Video games have become one of the most accessible forms of media thanks to the internet Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to play a plethora of games. But living in the digital age doesn’t necessarily mean that all titles will live on forever; there have been multiple cases in which games have been taken off the market by one means or another, making it impossible to ever play them again. We’re taking a look specifically at games that have scared the crap out of us that are no longer available for gamers to play, with our list of the scary video games that you can’t play anymore.
We’re going to be focusing on games that have been banned in various countries or ones that you can no longer get your mitts on, rather than games that scared the crap out of you so much that you can no longer play them.
KillSwitch makes this list for being a game that may not have ever existed. While it’s typically believed that KillSwitch comes from a fictional story, some belief in the urban legend. In KillSwitch, you can play either as Porto or Ghast, the former being a little girl and the latter being an invisible demon. No one has ever been able to finish the game as Ghast, or so the tale goes.
But as Porto, once you finished the game, it would completely delete off of your hard drive, and you’d never be able to play it again. That made copies of the game incredibly rare, and rumor has it that a man in Japan had bought a copy of it off of eBay for a ridiculous chunk of change. His plan was to stream the game so that anyone could see its gameplay online. But as the myth goes, all he ever uploaded was a video over 1 minute long that depicts him crying in a dark room, clearly traumatized.
The House of the Dead: Overkill
Germany has had some pretty strict laws governing the censorship of video games. Generally, games are banned in the country if they depict any Nazi imagery, for obvious reasons, or games that feature cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters. The country also bands excessive violence in media that, I quote,
“Describe cruel or otherwise inhuman acts of violence against human or humanoid beings in a manner which expresses glorification or rendering harmless of such acts of violence or which represents the cruel or inhuman aspects of the event in a manner which injures human dignity.”
This has caused several publishers to prevent from releasing games in the country for fear of being banned, fined, or the likelihood of not getting an approved rating. Sega is one of these publishers, having kept several of their games out of Germany, including the House of the Dead Overkill. Overkill was the 5th of 6 entries in the House of the Dead franchise, one that initially began in arcades and eventually grew to console ports.
Parasite EVE is a title that isn’t entirely impossible to get your hands on but would be incredibly difficult to find a copy of considering it was released for the original PlayStation back in 1998.
An RPG title published by Square EA, its story follows a New York City police officer over a 6-day span as she attempts to stop Eve. A woman who plans to destroy all of humanity via spontaneous combustion.
Why is it such a traumatic game? Well, the very first cut scene set in a theatre during an opera depicts the entire audience spontaneously combusting; something that many critics noted was shocking and disturbing. It’s a game that features some really gruesome imagery that some players still can’t shake out of their heads years and years later.
Wasteland is one of a few titles on this list that aren’t entirely impossible to play these days, just very, very difficult to get your hands on to do so (or at least an original copy of the game is hard to find). A PC title from 1988, Wasteland is one of Fallout’s predecessors.
It was an open-world RPG set in a post-nuclear fallout. You fight irradiated foes, explore the wilderness, try not to die, and can even recruit people to your party. But, if you die, you die for good. We’re talking permadeath.
And since it was created in the late 80s, it would save your in-game actions onto floppy discs. Meaning, if you lost one of those floppys, there goes your progress. If you didn’t make copies of the game’s discs before you began, you could never start over (the developers actually suggested people make copies, so that speaks volumes here).
Rule of Rose
Rule of Ruse is a survival horror game set in 1930s England. The story follows 19-year-old Jennifer, a woman who is trapped in a world ruled by young girls who have their own class hierarchy established.
It’s a psychological horror, but thanks to an Italian news magazine, many believed that the game contained violence towards minors. The game was canceled in the United Kingdom thanks to rumors concerning its content causing moral panic. The rumors even escalated to the point that the European Commissioner had stated that the game prompted players too, I quote,
“Violate a little girl in the most horrible conditions, then torturing her before killing her in the worst of sufferance’s.”
The Video Standards Council reviewed the claims and the game and called the complaints nonsense, despite the game remaining canceled.
Many of you, especially our North American audiences, probably won’t see much of an issue with the Manhunt series; since it’s release, there’s been some significantly more gruesome games put out on the market.
But at the time it came out, Manhunt was highly debated, and banned in several countries, some of which have since lifted said ban. But in Germany, it’s a game you won’t be able to buy. Thanks to the ban still being in place on it due to “high impact gory violence.”
Devotion is yet another psychological horror game, released in 2019, and some of you may even recognize some of the ongoing controversy surrounding it. It was developed by a Taiwanese company called Red Candle Games for Steam. Devotion wasn’t even banned for being scary. Instead, it was banned thanks to an Easter Egg that insulted Xi Jinping, the general secretary of the Communist Party of China. The easter egg was later removed, yet the game remained banned.
Players would later discover that a fulu talisman decorating a wall in part of the game actually contained the words “Xi Jinping Winnie the Pooh” in Chinese Seal script, which referenced a meme comparing Jinping to Pooh bear; something he’s been super salty over. The game was taken down from Steam because of it, which many feels were the result of Steam worrying about being banned from China altogether, where it has over 30 million users.
Lose-Lose has a very intriguing concept; it is dedicated to, I quote, “exploring what it means to kill in a video-game.” Lose-Lose is a game that feels a lot like Space Invaders but has a much more astounding impact when you die.
When your ship is blown up, the game deletes itself off your computer. And here’s where it gets more intense. Each enemy ship that you encounter in the game represents a file on your computer. If you destroy them, the game deletes that file from your computer as well. Every single file on your computer is fair game, including ones that your computer needs in order to run.
So playing Lose-Lose is a whole new kind of deadly. Funny enough, some virus scanners actually detect the game as a Trojan horse. Believe it or not, but some people have actually tried to get a high score in this game. Hey, whatever floats your boat.
For starters, RapeLay is a really f*cked up game. Created in 2006, it gained international attention for its incredibly controversial subject matter. You play as a guy who is caught groping a woman on the subway and is arrested for it. His father is a well-known politician and got him released, so he decides to take revenge on the 17-year old girl who ratted him out, along with her family, by stalking them and raping them, one of which is her 12-year-old sister.
After a whole lot of gratuitous violence and imagery of sexual abuse and assaults, the game ends with the main character dying, either by accident at the train station or by the 17-year-old murdering him. It’s banned in a bunch of different countries, rightfully so. It’s banned in Argentina, with the reason given being because the objective of the game is to stalk and rape a woman, along with her two daughters, one of which appears to be underage. And it was banned in China because of it, I quote,
“Tends to promote and support the use of violence to compel a person to submit to sexual conduct, and the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes.”
PT is the ultimate game-you’ll-never-be-able-to-play-again. This is because it was taken down from the PlayStation store and because many feel it was the future of horror gaming. From Konami, the game was directed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro and was a first-person horror title that consisted of a changing loop down the hallway of a suburban home. And it was scary as hell.
It was supposed to be the next installment in the Silent Hill franchise but was canceled despite the playable trailer (hence the name PT) being a huge critical success. It’s often considered to be one of the best horror games of all time, despite being the short length it was.
Since those who weren’t able to download the game have turned to some of the remakes that have gradually started to appear online. Playstations that still have the game installed on the console can go for a good chunk of change online, too.