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9 Games Like Stranger Things

Explore our curated list of 9 spine-chilling games echoing the retro 80s horror of Stranger Things. Discover similarities in themes, narratives, and aesthetics, and keep the thrills alive while awaiting season 4.

If you’re a fan of Stranger Things, eagerly awaiting the fourth season’s release, you’d know the pain of the long hiatuses between seasons. However, there is a silver lining for you!

Why not keep the momentum going and soak in the same thrilling, eerie atmosphere embedded in some pretty amazing horror games? Such games not only echo the retro 80s horror of Stranger Things but also provide a great opportunity for you to step into similar spine-chilling narratives.

Get ready to explore these 9 horror games, curated for fans like you, that will fill the void and keep your heart racing until the much-awaited Stranger Things season four drops.

Understanding the Stranger Things Phenomenon

Stranger Things is a cultural phenomenon that has taken the world by storm. The series has captivated audiences worldwide with its perfect blend of 80s nostalgia, chilling horror, and captivating characters. As you delve deeper into the aesthetic of Stranger Things, you will notice its unique blend of nostalgia and horror.

This mix has inspired several games, particularly in the horror genre. The show’s influence on contemporary pop culture is undeniable, as it’s captured the hearts of millions with its central themes and narrative around friendship, loyalty, and courage.

Delving into the nostalgic horror aesthetic of Stranger Things

Stranger Things has a unique charm, thanks to its nostalgic 80s setting, complete with retro-style clothing, old-school bikes, arcade games, and even the synthesized music score. The horror elements woven into the series make for an intriguing watch as the characters uncover the mysteries of their small town, Hawkins.

The Show’s Influence on Contemporary Pop Culture

Since its premiere in 2016, Stranger Things has profoundly impacted pop culture. You can find its influence everywhere, from fashion trends, to music, memes, and even video games.

Overview of Stranger Things’ Central Themes and Narrative

At its core, Stranger Things is a coming-of-age story centered around a group of friends navigating the trials and tribulations of growing up while dealing with supernatural forces in their small town. Friendship, love, and courage in the face of fear are the central themes that make up the narrative of Stranger Things.

1. Until Dawn

until dawn

Release dates and Platforms Available

Until Dawn was released on August 25, 2015, and is available exclusively on PlayStation 4.

Insight into the Horror Survival Mechanics

In Until Dawn, players take on the roles of eight young adults who must survive on a remote mountain until rescue arrives at dawn. The player’s choices and decisions directly influence the story’s outcome – a mechanic that ramps up the tension and fear of the game.

The Parallels between Until Dawn and Stranger Things

Both Stranger Things and Until Dawn revolve around a group of young people trying to survive supernatural events plaguing their small community. A strong emphasis on friendship and teamwork is reminiscent of Stranger Things.

2. Alan Wake

alan wake

Release Date and Platforms

Alan Wake was released on May 14, 2010, and is available on Xbox 360 and PC.

Highlighting the Game’s Psychological Horror Themes

In Alan Wake, the titular protagonist, a writer, experiences the pages of his latest novel come to life in an eerie, small-town setting. The game excellently combines psychological horror elements with a gripping narrative, creating a deeply chilling and immersive experience.

Linking the eerie small-town vibes of Alan Wake to Stranger Things

Alan Wake and Stranger Things share a similar setting – mysteries in a small town that our protagonists must solve. Effectively, you could imagine Finn, Eleven, and the gang solving mysteries in Bright Falls, where Alan Wake is set.

3. Friday The 13th

friday the 13th

Release Dates and Platforms

Friday The 13th: The Game was released on May 26, 2017, and is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Exploring the Game’s Multiplayer Survivor Dynamics

Friday The 13th offers an intense multiplayer experience, where you can either play as the notorious serial killer Jason Voorhees to hunt down the camp counselors or cooperate with other players as a counselor to survive the night until help arrives.

The Significance of 80s nostalgia in both Friday The 13th and Stranger Things

Much like Stranger Things, Friday The 13th encapsulates the 80s nostalgia, from its fashion to its synth-driven music. Additionally, the game’s underlying theme of teamwork among the game’s counselors sounds very familiar to what we’ve seen in Stranger Things.

