8 Video Games To Play If You Like The Twilight Zone

By Mark Delaney,
For the third time since the original Rod Serling classics went off the air in the sixties, The Twilight Zone is being revived for television. Personally, I was decades away from being born when the show originally aired, but I fell in love with it via reruns ever since the nineties. Often doing double duty as early experiments in the genre and sociopolitical commentary during a most turbulent era of American history, few, if any, TV series can be considered more influential than The Twilight Zone.

The series returns to CBS's streaming platform, CBS All Access, this Monday, April 1st led by new host and growing horror legend, Jordan Peele. To get you in the mood before the show hits your home theater, or to continue your craving for mystery and twist endings after you've binged the revival, here are eight games to check out with plenty in common with The Twilight Zone, as well as some episodes to watch if you want to take your viewing/playing experience even further.

Alan Wake

wake oped

Remedy was so obviously inspired by Rod Serling's important series that they went and included six homages to the show throughout Alan Wake. Periodically Alan can stumble upon episodes of Night Springs, an obvious nod to the show once you see its intro and hear its narration. Each episode runs about three or so minutes and tends to tell really weird stories not unlike those featured in the series over the years.

Watch Episode: A World of His Own (1960)

Firewatch

Carousel

It's tough to talk in detail about how The Twilight Zone similarities are strong here, but let's just leave it at there being an unnerving premise that sets up for a more pertinent interpersonal point being made, the same way plenty of episodes of The Twilight Zone play out.

Watch Episode: The Lonely (1959)

Generation Zero

Hi

By far the newest game on this list, Generation Zero launched just days ago. It's arguably even closer to Black Mirror's episode "Metalhead," — itself a Twilight Zone descendant — but the way the game uses sci-fi to tell an allegory of Cold War anxieties is textbook TTZ, and for that reason the dots are easy to connect.

Watch Episode: The Invaders (1961)

Inside

Inside 2

Inside is a difficult game to figure out all on its own, but according to some interpretations (which we won't spoil here), it can definitely be considered something akin to some of the creepier Twilight Zone episodes. Though we admit Serling never tried anything quite like the final moments of Playdead's bizarre cinematic platformer.

Watch Episode: The After Hours (1960)

SOMA

SOMA

If you only play one game on this list and want the most Twilight Zone-like game on it, play SOMA. Nothing else comes close to basically being a modern episode of the series. Mixing fantastic horror elements with one of the smartest and most curious plots in all of games, SOMA is The Twilight Zone of video games.

Watch Episode: Five Characters In Search of An Exit (1961)

Tacoma

Tacoma After comparison shot

Arguably the second closest choice on this list, Tacoma is the adventure game follow-up from the team behind Gone Home. This time, a similarly abandoned space takes place in, well, actual space, and the game does very well to hide its true intentions right up until the very Serlingesque final sequence.

Watch Episode: I Sing The Body Electric (1962)

The Turing Test

The Turing Test 4

Plenty have caught up to this indie puzzler thanks to its Games with Gold offering nearly two years ago, but if you've still missed it til now, it definitely has a TTZ feel to it thanks to its narrative mix of super AI, tough philosophical questions, and a twist ending. It's like the Twilight Zone starter pack.

Watch Episode: The Lateness of the Hour (1960)

We Happy Few

We Happy Few

We Happy Few isn't as sci-fi as most of the games on this list, but then neither was The Twilight Zone always very science fiction either. The alternate history setting and unsettlingly smiley denizens of Wellington Wells feel like the kind of dystopia Serling would approve of, no doubt.

