13 creepy, but cute games to play on your Switch
Don't Starve: A charming art style and a dark fairy tale aesthetic make this survival game a delight, despite its harsh and unforgiving world.Yomawa...
Don't Starve: A charming art style and a dark fairy tale aesthetic make this survival game a delight, despite its harsh and unforgiving world.
Yomawari: The Long Night Collection: An enchanting art style conceals the dark themes in this game where you navigate as a young girl dealing with malevolent spirits.
Omori: A vibrant pixel-art overworld and hand-drawn characters create a strong contrast to the unsettling depiction of grief and depression in the game.
There's something oddly cozy about playing a spooky game that isn't entirely horror. What you want is a cute playable experience that brings back the nostalgia of Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus, but without too many jumpscares. Luckily, there are plenty of spooky games for the Nintendo Switch that you can snuggle up with comfortably.
Whether you're looking for a cute resource management game with a touch of unsettling horror or an intense horror game with enchanting aesthetics, these Switch games won't disappoint.
Updated on August 25, 2023 by Casey Foot: If you prefer your spooky games with a hint of cuteness, we have updated this list to include a few more eerie Nintendo Switch titles that fit this description. In addition to hiding from monsters or confronting inner fears, you can admire the enchanting aesthetics that somehow make these games cozy despite what you actually experience while playing.
13 Don’t Starve
The world of Don't Starve is harsh and unforgiving, but that's exactly what makes it so enticing as you fight to survive. You are thrown into the wilderness, tasked with managing your mental health and hunger while monsters attempt to attack you and darkness spreads.
The game has an adorable art style reminiscent of stylized sketches - even its monsters are charming to look at. It has a dark fairy tale aesthetic that, in a strange way, turns the frightening experience of wilderness survival into an enjoyable journey.
12 Yomawari: The Long Night Collection
Yomawari is another example of the enchanting art style and aesthetics of a game that hide a deeper horror. In both games, you explore a Japanese town at night, populated by malevolent yet mostly harmless spirits.
The games become even creepier as you play as a little girl and can only protect yourself with nothing but a flashlight against Yokai. All you can do is flee or hide and hope to see the morning. Surprisingly, considering their cute appearance, the games tackle very dark themes. Discovering Yokai can be enjoyable, but be prepared for intense subject matter.
Omori is a disquieting portrayal of grief and follows a young boy named Sunny as he copes with the death of his older sister, Mari. The narrative shifts between Sunny's real-world, where he either stays in his house or roams around the town, and the world he has created in his mind to deal with his depression.
Despite the heavy themes the game addresses, it features a vibrant pixel-art overworld and delightful hand-drawn character portraits and combat animations. There's something about the colorful world inside Sunny's mind that creates a stark contrast to what he actually feels and experiences.
10 Cozy Grove
At first glance, Cozy Grove may seem like an innocent social simulator akin to Animal Crossing, but the more you play, the more dark secrets are revealed to you. Absolutely charming at its core, Cozy Grove puts you in the role of a "Spirit Scout," stranded on a ghost island inhabited by bear spirits.
Your task is to get to know each bear and uncover their memories, traumas, and the secrets they held in life in order to bring color back to the island. Some of the burdened pasts of these characters are far more unsettling than one would expect from a cuddly bear spirit, and these moments are sure to surprise you.
9 The Longing
It is not often that a game of yours demands only time and patience. The Longing is a peculiar type of idle game experienced through the perspective of a shadow, the last servant of an underground king who slumbers for 400 days to regain his power. The passage of time transpires in real-time, even when you close the game.
What you choose to do with this time is entirely up to you. You can explore the underground kingdom or simply close the game and reopen it on the 400th day, just to see what happens. Aside from its visual design, the true eeriness of The Longing lies in contemplating the idea of leaving the poor shadow all alone in the cave, sitting in darkness. Waiting.
