New Horror Ikai Could Be This Year's Scariest Game

By Jo Craig

June 14, 2021

Ikai is the newly announced psychological horror game from Endflame and publisher PM Studios, and its roots in Japanese folklore may crown this atmospheric ghost story as 2021’s scariest game. 

Endflame is a new indie studio from Barcelona, and Ikai will be the studio’s debut game that promises to “immerse the players into a remarkable experience”.

In the current climate of Bloober Team’s horror reign, Ikai’s wave of Japanese infused scares will be welcomed, given that Japan has produced some of the most hair-raising horror films in cinematic history. 

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What is Ikai About? 

Ikai is a first-person psychological horror set in Feudal Japan and inspired by the country’s folklore. Whispers around the village speak of a new demon that is keen to visit from the underworld and facing it will leave you feeling nothing but fear.

You will play as “defenseless” protagonist Naoko who must navigate through a world rife with yokai and superstition, where solving puzzles and using stealth are your only weapons.

Ikai sounds like the jump scare in a horror film that you can’t hide behind the pillow from. The game’s unique mechanics that force you to face your fears sounds like a nerve-racking experience.

The Japanese Folklore Behind Ikai


The world you explore features many iconic traits from Japanese culture, such as shinto shrines and samurai artifacts.

The existence of yokai and other Japanese spirits adds to the richness of the narrative, and the imagery of these creatures will be the component that chills you to the bone.

When Will Ikai Release? 

  • Ikai will launch in October, on PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch and Steam.

Japanese spirits was a returning theme that gave films like Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge its authentic elements, standing as exemplary horror films. 

Ikai is expected to be of a similar ilk laced with fantasy, but its haunting setting will only add to the sleep-robbing experience that awaits.


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Jo Craig

Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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