10 Best Biomechanical Horror Video Games

With many upcoming titles inspired by HR Giger, such as the survival horror game Contempt it is scheduled for October 21, it’s obvious that Giger’s surreal “biomechanical” art style continues to inspire. Since horror is all about subverting and traversing established social dichotomies and norms, the combination of mechanical and organic elements, which are normally seen as opposing forces, is perfect for the genre.


While many games, such as the resident Evil franchise, incorporate some of these elements, some titles like Tormentum – Dark Sorrow bases most of its content around this stylistic concept.

Mystical Nights (2005)

Released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Mystical Nights is a survival horror game that has tried to differentiate itself from other titles in the genre by having a multiplayer mode where players try to kill as many enemies as possible, find the exit and find out who among them is the traitor . With social deduction games and multiplayer horror games becoming more mainstream, this game tackled those genres over a decade ago.

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In single-player mode, the game follows a scientist named Bruce who is invited to a new research facility by his old friend Allen, who is only visiting to see his old love Monica. Shortly after arriving, however, he finds himself trapped in the building and discovers that it has been invaded by strange biomechanical creatures. Although this game was only officially released in South Korea, there is an English fan translation.

Hell’s Night (1998)

Developed by Atlus, which is best known for the Megami Tensei franchise and other JRPGs, hellnight is a 1998 PlayStation first-person survival horror game released in Japan and Europe. While fleeing a group of cultists in Tokyo, the protagonist escapes on a late-night subway train, which is then attacked by a strange creature. Although this causes the train crash, the protagonist and a high school girl named Naomi survive.

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To escape the creature, the two characters rush into the sewers and discover that there is an entire city under Tokyo called “The Mesh”, and they will have to navigate its maze while avoiding the monster, a group cultists, and more to find a way to the surface. Eventually, the player discovers that all of these events are tied to an ancient biomechanical alien species located deep within the Earth. In 2019, Puppet Combo released a horror game titled Day 7, which is partly inspired by Hell night.

Dark Seed Duology (1992-1995)

Although several games were inspired by H.R, Giger’s artwork, the surreal point-and-click horror adventure games of the 90s dark seed and Dark Seed II were allowed to use his actual artwork to create a story. Both games follow a man named Mike Dawson who discovers a parallel universe known as the “Dark World”, which is ruled by an alien race called the “Ancients”.

With the help of a friendly darkworlder known as the “Keeper of Scrolls”, Mike must traverse the two universes and solve puzzles to stop the alien race from destroying the human world. Although both games suffer from poorly implemented gameplay mechanics, they are fondly remembered for their artistic merits.

Garage: Bad Dream Adventure (1999)

One of the most surreal games of the 90s is Garage: Bad Dream Adventure, which is a PC horror adventure game from 1999. Designed by Japanese surrealist Tomomi Sakuba, the game follows a biomechanical creature named Yan who becomes trapped in a bizarre world, created by the psychotherapeutic machine known as “Garage”. To escape his inner self, he must explore this world and find his “shadow”.

Although considered lost media for years, the game was finally rediscovered in 2014 and later translated by fans into English in 2020. Then in 2021 the game was officially remade with new content, side quests and purposes.

I Have No Mouth and I Have to Scream (1995)

Based on the short story of the same name by award-winning American writer Harlan Ellison, I have no mouth and I have to scream is a sci-fi point-and-click adventure game from 1995 that unfortunately isn’t as well-known as it should be. Co-designed by Ellison himself, the game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where seemingly all of humanity has been wiped out except for five individuals selected by an evil supercomputer named “AM”, who was also voiced by Ellison.

During the game, AM forces each human to go through a simulated scenario that will confront them with their own flaws and various ethical dilemmas. Since many parts of the game take place within the FA itself, this experience is filled with biomechanical imagery. This is best demonstrated by how the final section of the game takes place on AM’s brain, which somehow resembles a large mechanical human brain.

Alien Syndrome (1987)

Developed by Sega, Alien Syndrome is a 1987 arcade game where players control one of two soldiers, Mary or Ricky, as they traverse multiple levels and battle aliens. After saving enough survivors in a level, the player can go through the exit and fight the level boss, which they must defeat before moving on to the next area.

Since the game was heavily inspired by the Extraterrestrial franchise, it’s no surprise that the experience is filled with Giger-inspired monstrosities. The immense success of this game led to numerous ports, a PlayStation 2 remake and a 2007 sequel also called Alien Syndrome.

Remote Life (2019)

Released in 2019, Remote life is a 2D side-scrolling space shooter where the player controls a pilot named John Leone who is trying to save planet Earth from an approaching alien hive. To do this, the player flies directly into the hive, navigates through obstacles, and battles detailed biomechanical creatures.

As the player explores the hive they will uncover the secrets of why the aliens are attacking the planet. Even with three difficulty levels to choose from and customizable ships, players are likely to die multiple times from this game’s challenging gameplay.

Tormentum – Dark Sorrow (2015)

With the sequel titled Tormentum II currently in development, now is the perfect time to play the original point-and-click adventure game from 2015 Tormentum – Dark Sorrow. The same for the next Contempt, this game was inspired by both HR Giger and the Polish dystopian surrealist Zdzisław Beksinski, but also borrowed some elements from the dark seed games and The souls of the demon.

After waking up in this dark world, the protagonist discovers that he has lost his memory and is a prisoner sent to a dark castle. While exploring the three realms, talking to various characters, and solving puzzles, the player will have to make moral decisions that will affect the game’s ending.

Alien: Isolation (2014)

A discussion of biomechanical horror isn’t complete without including the iconic Extraterrestrial franchise. Although the series has seen several great games over the years, the best example is still 2014’s survival horror game. Alien: Isolation. Takes place years after the events of the original 1979 film Extraterrestrial, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda, travels to the Sevastopol space station to investigate Ellen’s disappearance.

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Shortly after entering the station, however, she quickly discovers that it has been destroyed by an alien, so she must find a way to survive and escape. Even years after this game was released, the Alien’s AI is still considered one of the best.

Axiom Rod (2015)

Released in 2015, Axiom Edge is a gorgeous pixelated metroidvania that follows a scientist named Trace. After a lab accident, Trace wakes up in a strange biomechanical world that has been devastated by a man named Athetos. With the help of a mechanical giant named Elsenova, Trace will attempt to solve the mysteries of this world and how he ended up there.

As with other metroidvanias, Trace will need to explore the interconnected world to find weapons, items, and abilities to progress. But, some of these abilities, like the ability to deliberately bug the game, are unique in this regard. A sequel titled Axiom Rod 2 just released on August 11.

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