Day 87 of #100DaysToOffload
The trick to a good horror game is the balance of light and dark. Too dark and the player don't see shit and just gets frustrated. Too light and it's not scary. Of course you need more than that, but I saw many games, that are basically just too dark. Sound is also an important part, not just for the jumpscares, but for things that lurk in the shadows. Enviromental sounds, like wind, door openings, etc. One of the best example is Alien: Isolation, where if you use your ear well, you can tell if the alien is hunting or in the vents, you have to rely on the motion detector much less. Other good example is the original Thief: The Dark Project, where footstep are essential to know where the guards are, but also creepy zombies, ghosts, spiders and other stuff has distinctive sounds that can help the player.
This was day 87 of #100DaysToOffload.