7 Best Nintendo DS horror games so you can scream your lungs out

Horror games on the Nintendo DS are not that many in numbers. But the few titles that are worth playing are to die for. Here are seven of the best horror games on the portable console.

Best nintendo ds horror games

7. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey may not be your typical horror game, as that of a survival-horror, as it is pure JRPG. Yet it belongs to this list because of its truly horrifying elements.  

The Shin Megami Tensei series, known for its controversial content, explores abstract plots, old-school dungeon crawling, and a demon system where players form pacts with mythical creatures. The game delves into major religions, incorporating philosophical themes, and introduces a mature rating due to explicit sexual content and sacrilegious portrayals.

The plot, initially toned down compared to the original titles, unfolds as a team of scientists and specialists investigates a dimensional disturbance at the South Pole, leading to a surreal world inhabited by demons, gods, and spirits. The player's choices in the plot impact gameplay and align them with philosophies—law, neutral, or chaos—ultimately shaping the game's progression and multiple endings. The demon summoning program, a central game element, involves recruiting and fusing demons, each with its personality, alignments, and ties to real-world mythologies.

The gameplay combines old-school RPG mechanics with dungeon exploration influenced by the Etrian Odyssey series. The demon fusion system is deep and rewarding, encouraging strategic planning. The philosophical depth, engaging story, and impressive graphics make Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey a must-play horror title

6. Monster House 

Monster House is spooky for young adults, but for fully grown men, it does not have the same effect. Still, this game is intended for the younger audience and is pretty effective as a horror game. Hence, the placement of the game on this list. 

This game pleasantly surprises players with its engaging gameplay, despite it being a movie game. It does necessarily follow that a tie-in game for a movie is of terrible quality, but they do have such a reputation.

The game draws inspiration from the classic arcade game Smash TV, offering a similar experience of blasting through foes in a house that devours everything. The levels, based on rooms inside the haunted house, maintain a dark and horror-themed atmosphere, complementing the mood of the game.

The controls involve using the D-pad for movement and the stylus for aiming the characters' water guns. Each character, including DJ, Jenny, and Chowder, has a unique water gun with different abilities. Power-ups, such as extra health and invincibility, add variety to the gameplay. Given the fast-paced nature of the game, along with solid controls and a satisfying pace, Monster House may be an abomination of the genre, but it is still wickedly fun.

5. Touch the Dead

Touch the Dead is undeniably indebted to SEGA's House of the Dead series, drawing heavily from its themes, gameplay mechanics, and even its title. This game is an on-rails shooter. It utilizes the DS touchscreen for shooting zombies with precision accuracy using the stylus. The gameplay closely mirrors the House of the Dead formula, as players navigate through endless corridors.

Touch the Dead incorporates some strategy into its design through the weapon system. Reloading, performed by dragging ammunition across the screen, requires timing and leaves the player vulnerable during the reload animation for some dreary moments. The game introduces weapon management, allowing players to switch between different guns with limited ammunition. 

Weapon upgrades found throughout the game enhance power and reload speed, adding an element of technique to the otherwise action-packed experience. The challenging gameplay, limited checkpoints, and a need for memorization contribute to a satisfyingly intense experience.

4. Resident Evil: Deadly Silence

Capcom and Nintendo unveiled an upgraded edition of the original Resident Evil game, complete with added features, for the DS—a platform cleverly sharing the same acronym: Dead Silence. Set in Raccoon City, the game follows the S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team as they investigate mysterious incidents in a mansion filled with undead creatures. Players can choose between two characters, Chris or Jill, each offering a different storyline and experience.

The gameplay involves exploring the mansion, solving puzzles, and confronting zombies. Shooting enemies, managing resources, and finding the right time to reload maintain the tension. The game offers a rebirth mode with different puzzles and a first-person knife mode, where players use the stylus to slash enemies on the screen. While the controls may take some time to get used to, the game provides two control modes, allowing players to switch between them. The use of ink ribbons for saving adds a traditional survival horror element.

3. Dementium: The Ward

Dementium: The Ward stands out as a noteworthy entry into the relatively sparse survival horror genre on the handheld console. Set in a derelict mental institution, the game successfully crafts a chilling narrative as players navigate through dark, disarrayed hallways filled with grotesquely mutated experiments. The atmospheric setting and the mystery surrounding the protagonist's predicament contribute to an engaging and suspenseful storyline.

Dementium is amazing visually even within the limitations of the DS hardware. Despite occasional pixelation and jagged edges, the game effectively uses its dark and rainy atmosphere to create tension. Lightning flashes and detailed backgrounds enhance the overall eeriness.

The sound design is what makes this game on the top of the list, its dissonant music and eerie sound effects were crazy great. From the unsettling breathing of enemies to distant screams gradually growing louder, the audio elements heighten the suspense. Dementium: The Ward succeeds in delivering a compelling survival horror experience on the Nintendo DS with all the proper elements of a horror survival served hot.

2. Theresia

Theresia presents a unique horror adventure on the DS, deviating from typical zombie or monster-filled narratives. Despite lacking traditional horror elements, it captivates players with a compelling point-and-click experience that unfolds two complex stories leading to a satisfying conclusion. The game kicks off with a seemingly conventional scenario of a girl navigating a mysterious and trap-filled building to recover lost memories. However, Theresia's real strength lies in its storytelling, employing stunning black and white or sepia-toned FMVs with a limited color palette for a chilling effect. The use of color, varied text speed, and well-designed menus enhance the overall narrative experience.

While the game mechanics are well-executed, with simple controls combining directional buttons and stylus input, Theresia offers challenging puzzles that demand creativity and exploration. The first-person perspective, coupled with detailed maps, aids navigation through the hospital's numerous rooms and passages. The game cleverly avoids death traps by providing clear icons for doors and searchable areas, preventing players from stumbling into danger without warning. Puzzles may be challenging, but the game ensures they are solvable, maintaining a sense of survival without excessive difficulty. Theresia's innovative gameplay and atmospheric elements contribute to a horror experience that stands out in the survival horror genre, providing a gripping adventure away from the typical action-packed narratives.

1. Dementium II

If you have an affinity for horror games like Silent Hill or first-person shooters, then Dementium II is that game to play. Of course, you should play the first game before playing this game.  Dementium II presents larger, more diverse levels compared to its predecessor, featuring well-designed enemies and realistic, satisfying weapons. 

Though some themes are reused from Dementium: The Ward, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Sound effects, including realistic weapon sounds and ambient mutterings by prisoners, add subtle touches to an already amazing sound design. 

As for the story, the sequel is more accessible than its predecessor, although it can be somewhat confusing at times. Well, it is not an effective mystery if it is easily deciphered. Horror games usually have wonky controls, and players easily forgive this flaw and accept this as part of the genre. But Dementium II has great controls that rivals the best FPS games on the DS. 

The gameplay in Dementium 2 is deemed significantly more enjoyable than in the first installment, addressing previous annoyances such as respawning enemies and a cumbersome save system. Combat is as responsive,  as it is brutal, and everything in battle is satisfying, whether engaging in close combat or taking down enemies from a distance. 

In terms of length and replayability, the game offers roughly a 5-hour playthrough time. While this might seem short, the addition of an arena-like survival mode enhances replay value. Dementium II stands out as the best and most atmospheric horror game on the DS, making it a noteworthy choice for horror and FPS enthusiasts. The excellent graphics, immersive atmosphere, and enjoyable gameplay make it to the top of this list.