Watch Episode: Number Twelve Looks Just Like You (1964)



If you have any other game or episode recommendations, we'd love to hear them! Here's to hoping the revival is as strong as the beloved original run from 1959.
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He has written for GameSkinny, Gamesradar and the Official Xbox Magazine. He runs the family-oriented gaming site Game Together.
Posts on this article have been added to a thread in the Editorials and Features Forum.
  • lightsup55lightsup55215,380
  • KodingKoding884,950
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 16:04Permalink
    I'm surprised Virginia didn't make this list.
    59 LEGO game completions on 6 different platforms across TA, TT, and TSA! Over 3,200 achievements/trophies earned in LEGO games!
  • Posted on 29 March 19 at 16:22Permalink
    I really like the idea of this article. I've only played 2 of these titles though. laugh
    "This is all Joker's fault! What a tool he was! Now I have to spend all day computing Pi because he plugged in the overlord."
  • Posted on 29 March 19 at 16:36Permalink
    Koding said:
    I'm surprised Virginia didn't make this list.
    Hmm I don’t see it there. Alan Wake is like Twin Peaks and TTZ but Virginia is just straight Twin Peaks to me.
  • Posted on 29 March 19 at 17:19Permalink
    Koding said:
    I'm surprised Virginia didn't make this list.
    Personally I think that’s a good thing, I didn’t find Virgina enjoyable at all.

    I’ve played all but two of the games on this list and there are some real winners. SOMA sticks out the most because it was a really good game and couldn’t agree more that people should give it a chance.
  • iMaginaryyiMaginaryy1,353,378
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 17:35Permalink
    Cool list, I approve of this article, thanks ;)
    Fear is the mindkiller.
  • Zarda1Zarda1528,870
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 18:42Permalink
    I forgot I bought inside. It's good to have these recommendations with all the releases that come out I don't even try to keep up with what's what.
  • GREGO McGEEGREGO McGEE1,879,200
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 19:00Permalink
    Give you props for adding episode comparisons. Nice one!
  • Posted on 29 March 19 at 19:04Permalink
    Soma was incredible. Maybe one of my favorite games to date. Just wow
  • Spangles21Spangles21697,771
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 19:27Permalink
    Have most of these and will check out the couple I dont. Psyched for generation zero
  • Posted on 29 March 19 at 20:12Permalink
    Spangles21 said:
    Have most of these and will check out the couple I dont. Psyched for generation zero
    From what I’ve read you might want to wait a bit for some of the bugs to get ironed out.
  • Posted on 29 March 19 at 20:14Permalink
    HawkeyeBarry20 said:
    Spangles21 said:
    Have most of these and will check out the couple I dont. Psyched for generation zero
    From what I’ve read you might want to wait a bit for some of the bugs to get ironed out.
    Review coming soon but yes.
  • OkayEAOkayEA180,153
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 20:30Permalink
    INSIDE is a really cool game that I can't recommend enough. Glad you mentioned it here smile
  • Spangles21Spangles21697,771
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 21:06Permalink
    N0T PENNYS B0AT said:
    HawkeyeBarry20 said:
    Spangles21 said:
    Have most of these and will check out the couple I dont. Psyched for generation zero
    From what I’ve read you might want to wait a bit for some of the bugs to get ironed out.
    Review coming soon but yes.
    Due to my backlog it will be a while so no problem there. Thanks for the info though :)
  • ElyohElyoh738,481
    Posted on 29 March 19 at 21:47Permalink
    Alan Wake should be played regardless of whether you like TTZ or not, it's a great game.

    Thanks for the list, I'm going to look into the ones I haven't played.
    No God, know fear. Know God, no fear.
  • Posted on 29 March 19 at 22:59Permalink
    Koding said:
    I'm surprised Virginia didn't make this list.
    I Loved Virginia, very unique game
  • Fury87Fury87652,868
    Posted on 30 March 19 at 01:55Permalink
    Very cool idea for an article. Definitely going to check out some of the games I haven't already played from this list. Only within the last few years have I been able to watch the original Twilight Zone and really enjoyed it.

    The only nitpick I have with the article is that there is no links to the TA game pages for each game. I'm so used to opening games I'm interested in a new tab, haha. Super small thing but I though I should mention it. toast
  • Posted on 30 March 19 at 03:22Permalink
    Pneuma Breath of Life might be one that I would put on a list like this.

    If you like Twilight Zone, you should also watch the Black Mirror series.
  • Posted on 30 March 19 at 04:48Permalink
    I didn't mind a number of these games. So I guess the article works both ways. "TV show to watch if you liked these games".
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