Uncover the clues to solve these 15 best mystery games for PC
By Monica Sanchez
Do you get thrills and chills from mystery stories? Lucky for you, it doesn’t need to be Halloween to have a spooky adventure. There are plenty of mystery games available for PC computers. The mystery genre covers a wide range of interesting exploits from detective cases to haunted houses. Explore abandoned locations, find dead bodies, search for missing people, and travel through strange lands as you try to solve the unknown. If you live for suspense and anticipation crawling up your skin, then journey through some of these eerie mysteries.
Go on a five hour journey in this game and run for your life. INSIDE is a dark game in which a boy is alone and being hunted. The mystery lies in why the boy is being chased. It’s never really clear. Throughout the game, there are puzzles that the boy must solve along the way. Ambushes and surprises exist to capture the boy, and the violence makes you want to keep running.
The game has a dark, ominous color palette. In fact, the doom and gloom throughout the game is pretty consistent. It’s much like being trapped in a dream, a nightmare that you’re desperately trying to escape filled with a creepy background, drone-like workers, and violent acts. What’s frustrating about the game is that it’s never really apparent who the boy is or what caused him to go on the run in the first place. INSIDE proves to be a mystery that is difficult to solve and can be interpreted in different ways.
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Hope’s Peak Academy is the most elite school to attend. Anyone who graduates from this school is guaranteed success. But there’s one huge obstacle that students must face if they ever hope to make it to graduation day. At Hope’s Peak Academy, you’ll have to solve a murder mystery and discover which of your classmates is a killer if you want to save your own neck.
In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Hope’s Peak Academy is run by a psychotic bear named Monokuma. His rules are terrifying and intense. He tells students that they must commit a murder and get away with the crime if they really want to graduate. If you and your classmates discover who committed the crime, then the killer will be executed. If the killer gets away with the crime, then they get to hold a diploma in their hands while you and your classmates are executed instead. Make sure you have all the facts straight before you accuse anyone in this game. Can you solve the mystery, save your classmates, and make it to graduation day?
- Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Join your favorite classmates on an island paradise that’s full of alluring surprises in this thrilling sequel to Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. Unlike its predecessor, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is not confined to the walls of Hope Peak’s Academy or even focused on trying to make it to graduation day. The main goal in this murderous mystery game is to escape the island alive.
Your cute, new, bunny teacher, Usagi, thought it would be a great way to form lasting friendships by taking you and your classmates on a field trip to a beautiful island. Unfortunately, crazy Monokuma showed up and spoiled the fun by trying to inflict his intense kill or be killed rules again. The mystery in this game lies in who the killer is, but the island also has mysteries of its own. Will you be able to uncover the killer’s true identity, solve all the island’s mysteries, and escape with your life?
Firewatch is set in 1989 on the brink of a new decade. You play this game as a man named Henry, who has chosen to isolate himself from society by working as a fire lookout in the wilderness. From your lookout tower, you are tasked with reporting any instances of smoke. It is your job to keep the vast and beautiful Wyoming wilderness safe. Your only contact with the outside world is through a handheld radio, which you use to contact your supervisor Delilah.
The mystery begins to unfold when something strange draws him out of the comfort and safety of his lookout tower. As Henry, you will have to explore the vast, unknown wilderness by yourself. Stay in contact with your supervisor as you explore the wilderness and attempt to discover the root of the strange occurrence. Be sure to make choices that keep you in good standing with the only human connection you have, and stay safe. Remember, you are all alone while you’re on fire watch duty.
- Dear Esther
Journey through another visually appealing exploration game that allows you to venture about mysterious terrain. In Dear Esther, you get to wander around a deserted island. As you make your way around the abandoned island, you come across letters addressed to a woman named Esther.
There are endless mysteries to try to figure out in this game. Who is Esther? Why are these letters being left for her? The story begins to unfold as you explore more and more of the island, learn about its history, and uncover information about the explorer who left these letters behind.
- Gone Home
Do you fear coming home to an empty house? The developers of Gone Home have brought that fear to life in this suspenseful game. From a first person perspective, explore your abandoned house after you return home from a year abroad.
In Gone Home, the biggest mystery is that your family is missing. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you attempt to find clues that will lead you to a plausible conclusion about where your family is or what occurred in your absence. Open cabinets, explore every nook and cranny, and check all the deep, dark corners of the house. You never know what you might find or what could be reliable information that might lead you to some answers.
- Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
The world’s greatest detective loves a good mystery. Try your luck at filling his shoes, and solve every mystery that comes your way. In Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment, there are six different cases that you have the opportunity to solve. Dive into mysteries involving murder, theft, and missing people while you run about London town with your trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson.
As the world’s greatest detective, you will have superior skills of deduction, but it is how you use these skills that will determine whether or not you solve the mysteries that lie before you. Choose which leads you want to follow. Interrogate suspects. Once you name those whom you deem guilty, then you can even decide how they will be punished. Will you make morally upright decisions or be vindictive? You can rewrite Holmes’ character based on the decisions you choose to make in this game.
- Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper
The world’s greatest detective is up against the world’s most elusive serial killer. Who will win? Has Sherlock Holmes finally met his match? As Sherlock Holmes, make sure his reputation as the world’s greatest detective stays in tact as you try to solve the string of murders caused by Jack the Ripper.
The mystery of Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper lies in uncovering the identity of the notorious serial killer. Will your deductive skills be enough to solve a mystery that history has deemed impossible to solve? Explore Victorian London and gather evidence from crime scenes to build your case. Target the true killer before he has a chance to strike again, and do what no one else has thought possible.
- Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter
In his younger years, the world’s greatest detective goes head to head with the supernatural. Evil forces are causing frightful afflictions across London town, and Sherlock Holmes is the only person who can save the city. Will his superior deduction skills be enough to defeat forces beyond his control?
In this latest Sherlock Holmes game from Frogwares, Sherlock has an adopted daughter. What supernatural forces are plaguing this little girl and causing grief for our favorite detective? Explore the supernatural mystery while you attempt to solve five cases and various side puzzles. Just like in Crimes and Punishment, you also have the option of dealing the final punishment to people you accuse of crimes.
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Venture through beautiful landscapes as you explore the mysterious disappearance of Ethan Carter. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person exploration game that you play as a detective by the name of Paul Prospero. This detective goes to Red Creek Valley in hopes of saving Ethan Carter from danger after receiving a strange letter from him. Upon arriving in Red Creek Valley, Paul Prospero discovers that Ethan Carter has gone missing after a murder occurred in the town.
The mystery in this game lies in the disappearance of Ethan Carter and other strange occurrences that are happening in Red Creek Valley. A mysterious and dark force rests in the valley. This dark force has left a trail of dead bodies and could be part of the reason behind Ethan Carter’s disappearance. As detective Paul Prospero, use your psychic skills to uncover the mystery that centers around this dark force and rescue Ethan Carter.
- Dead Secret
Set in 1965 in Kansas, this game gives you the opportunity to be a hero and solve how a man really died. The dead man is Harris Bullard, who was a professor living in an isolated area. The police are unwilling to investigate his death because they don’t believe any foul play occurred. You must take on the investigation yourself and uncover the secret related to Bullard’s mysterious past that may have led to his death.
The mystery centers around why Harris Bullard died and who might have killed him. Investigate the crime scene, solve puzzles, and explore five different possible endings. Most importantly, be careful. The murderer might be close by. Perhaps, Bullard had some secrets the killer wanted to guarantee were buried with the body.
- The Cat Lady
The Cat Lady tells the story of Susan Ashworth, a 40 year old who tries to commit suicide by overdosing on pills. She does so because she feels as if there is nothing to look forward to in her life. Unfortunately, even death cannot bring her solace.
When Susan Ashworth dies, she meets the Queen of Maggots in the afterlife, who grants her temporary immortality in order to kill monsters that are plaguing the land of the living. To a person like Susan who wants nothing more than death, this gift is the ultimate curse. There are so many mysteries in this game including the strange afterlife, the monsters, and why Susan is the soul chosen for this task.
- Fran Bow
Fran Bow is a creepy mystery game about a young girl who witnessed the gruesome murder of her parents. She tries to run away into the woods with her black cat, Mr. Midnight, in order to escape the horror of her reality, but the shock is too much for her to take. She eventually wakes up in a mental institution for children, and her cat has vanished.
Fran desperately wants to escape the mental institution, find her cat, and go home to her only remaining relative, Aunt Grace. The mystery of her parents’ deaths shapes the outcome of Fran’s journey and takes the player on a creepy, exciting adventure. Help Fran find her way home and achieve some happiness in the face of all the darkness that surrounds her.
- BioShock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite puts you in the role of Booker Dewitt. Anonymous employers send him to retrieve a woman by the name of Elizabeth in order to clear his debt. Booker travels to a lighthouse, which he uses to ascend to the mysterious civilization of Columbia. When you first step into Columbia, you find yourself in the middle of a church-like area and soon discover that there are heavy, religious overtones governing this city in the sky.
Columbia is a city of many secrets, and its mysteries are boundless. While Booker makes his way toward Monument Island to find Elizabeth, more information about the city will be revealed. Help Booker and Elizabeth make their escape as they battle countless enemies in this action-packed adventure that lies in the center of a mysterious and strange city.
There’s so many questions that need answers in these games but so little time to play them all. Go ahead. Pique your curiosity as you venture toward the unknown in any of these PC mystery games. Explore the spooky, the unnatural, and the all around strange. Hopefully, you can handle the gruesome horror or frightful tales that these mysteries unleash.
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*Originally written for GamersDecide.com