepover or at the local mall movie theater just so we could hang out. It was tolerable, but I didn’t start getting interested in horror until I started expanding my interest in video games. To me, playing a horror game held higher stakes than watching a movie. In many scenarios, you’re literally controlling the character’s moves and choices. The game will not be able to progress until you look behind the open door or progress into the next room. Unlike a movie, where you can just close your eyes and continue playing, a scary game requires you to be curious and brave enough to follow through.

For those gaymers out there looking for a taste of horror, or something horror-adjacent, this list of games is for you.


We Know the Devil

A scene from the game We Know the Devil. Three illustrated teens stands in a cloud of smoke. Jupiter 21 is saying "I totally...totally promise I am still alive."

This first game actually comes to me as a recommendation from an Autostraddle community member, as a comment on a video game review I did recently. We Know the Devil is a visual novel that centers its story on three teens who must begrudgingly fight the devil at summer camp. Choose which friend to get closer to, literally fight the devil, and enjoy a great OST while you’re at it.

We Know the Devil is cheekily available for $6.66 on Steam and Nintendo Switch.


Prey

A gun is aimed at a tentacled alien in the video game Prey

Prey also joins this list as a game that’s been mentioned to me by our lovely community here at Autostraddle. While not explicitly a horror game, Prey will keep your breath held and ass clenched. In this first-person shooter (FPS) game, you’ll play as Morgan Yu — who is canonically queer if you play as a woman — who needs to fight her way through hostile aliens on a space station orbiting the moon.

Prey is available for $29.99 on Steam, Playstation, and Xbox.


The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

A scene from the video game The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories. A monster chases after a girl.

When I searched for queer horror games while doing research for this article, this game came up multiple times. The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories is a puzzle-platforming horror game where you take control of J.J. Macfield who is looking for her love interest and friend Emily who has gone missing. Learn more about your missing companion in this gruesome platforming game. Please note that the content warnings for this game are mentions and depictions of self-harm and suicide.

The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories is available for $29.99 on Steam, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox.


Dead by Daylight

A scene from Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical (4v1) multiplayer online horror game. Play as either the killer, whose goal is to make sure none of the survivors make it out alive. Or as a survivor, who is part of a four person team with the goal of escaping the trial without being sacrificed by the killer. And while this game only has one explicit gay character as of right now — as stated by the developers — this game makes the list for the large community of queer, horror-loving DBD players out there (me).

Dead by Daylight is available on Steam, Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch at varying prices.


Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim

The Trapper in Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim poses with flexed muscles in a singlet. He's saying "as the guest of honor, you can choose the appetizer"

You might be thinking, hey, why does Dead by Daylight get two entries? Well, just for the sake of mentioning that they had a dating sim made where you can actually date four of the aforementioned Dead by Daylight killers. And also I love dating sims. Choose who to date, answer their questions carefully, play mini-games, and you might just end up smooching a ruthless killer. Romance beefy Trapper, sensitive Wraith, mommy Huntress, or cool Spirit — the choice is yours.

Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim is available on Steam for $9.99.


The Last of Us Part II

Ellie in The Last of Us Part II

For those of you looking for a heart wrenching, gritty survival game about being a sad lesbian during the zombie apocolypse, The Last of Us Part II is the game for you. Play as Ellie, a human immune to the spreading Cordyceps brain virus on her journey of revenge and forgiveness. It’s tense, jarring, and gruesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Last of Us Part II is available on Playstation for $39.99.


The Quarry

The Quarry, a horror video game.

To close out this list, we’ll go with a more recent horror game release. The Quarry, made by the same developers that created the iconic horror game Until Dawn, is about a group of teens trying to survive a night at camp. The choices you make impact what ending you get and which teens get to survive the night. Play your cards right, and you might just save everyone.

The Quarry is available on Steam, Playstation, and Xbox at varying prices.


Horror Is So Gay is a series on queer and trans horror edited by Autostraddle Managing Editor Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya running throughout October.


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Julie Gentile

Julie is a writer by night and marketing bot by day. She enjoys long video game playthroughs and pretending like she didn’t internalize every single episode of Glee. Contact her at julie[at]autostraddle[dot]com.

Julie has written 11 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. The Quarry is on my list, but it costs $80 Canadian (!!!) on Steam, which seems awfully high. I’ll have to wait and see if the price drops in a sale. The MISSING looks intriguing, so I may try that one in the meantime.

    • The Missing is one of my favorite games of all time–I just went back for a replay and cried my eyes out at the ending (in a good way!) again despite knowing exactly what was coming. And while the Quarry might be too pricey right now, you can check out other (sadly, very hetero) titles by the publisher Supermassive Games for a sense of their style if you’re looking for that choice-based B-horror goodness. Until Dawn is the closest to a full-length predecessor to The Quarry, but their Dark Pictures Anthology has some shorter games with a similar gameplay experience behind them–I’d recommend Little Hope (Salem Witch Trials!) or House of Ashes (Ashley Tisdale!), and their upcoming The Devil in Me has my current celeb crush, Jessie Buckley, in a take on the H.H. Holmes murders that I’m pretty excited for.

    • Unfortunately the queer stuff in The Quarry is kind of hidden and minimized. :/ There’s a good video by La’Ron Readus on heteronormativity on YouTube that goes into greater detail on how queerness is expressed in that game.

    • I read her as queer, but I feel like it’s just not really defined. While Control might not be overtly queer, though, it definitely feels implicitly queer. Plus, it has my favorite visual design of any game I’ve ever played and lore that I couldn’t get enough of. It’s more an “unsettling” game than it is horror, but I really appreciate that about it.

    • Gone home 10/10!!!!

      Okay, it’s not quite horror but I assure you it’s in the ballpark and is a wonderful ride.

      If you enjoyed Tegan and Sara’s audiobook and are hyped for Highschool, you will love this game.

  2. Seconding “We Know the Devil”, it’s my all-time favorite queer game. Takes a few playthroughs to unlock every ending but it is worth it! Each run it short but every facet of this experience is poignant and heartrending.

  3. Seconding the We Know the Devil rec, but to anyone who’s interested in playing it: this game has multiple endings which all contain important information. If the ending you get at first isn’t one you feel great about, I would heavily recommend exploring other outcomes you might consider to be suboptimal before trying to get the outcome you most prefer.

    I also heavily recommend playing the demo first! It’s called We Know The Demo and it can be found here: https://pillowfight.itch.io/we-know-the-devil
    I think it really helps round out all the shipping possibilities, which was one of my few complaints with the base game, where one potential pairing gets a little more attention as a romance (for reasons that are understandable and make sense with the story, but the third girl’s ships are good too!)

    I am also seconding JJ, but… somewhat cautiously? Or more like, it’s a really good game that I love and that tells its story fantastically, but it’s pretty gruesome and not for everybody. And lot of the mental health themes this article warns for are specifically related to a character having a spectacularly bad coming out experience. This is not a criticism (I had a spectacularly bad coming out experience and had a great time with this game) but if we’re spoiler-minimal warning for JJ we should probably actually spoiler-minimal warn for JJ. If you’re okay with the themes and gruesomeness, though, you will probably really like it.

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