Game Music Bundle OF THE DAMNED!
So, it’s Halloween, and you’re sitting at home waiting for Trick-or-Treaters. You don’t want to be bored, of course, so you decide to put on some music while you sit in the dark sharpening knives. Nothing too hokey, nothing too upbeat, you’re looking for the perfect music to terrify anyone who dares knock on your front door. So what do you do?
Why, you turn to the Game Music Bundle… OF THE DAMNED! As with previous GMBs, $1 gets you a handful of great soundtracks, and $10 gets you everything. 14 soundtracks to spooky games, each designed to make the listener tense, nervous, and generally freaked out.
￼￼Alice: Madness Returns OST by Jason Tai, Marshall Crutcher, and Chris Vrenna
This soundtrack is reminiscent of all of my favourite classic Halloween-y songs and tracks. “Madness,” above, helps encapsulate that. You hear the devilish violin stomping over the ominous low strings, the occasional warped church bell, and the innocent chimes/bells shifting into minor keys as Alice falls deeper into insanity. It’s a great soundtrack, perfect for when you sit on your front porch with a broken jack-in-the-box, trying to unhinge your jaw by smiling too much.
If you’d rather a soundtrack a little less orchestral, the Amnesia soundtrack is excellent. It’s balanced between two types of track. The first are the relatively harmless sounding melodic piano pieces that I imagine are terrifying in the context of the game, but outside are rather nice. The second type covers the creepy ambient pieces, with less of a coherent melody and more alarming noises fading in and out, adding to a freaky environment. In combination, they are ideal background music as you stand in your upstairs window overlooking the street, lit only by the waning moon.
Like its successor, the Dark Descent soundtrack has ambient scary noise tracks as well as melodic tracks, with one big difference: even the melodic tracks are creepy. Not necessarily obvious scariness, but slow, drifting notes floating in and out of minor keys to give the listener a subtle unsettled feeling. Use this soundtrack if you’re going to peek out from behind the curtains occasionally, only to quickly withdraw as soon as you’re seen.
Bloodrayne: Betrayal OST by Jake Kaufman
Perhaps a creepy, unsettling soundtrack to your haunt is too subtle for you. Maybe you want instead something a little more like thrash / power metal, with the occasional organ or choir to give it a dark church or vampiric feel? If that’s the case, what a convenient coincidence the Bloodrayne: Betrayal soundtrack is. All those things and more, it’s tense, frantic fun – and great background for when you open the door for the trick-or-treaters, and all they can see is a mass of people, flashing red lights, and your fanged grin.
Dead Space OST by Jason Graves
Back to the orchestral arrangements, the Dead Space soundtrack ranges from subtly unsettling to “it’s following me and I don’t think I can outrun it and oh god it’s a dead end.” It gives the full orchestral treatment, too, from the big doom drums to the growling horns to the frantic strings. Each song is unique enough that I think this is best hand-picked and then scripted to each room of your haunted house; not that it’ll matter, because when you pick the one song and jump out behind them, they’ll be gone before the song is done.
Home OST by Fredrik Häthén
The Home soundtrack isn’t as much spooky as… well, almost mournful. It has a haunting quality that helps to give the impression of deep seas, dark caves, and no one around to hear you run out of air. Play this when you’ve decked out your deck with an underwater theme, yourself playing the part of the sad, drowned ghost just looking for company.
Closer to what I’d consider “pop,” the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories soundtrack tends to feature songs I’d expect to hear on the radio (under some sort of ambient club music or smooth jazz), but often just a little off; a minor key here, a screechy grating noise there… and it all culminates in the occasional track of industrial terror and ambient noises that sound deeply painful. It’s the kind of soundtrack you’d play for your Halloween cocktail party, but switch off the lights and on the strobes when songs like “Devil’s Laughter” come on – and then see how many friends accept your invite next year.
Limbo OST by Martin Stig Andersen
The loneliness, the terror, and the existential horror of Limbo is perfectly represented in its soundtrack. It’s subtle and deceptive, luring you into a sense of comfort and then slowly introducing the tone that slowly bores into the brain and breeds terror. This is your soundtrack as you waiting for the doorbell to ring in absolute stillness, broken only by the occasional twitch of your eye above your empty smile.
Survaillant OST by Wilbert Roget, II
The soundtrack for a submission to a 48 hour game jam, the soundtrack is short and sweet. Four tracks: one for the ominous spacey ambience, one for the building pressure and fear, one for the inevitable attack, and the last screeching track for the attack as you try to escape (albeit likely ineffectually). I’d say loop the first track to match your costume – that of an unlucky and vengeful redshirt.
Organ Trail OST by Ben Crossbones
I’ve mentioned the Organ Trail soundtrack before, and I still think it’s great. Evocative and dark chiptunes, it does a great job reminding you that as much as we joke, zombies are horrifying. Blast this as you set up your fort and prepare yourself for the zombie / children-on-a-sugar-high invasion – and know that likely nobody will make it out alive.
This is the kind of soundtrack you sit down and listen to all at once, as it tells a story. It starts off with peaceful orchestral pieces, and gets increasingly… ‘unsettling,’ growing to tense and even terrifying. No matter what your Halloween plans are, you’ll find a track in there that fits them perfectly – so go ahead and put on that goalie’s mask, because you have some work to do.
Penumbra OST by Mikko Tarmia
With synthy orchestration, the Penumbra soundtrack gives us ambient music ranging from “I don’t know why my heart is racing” to “how can notes be put together to so effectively freak me out”. From what I’ve heard, they’re gorgeous and can loop forever – so pick a track, put it on repeat, and you’re set for the evening. Now all you need to do is pick a corner to face while you rock sporadically back and forth.
If you’ve gotten this far without being exposed to Plants vs Zombies and its soundtrack, congratulations and welcome to civilization. I wouldn’t call it ‘horrifying’ in any respect, but it’s certainly evocative; each song comes with flashbacks of the levels that use it, as well as frustration at being unable to complete that one last level – it’s playful and adorable, and it really helps you to forget the terror of the zombie apocalypse that somehow gave your plants sentience. This is the soundtrack you play while hucking watermelons at anyone dressed as a zombie who gets too close to your lawn – just remember that the lawn mower should be your last resort.
Year Walk OST by Daniel Olsén
I can’t help but be amused by this album. By the same composer of the ilomilo soundtrack, I can’t help but visualize him going through the almost sickly sweet music of ilomilo, throwing up his hands in frustration, and composing what it would sound like if the adorable protagonists went crazy. That’s how I see a lot of the Year Walk soundtrack – creepy childlike chimes, offset by the occasional track of ambient ominous sounds in an imposing soundscape. This soundtrack is the right way to go if you have a small child at your disposal (I suggest a relative who is as eager to scare people as yourself) – find them some oldish clothing, a creepy doll, and see if they can master the dead-eyed-stare. You won’t need to share your candy this year.
As you can see, this bundle is a must-have for any and all your Halloween plans. As always, $1 gets you the first five soundtracks, and $10 gets you the full shebang of what is now over a dozen spoopy soundtracks. So if you’re scaring the neighbor kids, or your friends, or just being creepy for the hell of it, you need The Game Music Bundle… OF THE DAMNED!