8 Night In The Woods
The witty dialogue and vibrant cast of characters might lead you to believe that Night in the Woods is a charming narrative adventure adorned with small-town mischief. However, considering that within the first hour of gameplay you find yourself poking a severed arm with a stick, it appears that Mae's hometown does indeed harbor some dark secrets.
Night in the Woods offers you the opportunity to unravel the mystery of a small town comfortably from your own bed. It delves into the backstories of each of its main characters, all confronted with relatable challenges, while a mysterious cult captivates the town.
7 Graveyard Keeper
Since the rise of Stardew Valley, fans have been pleading for someone to come out with a darker take on the farming simulator genre. While farming isn't the main focus of the game, Graveyard Keeper provides hours of enjoyment in managing a cemetery. If one can consider it "fun" to prepare bodies and construct gravestones.
In all seriousness, Graveyard Keeper is a truly clever innovation of resource management and social simulation, sprinkled with a delightful touch of dark humor. It also takes place during the medieval era, adding a dash of "historical" elements, albeit with some supernatural aspects.
6 Little Nightmares 1 & 2
The Little Nightmares series is not for the faint of heart. It offers a disturbing horror platforming experience where you navigate a vast and distorted world as a tiny child. The world is filled with grotesque monsters and horrifying environments. However, the children of Little Nightmares and the Nomes they encounter are so adorable that it breaks one's heart to see them in such bleak circumstances.
However, Six and Mono can assert themselves by cleverly utilizing the environment to escape with their lives. Despite the childlike protagonists, the world of Little Nightmares is certainly not child-friendly and will startle you on several occasions if you are unprepared.
5 Hollow Knight
In a different context, a challenging 2D platformer that compels you to descend into an underground abyss and confront a variety of corrupted insects would likely be labeled as horror. However, the art style and characters of Hollow Knight are so enchanting that you are not further perturbed by the malevolence and darkness.
The game also features a breathtaking soundtrack adorned with piano melodies that would lull you to sleep if it weren't for the challenging platforming and combat within the forgotten kingdom. The world of Hallownest is equally captivating and intriguing, for as you journey through the kingdom's beautiful environments, you can uncover fragments of the background story.
Step into a moving painting by Salvador Dalí and explore surreal landscapes as Dusty and Piper embark on a quest to restore courage in a tormented soul. The dark, twisted landscapes and malevolent creatures that shape your adventure are balanced by the uplifting narrative and enchanting humor of the game's characters.
Between the light battles and thought-provoking puzzles, Figment will surely captivate you. It is a whimsical adventure with dark undertones, thanks to the nightmare haunting the world, and the music is also absolutely enchanting.
3 Little Misfortune
Throughout Little Misfortune, you will laugh, cry, and stare at your screen in awe. In a somewhat peculiar manner, this game strikes the perfect balance between surprising humor, moments of utter dismay, and a tragic undertone that touches you to the core.
The mischievous and hilarious Little Misfortune ventures into a dark and disturbing world, guided by a disembodied voice, in order to bring back "eternal happiness" for her mother. The decisions that Misfortune makes along the way are in your hands.
2 Lost In Random
If Lost in Random weren't a game, at first glance, you might think it's Tim Burton's next stop-motion masterpiece. This quirky dark fairy tale will surprise you with its eerily profound character designs and enrich an otherwise delightfully eerie world.
If the story of Even and her mission to save her twin sister Odd doesn't already captivate you, Lost In Random also offers a truly unique combat mechanic. During battles, you use dice rolls and cards to unlock special attacks.
Bet you never imagined that the Soul Collector, the Bringer of Death, would take the form of... a small crow. In Death's Door, you play as a crow tasked with collecting souls of the dying until one of your assigned souls is stolen. To retrieve it, you must enter a strange world where its eerie inhabitants have somehow surpassed their designated expiration dates.
The battles and boss fights in Death's Door are challenging and often quite unforgiving, but the struggle is worth it to explore the enchanting world of reapers with all their delightful - and sometimes unappetizing - personalities.