Anomaly Video Games

Abstract Engineer     Articles

Abstract Engineer


Find the anomaly video games provide a balanced mix of relaxation and horror. I love horror but sometimes I am tired or in lazy mode. I don’t feel like running for my life or shooting a bunch of zombies but I’m in the mood for horror. Anomaly video games give me just what I need to enjoy horror without overexerting myself.

My journey in anomaly video games began with Alternate Watch, a demo I randomly found on Itch.

Anomaly Video Games


Anomaly observation video games put you in charge of monitoring cameras in eerie locations. Your job is to spot strange occurrences, like flickering lights, moving objects, or even shadowy figures. Think of it as a detective game for the paranormal! These games are often suspenseful and rely on sharp eyes and a good memory.


Alternate Watch is a simple concept. You are tasked with monitoring video cameras placed in a home. Cameras are placed in the kitchen, living room, kids room, and more. There is an option to switch between cameras where you can soak in the environment of each room.

The first step is to memorize as much as possible about each room before anomalies start. Alternate Watch requires you to learn the environment of each room, so put on your observation and memorization hats.

After some time, anomalies will begin to appear. When you think you have spotted an anomaly, you must report it from a list of 10 types of anomalies. It takes about 10 seconds to report an anomaly. This prevents you from spamming reports. A lot can happen in 10 seconds so you must be confident in your reports. If too many anomalies appear, the game ends.

What I like about Alternate Watch is the creepy anomalies that can appear. Some of them can be downright horrifying. The atmosphere helps increase the horror factor. The video game isn’t perfect but it did get me to hunt for more anomaly video games.


Seeing Things is another anomaly video game where you monitor cameras and look for anomalies. I played the demo which had me monitoring a museum complete with a common area, art room, a dinosaur exhibit, and more. Jump scares are the scare tactic used in this title.

I found some of the anomalies to be slightly comical. The horror element still exists with anomalies but some can be comedic. I don’t view this as bad, just different. The environment itself is unsettling which compliments the anomalies when they do appear. There is something about an empty museum at night that screams horror.

The demo includes the museum but more locations will be available at full release. I enjoyed the demo enough that I plan to watch for the full release.


You are stuck on a haunted bullet train in Japan. Some people are on board but something does not seem right with them. Find anomalies to advance on the train and reach the conductor’s room. However, you will return to where you started if you make the wrong choice.

This is a psychological anomaly horror video game and I love it. The concept is simple. Walk through a train car and look for an anomaly. You enter one door if you find an anomaly or you enter another door if you don’t find an anomaly. You’ll move on to the next train car if you are correct. You will be sent back to the start if you are wrong.

The difficulty in finding anomalies feels on par with the difficulty level I like. I did not cruise through the game. I was wrong often but not wrong often enough to become frustrated. It felt like a good balance here.

Shinkansen 0 is creepy. The game does a great job of creating a psychological horror environment and atmosphere. The people on board are all mysterious in their way. The anomalies can be scary. There are not a lot of jump scares here but there is a lot of dread. Walking up and down the tight aisle can feel uneasy.

I love Shinkansen 0. I wish the game were longer.


I played the demo of The Devil Is in the Details and finished wanting so much more. I cannot wait for the full release. This is unique among the anomaly video games. The environment and atmosphere are full of dread. The sound design is haunting. The graphics are great. The psychological horror shines.

You are trapped in a mansion and you need to outsmart the devil to get out. Your job is to find anomalies and banish them with talismans. What’s different here is the need to avoid traps and deadly creatures while working against a timer. When you have placed your talismans, you’ll need to check in with “The Arbiter” to determine if you are correct. Move forward if you are correct or suffer the consequences if you are wrong.

There is a lot I like about The Devil Is in the Details. Free movement, as opposed to cameras or a repeating room, feels refreshing. The mansion changes as you progress so it never feels stale. Minor details change and new danger awaits. Interactions with the Arbiter are fun and create tension.

I can’t say enough about the sound design. The smallest sounds keep the mansion alive and you on your toes. So many times I was expecting something to appear but only to find out the sound was the mansion. Very well done.

I can’t wait for more of The Devil Is in the Details.


Anomaly video games are a nice break from traditional horror video games. I feel like I can relax a bit when I play them. That doesn’t mean I’m not scared or entertained. There is less to manage like inventory or puzzles. Memorization can be a bit draining but I don’t get the same brain drain from other fantastic video games like Silent Hill 2 or Dead Space.


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