Erie: spray-what-you-want in this spooky, free first-person horror

Erie is your latest atmospheric first-person horror game, following in the footsteps of Slender Man like some sort of supernatural stalker. Developed for the University of Utah's EAE Master Games Studio Program, the game takes place in and around a nuclear plant on the shores of lake Erie, in the terrifying period known as the mid-sixties. It promises mutants, scares and, clearly best of all, "hidden, rotting cats". Well, at least they were considerate enough to conceal their stinking corpses from the world.

You can download Erie from Desura , and despite the time and effort it must have taken to create a horror game this effective and professionally made, developer 'kcoppersmith' has decided to release it for free. Madness. By now you know exactly what to expect from these sorts of games - unexplained sounds, creepy baby noises, and toilets filled with blood - but Erie contains at least one new addition to the formula with its novel spraycan feature.

While exploring, you can mark where you've been by tagging walls, surfaces, pretty much any object with graffiti, so it's possible to find your way back if you get lost. It's a bit like the maze scene in Labyrinth, only with more Banksy and sadly less Jennifer Connolly. You can see the spraycan in action in the following video, but be warned: it's mostly being used to draw willies.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.