Dead End Road Is A Vehicular Horror Game

staring guys

Has anyone ever made a driving game that is also a horror game before now? It might have happened. It must have happened, but I can’t think of a single example. Dead End Road [official site] makes a driving/horror mashup seem like such an obvious thing though, by borrowing or referencing so many tricks from scary movies that involve rear view mirrors and shadows in the back seat, figures at the side of the road, and radios that inexplicably puke out bursts of static. It’s simple, effective, short and replayable.

Dead End Road has been available for a while through but I played it for the first time when it arrived on Steam recently. How could I resist such a weird combination? It makes me want the Bates Motel in American Truck Simulator to lead into an on-foot side quest involving corpses in the cellar and a Norman at the top of the stairs.

The premise of Dead End Road is simple. Like an idiot, you’ve taken part in a ritual to bring about your greatest desire (you get to pick what that desire is; maybe go for ‘a faster car’) and found that dark rituals come with a heavy price tag. Ghosts and demons are chasing you, and you need to get from one side of the map to the other in order to save your soul. You do that by picking a destination, driving for a few minutes while various visual distortions and actual physical threats attempt to force you into a fatal automobile accident, and then do some shopping and whatnot at the next town down the line.

Dead End Road succeeds because the visual effects are varied enough to startle and unnerve, and because the simple act of dodging traffic and sticking to the road becomes incredibly difficult when you’re trying to keep an eye on the weird manifestations happening all over the screen. The shopping and car maintenance/upgrades are basic and there are no out-of-car adventures, as in The Consuming Shadow, which is otherwise similar in many ways.

If you want a commute more horrifying than the London Underground during a heatwave, Dead End Road is worth a look. Just don’t expect much more than some nifty, creepy crashes.

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  1. Grim Rainbow says:

    Thanks for this. This would normally be a lets watch on youtube affair for me, but I’ve had such good times with movies based around automobile horror, that I’m gonna have to get this one for the reasonable price.

    I just read that back to myself, I sound nuts. Doesn’t help its 3:42am or that I’m the first comment either. Thanks the info though, probably would of missed this otherwise.

    • frightlever says:

      I really love the 1977 movie “Slap Shot” but have never played any of the NHL games. I’m going to have to have a hard think about that.

      • Grim Rainbow says:

        Oh no, now you’ve done it. I hate watching sports, but for whatever reason like the movie, ‘Tin Cup’. Mario Golf?

  2. zsd says:

    The joy-to-dollar ratio for this game has been incredible for me. Your fondest wish can be for Taco Tuesdays and I find that delightful.

  3. Bullfrog says:

    Consuming Shadow has some driving in it, you don’t drive the car as such but there are some similar sounding events that trigger periodically.

  4. lglethal says:

    There is nothing Adam, NOTHING more horrifying then a London tube ride at peakhour during a heatwave. NOOOOTTTTHHHHIIIINNNNGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Guzzleguts says:

      London bus ride when the schools have just kicked out?

      • lglethal says:

        That’s just dangerous, not horrifying. The Tube ride, with the lack of space, hideous people, the inadvertent (mostly) touching, the stench (my god the STENCH!!!!)! Nothing compares for the sheet horror of the peak hour, heat wave tube ride! ;)

  5. Turkey says:

    It’s kinda interesting to see how quickly this roguelite thing is splitting and evolving. I like that there’s this whole branch off to the side just doing homages to Oregon Trail.

  6. Vorig says:

    Free of jump scares?

  7. Jetsetlemming says:

    Yahtzee Croshaw’s “The Consuming Shadow” is what I thought of based on this post’s first sentence question. A Clthulhu-esque ritual is underway and the world’s on the brink of ending. You have to drive around the UK to different towns trying to put a stop to it. You don’t manually drive, rather you click on the map and you move from point A to B, and random encounters can happen on the road.

  8. scaredtoplay says:

    I’m always happy to see new horror titles being released! You can also use horror databases to find Horror Games.