Chilla’s Art games are absolutely soaked in dread and paranoia. Its PS1-style horror infuses your mind with enough gnawing paranoia to make you question the motivations of every NPC you encounter in their games. Similar to the atmosphere of the original Silent Hill games, Chilla’s Art is a breath of fresh air in the recent influx of indie horror games with the PS1 aesthetic. Their games are a commitment. By this, I mean that by the time you finish you’ll be very committed to never working in retail or a sales job.
Do you know that common fear of the dark? For Chilla’s Art, the fear is the one that lurks in that darkness. Be it something supernatural or something downright evil and human. In regard to indie horror games, Chilla’s Art does some of the best. With a perfect combination of a slow-building atmosphere and well-timed, never-overused jumpscares. The PS1-style game textures and character models add to the ensuing creepiness of the sometimes surreal and uncomfortable conversations you’ll engage in.
These are games that focus on the evil in humans and the hatred we can leave behind that transforms into something supernatural and unforgiving. Are you brave enough to enter the world of Chilla’s Art? If so, these are our 7 Best Games from Chilla’s Art. Chilla’s Art games are available on Steam.
The Closing Shift
Never work the night shift on your own.
In The Closing Shift you play as a female employee working the night shift at Chilla’s Coffee. This Chilla’s Art installment is a slow, aching build-up of anticipation. The creeping shiver on the back of your neck, the feeling of someone watching you just out the corner of your eye. Customers will come in and engage in conversation with you, the biggest part of gameplay is taking customer orders. You will also complete simple tasks such as buss tables, take out trash and sweep the floor. It is an antagonizing wait for the horror climax but do not get too comfortable working the night shift. Because he is there. Waiting.
There is someone close. There always has been. Can you see him? Did you notice? When you were busy bussing tables, taking out the trash and taking the bus to work. Did you check the cameras? Surely you did not miss him. It’s okay, he will see you soon.
The Convenience Store
Who's messing with the doors?
Back at it again with another game where the main character is a female employee working the night shift. The Convenience Store has similar gameplay mechanics to the previous one as it is a walking simulator, you will check inventory for expired food and throw away trash, and serve customers who share this strange, dream-like walk. The way that these characters move and interact with you can make your skin crawl. You may be thinking, surely this is about an intruder or robbery? But then the motion detector doors open. No one is there and they keep opening and closing. Open, close, every night. You take a look outside but there is nothing. It must be faulty wiring.
There is a change in the atmosphere, unlike what we experienced in The Closing Shift. This time it is something vengeful and fuelled with hatred. Someone is sending you VHS tapes (this is a retro-style game after all), do you watch them? Should you watch them? You feel this itch, a pull. Some invisible force to slide that tape into the player. To sit back and enjoy the show.
There are 2 endings to this game. Can you get through your shift?
Nothing is ever free.
Would you move to a bathhouse for free under the condition that you had to work there? Chilla’s Art is back with their latest horror game The Bathhouse, released October 1st, 2022. The Bathhouse feels darker than the rest, although all Chilla’s Art games give you a feeling of anxiety and being watched. The characters you interact with in the game are shadowy figures, even when it is daylight outside. You can barely make out any distinguishable facial features. Because of this, all interactions feel the same. With this sense of uneasiness when you talk to them, their blank faces and strange dialogue lines feel dreamlike.
You are tasked to serve the customers of the bathhouse and clean up. There are mentions of an offering, maybe some kind of religious sacrifice. You are not sure. But as you are facing the mirrors of the bathhouse you hear the sound of wet footsteps behind you. Maybe you will try having a bath, it is free after all. But I cannot promise you will be the only one there.
There are 2 endings to this game.
"Why is he just standing there?"
Try not to suffocate in the overwhelming silence of Stigmatized Property. The setting for this short Chilla’s Art game is simple, you play as a character who has moved into a cheap apartment. You have arrived but no one is here to greet you. Upon settling into your new home, you find a diary with the last seven pages torn out. Inside the apartment, there is a hole in the wall peering into the room adjacent. What is going on here?
Find and piece together the seven pages that are scattered around the apartment complex. Find out what happened to the previous tenant and hope that whatever happened, it does not happen to you too.
Moral of the story? If something seems too good to be true, it is. Don’t rent cheap apartments. Try Holiday Inn.
There are 2 endings to this game.
The Radio Station
How do you know what is real and what is not?
The final installment on this list is The Radio Station. The main character is a man named Masaki Onikawa who recently lost his brother. He hosted a radio show and died mysteriously at the station. We follow Masaki in his investigation to find out what really happened to his brother. The station is a claustrophobic, liminal space, kept alive by the last radio show audio recordings. The goal is to find all seven recordings. Explore the surrounding area, follow clues and solve puzzles.
The Radio Station is shrouded in mystery, you feel like a detective collecting evidence. But the station is still an active crime scene and Masaki may in fact be its next victim.
This game has 3 endings. Will you finish the tape?
The terror of Inunaki Tunnel
If you are a fan of the found footage horror subgenre this one is for you. Inunaki Tunnel is based on the real incident that happened in 1988 and the result of that incident. The now abandoned tunnel, off limits to the public due to the murders that took place there sits in silence as this devastating reminder to Japanese citizens. Chilla’s Art’s Inunaki Tunnel takes place on October 27th, 2005. We play as Keiji Fujio, who is recording their experience going through the infamous tunnel.
Inunaki Tunnel is intense, similar to the gameplay mechanics of Outlast, your only real visual aid in this pitch-black tunnel is the light from the camcorder. There are notes scattered around the surrounding environment, abandoned vehicles, and overgrown foliage. The dim light can only show you a meter in front of you, it’s claustrophobic but at the same time feels endless as you walk through. You reach a larger space, an area outside the tunneling system, and in classic Chilla’s Art form, you must explore further and solve puzzles.
The sound design makes this game, it is simple but effective. The crackling under your feet, the whirring zoom from your camcorder. It is drenched in realism in a place that feels like a separate dimension without civilization. This game has 2 endings.
The Ghost Train
Which is your stop?
Based on the Japanese urban legend Kisaragi Station, a fictitious station said to bridge the gap between being alive and being in the afterlife. The events in The Ghost Train feel like a dream, as our protagonist Kensuke Tanaka, is very often seen awaking from his nap, typically missing his stop. The gameplay consists of puzzle-solving, fetch and escort quests. Its dreamlike story resembles that of the confusion and mind-bending experience of watching Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue.
The station acts as a liminal space for a waiting room, you are alone. Similar to the isolation of the Backrooms. As the days pass, after seeing and interacting with the regulars on the night train you start to experience further isolation, your regulars are not there anymore. As if you are becoming as empty as the station you wait in every night. Make sure you get off at the right stop.
There are 2 endings for this game.
Related: 10 Best Point-and-Click Horror Games