Dark fantasy / fantasy horror games (not specifically Lovecraftian)?

Are there any good examples of dark fantasy (or fantasy horror) games in the vein of Elric of Melnibone, Ravenloft, or the kind of things you’d find in Heavy Metal magazine? I’ve already found a timeline of Lovecraftian horror and downloaded all of those, so I’m not looking for Cthulhu stuff specifically (though I’m certainly not averse to tentacles). So far all I’ve found is a game called Baluthar, which has mixed reviews (I’ll still give it a shot).

I played Baluthar and found its bizarre setting enough to make up for some of the game’s other shortcomings.


You might want to check out Chandler Groover’s Eat Me which placed second in IF Comp in 2017. It has a very dark theming, albeit with a comedic touch. Pretty grotesque. See Eat Me - Details

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Thanks, that’s actually already in my library, but I haven’t played it because I don’t know much about it. Will definitely bump it ahead in the queue now!

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(Edit: didn’t realize Vivienne Dunstan replied while I was typing, so it’s nice she also suggests Eat Me!)

Narrowing it down to non-Lovecraftian and also fantasy-based doesn’t leave very much.

Looking through games tagged horror and games tagged fantasy, I can see:

Eat Me, a dark fairy-tale about a child cursed to devour everything. You’ve probably played this one; if not, it’s one of the most popular if games of the last decade.

The Act of Misdirection, which is a fun game involving magic tricks. It might be more industrial era, but it definitely has fantasy magic elements.

Heretic’s Hope is a complex twine game about a society of human-sized insects dealing with actual humans and having to satisfy their dark gods (less Lovecraftian, more like dark DnD deities).

Hansel et Gretel - La Revanche This one is in French but it’s a really cool Vorple horror game where Hansel et Gretel are monster hunters and have RPG fights.

Ghosterington Night and Hallowmoor - Details are both kind of fun horror, one a simple parser game about chasing around guests at a deadly party and the other a complex twine game with inventory management and spooky enemies like goblins, witches, skeletons, etc.

Carpathian Vampire is an older-school horror game about a vampire.

The Horror of Rylvania is interesting; before Inform came out and after Infocom, TADS was one of the biggest languages to use, and there was a series of games called Unnkulia that were pretty popular. This was the first horror game by those people. There’s a reason it never really took off; this one is infamous for having you examine one specific piece of scenery in one room out of many identical such pieces of scenery.

A lot of Emily Short games like Bronze and Metamorphoses are more fantasy than horror but have unhappy and/or melancholic settings and endings. Plotkin’s The Dreamhold and Hunter, in Darkness are also both fairly grim fantasy games. Similarly, Amanda Walker’s Fairest is a darker retelling of fantasy stories.

A lot of Chooseyourstory games are dark fantasy. They tend towards very dark stories involving rape, incest, racism, torture, etc.

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Wow, thanks! That’s a lot of suggestions, only a few of which I’ve heard of. Will be checking into these!

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I’m not sure if it’s quite what you’re looking for, but House of the Midnight Sun by Paul T. Johnson was one of the first pieces of horror IF I ever played. It’s a large, puzzly adventure with a strong gothic atmosphere; you begin as a vampire hunter, and your first order of business is to find a way into the ruined castle where your target hides. Apparently it’s since been re-released as “Dracula - Prince of Darkness”, but the original version is still available for download on IFDB.


Nice! I’ll give that one a look! Thanks!

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Just played Eat Me and found it hilarious. Thanks for drawing my attention to this one!


I’m surprised no one mentioned the Darkiss games by Marco Vallarino. Definite Ravenloft vibes.


Awesome, thanks for the suggestion!