Best mobile horror games to ensure you've always got a little fear in your pocket

(Image credit: Scott Cawthon)

Horror games have been spooking out players for years and now that fear has moved to be kept inside our pockets. It might not be exactly where you'd like your fear, but when the best mobile horror games are this good, you should be able to put that aside for five minutes. 

Our pick of the best mobile horror games ranges from classic horrors to titles that'll creep into your dreams at night, and make you question whether that statue in your house just moved, or whether it was just a trick of the nightlight. So without further delay, here's our best mobile horror games for you to... enjoy. 

1. The Five Nights at Freddy’s series

(Image credit: Scott Cawthorn)

Available on: Android, iOS
Scott Cawthorn
$2.99 / £2.99

If you want jump scares and creepy animatronic animals, then this is the game for you. While the term ‘game’ should be used loosely, controlling the cameras as a night-watch guard does add interactivity. It’s the characters and their surreal looks that makes this a stand-out title. With shades of SAW and Child’s Play in the aesthetics, it’s one to keep you on your toes. Interestingly, this could be deemed as a kid-friendly title, as the fear is based more on suspense than violence or gore. But we’d still advise parents play it first. 

2. Slayaway Camp

(Image credit: Blue Wizard Digital)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: Blue Wizard Digital
Price: $2.99 / £2.99

Okay, so Slayaway Camp isn’t going to keep you up at night, but this puzzler which puts you in the shoes of a serial killer hunting teens at summer camp certainly hits the mark. Action goes out the window here as you have to find the ideal path of least resistance around obstacles to reach your unwitting victims. The killer can only move in a straight line, which makes this a very tactical game. The overriding theme of old VHS horror films is both charming and nostalgic. Full of laughs and horror pastiche. 

3. Stranger Things: The Game

(Image credit: Netflix / BonusXP!)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: Netflix / BonusXP!
Price: Free

This game isn’t all that scary, but it retains the atmosphere of the TV show brilliantly and sets out to place you within a fearful situation. Harking back to the days of 8 and 16-bit gaming, Stranger Things is a top-down scrolling adventure which sees you controlling the kids and Hopper to solve a spooky mystery filled with government agents. There are puzzles, fistfights and some light RPG mechanics which all go a long way to recreating Hawkins and the surrounding cast which make the show so gripping.

4. Distraint

(Image credit: Jesse Makkonen)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: Jesse Makkonen
Price: $4.99 / £4.99

Distraint takes the idea of a side-scrolling adventure and injects a good amount of visual novel elements. The puzzles are light, the dialogue is short and concise while the story is as bonkers as it could possibly be. What sets Distraint apart from others is the creative use of sound. Played with headphones, hissing televisions and abstract sounds bounce from ear to ear while in the game the pixel visuals do their best to accompany the aural features. Lights flicker, walls bleed and insects dance to give a sense of desolation. Plus, the concept is one of the smartest around.

5. Oxenfree

(Image credit: Night School Studios)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: Night School Studio
Price: $4.99 / £4.99

As if The Goonies and Stranger Things combined, Oxenfree tells a very creepy story of a group of friends opening a rift to dark world. An adventure game with heart and character on top of charming visuals and great voice acting, Oxenfree bridges a wonderful gap between horror and childlike fantasy. This narrative-driven title feels more Allen Poe then Wes Craven, using atmosphere more than outright shocks to put fear into you. There’s a definite sense of 80’s adventure and the story will have you gripped for hours, before wanting to play it again.

6. The Rusty Lake / Cube Escape series

(Image credit: Rusty Lake)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: Rusty Lake
Price: From free

The Rusty Lake, and by association the Cube Escape, series aren't exactly terrifying, but they are Twin Peaks level of weird, which is unnerving in itself. This is a huge series of game that all connect, with the Cube Escape series offering a selection of free to play titles, while Rusty Lake is the premium paid-for experience. Each one will unravel a little more of the Rusty Lake location's mystery, taking you across various time periods with room escape-style puzzles. It's not your traditional escape room fare though, as you'll be placed in a number of rather strange nad odd situations for you to figure out. There's a lot of them across the two series, so handily the official website has a suggested playthrough order to help you out.

7. Sinister Edge

(Image credit: Everbyte)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: Everbyte
Price: Free

Part walking simulator and part puzzler, Sinister Edge is obviously inspired by Resident Evil and urban legends such as Slenderman. Atmosphere is key here as storms roll around the sky above a well rendered mansion that just screams ‘don’t enter’. With the spectral masked antagonist popping up in random places, this game is sure to scare the wits out of you as you explore the dark corridors for keys. This is also one of the main games on this list that wonderfully uses motion control as part of puzzles, which often heightens the tension as you frantically twist and turn your device.

8. The Room series

(Image credit: Fireproof Games)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: Fireproof Games
Price: From $0.99 / £0.99

The original puzzle game came out to capitalise on the idea of escape rooms around the time the Saw franchise started running out of steam. While there’s no gore or murderous intent, The Room series (of which there are four entries) does provide a plethora of very tense and dark scenarios. Tasked with solving small puzzles in order to open a safe, the drama usually starts off slowly, building tension like the horror films of old. Darkness dwells in every viewing angle and there’s always a sense of someone watching you over your shoulder. Beautiful visuals and sound combine for this eerie experience and when the whispers start, you might find your flesh crawling a little.

9. Into the Dead 2

(Image credit: PikPok)

Available on: Android, iOS
Developer: PikPok
Price: Free

Endless runners don’t generally have stories, so Into the Dead 2 stands out already for this inclusion. Played in first person and landscape, your aim is to survive the zombies closing in from all angles. With the ability to move left and right while shooting a myriad of weapons, which can be also be upgraded, this game gives a real sense of visceral action. Bombastic sounds that surround your ears and incredible visuals bring the game to life. Playing through a genuinely interesting story while running for your life is a great experience.

10. Layers of Fear: Solitude

(Image credit: Blooper Team)

Available on: Android (using VR headsets)
Developer: Blooper Team
Price: Free

Layers of Fear taps into the recent horror film trend of ‘show don’t tell’ by utilising sound and peripheral action to scare you. Everything is subtle to begin with, cupboards opening slowly or scenes changing. As the game goes on this tension ramps up in maze-like corridors, reality warping moments, violent unease and all along a wonderfully defined plot. The story drags out and lingers as you explore a mansion haunted by tragedy. While there is no direct action, the pace of the game switches from ponderous exploring to panic-inducing. This is a special VR version though, so you'll need a mobile VR headset to play it – even just Google Cardboard – but it's so worth it.

Daniel Lipscombe

Dan has been playing games for over thirty years, from back when controllers had one button. Thankfully he has managed to keep up with his favourite hobby at his age. You can normally find him playing Roguelikes or Battle Royales, both of which are his specialist subject. When he isn't playing games, he's writing about them in books and articles. If he had to pick a favourite game, it would be The Binding of Isaac or Final Fantasy IX.