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Top 10 jump scares in gaming

Welcome back another issue of our Top 10! This week we’ve been made to look at the Top 10 Jump Scares in Gaming, because all of you lovely viewers want to see us suffer and jump and be reduced to blubber and tears.

Thanks guys. For the record, Timlah loved this one.

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Top 10

10 – Black Ops 2 – Mob of the Dead Sniper Scare

For fans of Call of Duty, we throw you into our number 10 spot as I’m sure plenty of you have had a little jump at this Black Ops 2 – Mob of the Dead sniper Easter Egg. It’s performed by simply pulling your sniper rifle out and looking at a certain point as seen in the video above.

This is a particularly effective jump scare as it comes completely out of the blue, although it fits the theme of the game quite well. A perfectly executed, very simple jump scare!

9 – Thief – Keyhole peeping

Deadly Shadows (the third instalment of the series) is acclaimed for having one of the best and scariest levels ever created: The quest “Robbing The Cradle” set in the Shalebridge Cradle combined asylum and orphanage. The latest game of the series, “Thief” tries to recapture the magic with the Moira Asylum level. The homage is fairly direct but sets the tone nicely when Garret attempts to peak through a keyhole.

It’s a classic technique that gets the player up-close and personal with fear. I’ve yet to play the game in full (I am in dire need of a new graphics card and motherboard) but I look forward to seeing how well Eidos have filled Ion Storm’s shoes.

8 – Condemned: Criminal Origins

There’s a corpse that has been stuffed into a locker. You need to zoom right in on this corpse in order to get a better look and to send some information back about the situation you’re in. Then as you zoom right in on its face, the head tilts at you. The corpse lashes out and grabs your arm. It pulls you in and says “Help me!”

This is one of these situations where you are sort of expecting it to happen, but it actually happening is worse than the expectation. Well done Condemned!

7 – Resident Evil 1 – Shattered Glass Dogs

The original Resident Evil game is possibly the best example of horror done correctly. The Resident Evil hallway where dogs jump in through the windows, shattering the windows and giving you quite a violently shocking music change – It’s horror perfection.

This was one of the earliest examples of horror and yes: It is quite something to behold.

6 – Slender: The Eight Pages


This is the game that helped to redefine the horror genre big time. Don’t believe me? There’s something wrong with you, honestly.

Slender was the first game that came along that changed peoples perceptions of the horror genre. It added a whole new sense of isolation and fear, being this character wandering a forest, trying to collect pages to make sense of this phenomenon known as Slenderman. As you run around, you find you don’t have much to protect yourself: Just your wits, your ability to outrun the figure in the forest and collecting these pages. The further you get in this, the harder the game gets, the more erratic Slenderman becomes.

Slenderman won’t let you forget his face in a hurry. Oh wait…

5 – Alien: Isolation

Move aside indie horror games, the triple A daddies of horror are here and… wait, this was made by a company synonymous with strategy games? Yes, Creative Assembly has created something horrifying in ways we cannot fathom. Jump scares galore wait for you as aliens come lunging out of the dark at high speed.

This also breaks our Top 10 Sci-Fi Cliches… These aliens are not humanoid! To think, a game based off a movie is the saviour of triple A horror gaming.

4 – Five Nights At Freddy’s – Dying


We talk about Five Nights at Freddy’s a lot. You run night security at a pizza-place with animatronic animals that wander freely at night (for reasons) and all you have to do is keep an eye on the place from your office. Just don’t get caught by wandering robot animals or they’ll stuff you into a suit, never mind that there are servos in the way. Oh and don’t run out of power, or you won’t be able to shut the doors and stop them from coming for you.

When the friendly mascots come for you, they burst through the doors at you, and leap forward with chattering mouths and sprung eyes! Then of course, there’s Golden Freddy, who can come at you at any time like some terrible apparition. The whole game is designed to build to a jump scare that you have to avoid.

3 – Dead Space – The Necromorphs


In Dead Space, no one can hear you scream. Well I’m sure the players can hear your characters screaming loudly in agony as he dies in a plethora of ways. However, out of Dead Space, one thing is a complete constant: The Necromorphs come out of the blue and are absolutely terrifying.

Mutated and mutilated, these corpses are terrifying to the core and they jump out at you from all sorts of spaces. From behind doors, around corners and even under stairwells, these frightening images come at you and they aren’t afraid to make you jump in the process. All in a days work for monsters that are out to murder you savagely.

2 – Outlast


My new favourite genre that I can never ever ever play, vulnerability horror spawns its’ latest brain child, Outlast. We admit we have never played the game, but what we have seen tells us that it could well be the biggest frightfest of the year.  You are stuck in an asylum that is rumoured to be conducting terrible experiments which have populated the building with monsters.

Cliché maybe, but it’s tense, pulse pounding, and best of all it leaves you completely vulnerable, so everything shock could mean sudden death. There’s no reflex pulling of a trigger, you can only hope to run, and hope not to hit a dead end before the mutated madmen give up the hunt.

1 – P.T – Playable Teaser

Silent Hills is coming out and yes, this was a playable teaser for Silent Hills. Thank you so very much, Kojima. You have helped create a truly horrific masterpiece.

But the most important part is the jump scares. The above video, at 1:20… You’ll see just what happens. It’s truly quite a horrific scare, especially since it comes quite out of the blue. You feel on edge throughout, with an intense atmosphere… But then it pulls off people slamming doors in your face and jumping out at you, seemingly trying to kill you. It’s alright, it’s just a corpse that’s trying to kill you.

Perhaps the scariest part of this is the fact this game was basically an elaborate demo for Silent Hills. I’ve not played a Silent Hill game to completion: Silent Hills might be the first Silent Hill game for me.

Honourable Mentions

That’s not all, there are some more truly jump-scary games out there… However, we couldn’t justify getting these in our Top 10 list, but we felt they both deserved a special mention. One… More than the other, but we are in agreement: Both of these games will make you jump!

The Maze

Three levels, a simple task: move the cursor from one end of the maze to the other. It’s a simple in-browser flash game, probably designed in MSPaint, and yet it’s a mini-legend.

Pop-Up Pirate

From the masters of horror – Japan – Kurohige Kiki Ippatsu is a perforated cask of tension and anticipation. Players push knives one by one into the sides of the keg, waiting to find the one that will ultimately be the one to stab the hapless occupant into leaping from his cage. The inevitability of the moment makes it no less shocking.

Jenga has its’ potency, Buckaroo can make you flinch, but they have strategy! A steady hand, a careful placement, but Pop-Up Pirate leaves the player an unwitting victim to its’ own treacherous game. A barrel of fun? A torture like no other.

Now I hope you haven’t jumped so high up that you’re now stuck to the ceiling… However this concludes our Top 10 Jump Scares in Gaming. As always, this has been Joel and Timlah, thanking you for stopping by.

Do you agree with our list? Do you have any others you’d have liked to have seen in this list? What do you think? Join in the conversation below and until next time, get voting on our poll for the next Top 10!


One response

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Towers in Games | GeekOut South-West

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