Horror games may be the natural choice for Halloween, but they're best played alone in the dark late at night. What if you're hosting a party or having a few friends over for the evening? Or perhaps you're looking to do some gaming while hanging out at home and dealing with trick-or-treaters? Here are some Halloween gaming suggestions for more than one person.
Rock stars make for popular Halloween costumes, so why not go all the way and have a costumed Rock Band or Just Dance/Dance Central party? Just remember to dust off the plastic instruments and charge up a ton of batteries beforehand if you're going the Rock Band route. Scarves are all the rage this year, so it's totally fine if everybody shows up dressed as Steven Tyler.
On a similar note, if your friends want to party it up '80s style, there are a ton of retro arcade games and game collections available on Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. Dig out the neon legwarmers and set up a retro arcade on your TV. You can go totally retro with direct ports, or try out enhanced remakes like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time Re-Shelled. Most of these games allow 2-4 players to participate, just like their arcade equivalents.
If you have a Kinect, Happy Action Theater would be a great choice for a costume party. This crazy game is really more of an “experience,” allowing groups of people to do all sorts of crazy things with the Kinect. From a funhouse dance party to a simulation of being a monster stomping on a big city, Happy Action Theater's activities would make a perfect party highlight for costumed kids or for costumed adults who have imbibed a few orange and black novelty drinks. Up to six players at a time can participate in the activities, and it's easy for new people to jump in and out.
If you're looking for something a bit slower and meaner, try out an obscure little board game/RPG for the Wii called Dokapon Kingdom. It's terrible when played alone, but with a group it can be a great time. While attempting to become the richest adventurer in the kingdom, players can pull all sorts of mean tricks on each other. Not only can you defeat your rivals in various unfair ways, you get to rub it in by drawing on their face or giving them a poop hat. There are precious few treats and a whole ton of tricks in Dokapon Kingdom, which supports up to four players.
LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean feature plenty of ghosts and monsters, albeit in cute LEGO format. The LEGO games are always good fun for co-op play as well. Plus, they're low-stress and easy to interrupt when the doorbell rings. Even people who aren't usually into gaming tend to enjoy this series, making these games a great choice for a wide variety of Halloween companions. They only allow for two-player co-op, making them a good choice for siblings or couples spending Halloween together.
Pinball FX 2/Zen Pinball 2 feature a number of tables appropriate for Halloween, such as Paranormal, Sorcerer's Lair, and Plants vs. Zombies. Zen's pinball games feature robust multiplayer features and can be enjoyed in either hotseat or split-screen mode. I recommend the Plants vs. Zombies table for quick pick-up fun, as it's one of Zen's more accessible tables that allows even novices to trigger cool stuff like multiball and massive zombie attacks.
Finally, for fans of horror and gore who want to play a game together, Dead Island is at its best as a multiplayer experience. Even if you didn't enjoy it as a single-player game, hacking at zombies with friends can be pretty fun. Sadly, the game doesn't allow for more than one player per console, but households with multiple PCs can get a multiplayer game going, and, of course, the game can be played online with distant friends. Up to four players can take on the ravening undead together in Dead Island.
Finally, if you're stuck at home alone and craving social contact because a gigantic hurricane is beating at your door, there are always the many Halloween celebrations to be found in the world of MMORPGs. Even older and less-populated MMOs tend to draw crowds for Halloween celebrations, and current front-runners like WoW, RIFT, and Guild Wars 2 are all getting into the spirit. In the case of mean old Sandy, playing an MMORPG in your basement in completely understandable.
Date: October 29, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*