4. Stories Untold

stories untold

Release Dates and Platforms

Stories Untold was released on February 27, 2017, and is available on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Examining the Text-Based Adventure Mechanics

Stories Untold is a unique mix of text-based gameplay and point-and-click adventure mechanics. Unfolding across four interconnected stories, the game creates a distinct sense of unease and suspense as you delve through each narrative.

The Immersive and Atmospheric Parallels Between Stories Untold and Stranger Things

The game’s nostalgic 80s setting, suspenseful atmosphere, and textured storylines have been frequently compared to Stranger Things. Both incorporate elements of shadowy government operations and unnerving technology experiments, encapsulating the viewer/player.

5. Resident Evil 1

resident evil 1

Release Dates and Platforms

Resident Evil 1 was released on March 22, 1996, and is available on PlayStation, GameCube, Nintendo DS, and PC.

Discussion on the Game’s Creature Feature Horror

As one of the quintessential survival horror games, Resident Evil 1 tasks players to survive the undead hordes and other horrifying monstrosities. The game emphasizes exploration, puzzle-solving, and combat against consuming fear.

Drawing Comparisons between Resident Evil’s Monster Battles and Stranger Things

In line with Stranger Things, Resident Evil 1 features an array of monsters, making for some thrilling combat scenes. These monster battles definitely evoke the terror of Stranger Things’ Demogorgon.

6. Silent Hill

silent hill

Release Dates and Platforms

Silent Hill was released on January 31, 1999, and is available on PlayStation.

Overview of Silent Hill’s Horror Themes

Silent Hill is often credited for its narrative depth and psychological horror elements, featuring an intricate storyline layered with symbolism and an intense, eerie atmosphere shrouded in fog.

Exploring the Connection between Stranger Things’ Upside Down and the World of Silent Hill

The misty and surreal ‘Otherworld’ of Silent Hill can be compared to the ‘Upside Down’ realm in Stranger Things. Both worlds have their own set of monstrous creatures lurking in the shadows, ready to terrorize at the slightest provocation.

7. The Last Of Us

the last of us

Release Dates and Platforms

The Last of Us was released on June 14, 2013, and is available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Highlighting The Last Of Us’ Character-Driven Narrative

The Last of Us is renowned for its compelling, character-driven narrative set in a post-apocalyptic world. The game’s emotional depth and character development is nothing short of exceptional.

Discussing the Shared Emphasis on Storytelling in both The Last Of Us and Stranger Things

Both The Last of Us and Stranger Things prioritize storytelling and character relationships. These shared aspects make The Last of Us equally appealing to Stranger Things fans.

8. Alien: Isolation


Release Dates and Platforms

Alien: Isolation was released on October 7, 2014, and is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

Breaking Down the Game’s Sci-fi Horror Mechanics

Alien: Isolation offers a terrifying survival experience against the perfect predator – the Xenomorph. The game perfectly captures the fear and tension of Ridley Scott’s original masterpiece.

Comparing the tense, claustrophobic atmosphere of Alien: Isolation and Stranger Things

Much like Stranger Things, Alien: Isolation also utilizes tight, dimly-lit corridors to create a sense of tension and claustrophobia. This shared atmosphere intensifies the horror in both the game and the series.

9. Dark Souls

dark souls

Release Dates and Platforms

Dark Souls was released on September 22, 2011, and is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.

Analyzing Dark Souls’ Gothic Horror Components

Dark Souls is renowned for its gruesome enemy designs and a grim world filled with hopeless despair. The game thrusts players into a relentless cycle of death and rebirth, demanding fearlessness and determination.

Looking into how Dark Souls’ Sense of Unease and Tension Inspired Stranger Things

Much like Dark Souls, Stranger Things also creates a sense of unease and fear of the unknown. Both use horror to drive the narrative, applying tension and suspense unpredictably. So, whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a Stranger Things enthusiast, these games could help bridge the gap until the next exciting season of Stranger Things arrives.

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By Jupiter Hadley

Jupiter is an avid indie gaming journalist that covers lesser titles. She highlights thousands of game jams and independent games on YouTube. She judges several jams and events and oversees, a global game jam calendar.