The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes (XBO/XSX) | $20 | Amazon
Until Dawn came out in 2015 as an interactive horror drama video game that kicked off The Dark Pictures Anthology series in 2019. Since then we’ve got one new installment with Man of Medan, Little Hope, and now House of Ashes. Becoming a yearly release, this series has quickly become a staple of my Halloween season. My friends and I gather on the couch in late October and play through the latest release start to finish. The Dark Pictures Anthology series does something no other game is really doing. It is a shared story that can be played cooperatively with each player taking control of one of the five central characters—handing off the controller when it’s their character’s scene. You affect the game based on the choices you make and whether you pass or fail the many quick-time events. Typically, I don’t like these in games, but the context changes entirely when you have your best pals right next to you and you all laugh because you tripped for the third time in a row.
House of Ashes tells the story of five soldiers trapped in an underground Mesopotamian temple during the 2003 Iraq War hiding from monsters they’ve accidentally awoken. If that interests you, you can get the game for just $20 at Amazon.
This story was originally published by Joe Tilleli on 11/04/2021 and updated with new information on 01/27/2022.