With Halloween coming up, Game Muse is looking into some games that really embody that Scare Factor that some gamers desperately crave. Now you obviously have your standards such as the remade Doom 3:BFG Edition but there are some lesser known titles being released as well. One of these games being released in Halloween Scream, taking the gaming back to how it was originally, with a text-based adventure! But can it compete with the creepiness and scare factor of the other, more modern, games?
Yes it can. The game is exceedingly minimalistic and that’s the games charm. The creepy piano intro breathes life into the game, and without the now traditional moving images to amplify the scare factors, the game relies heavily on the use of sound effects, you open a door? You get the sound effect of a creaky door opening. Smash a mirror, you get the sound. These sound effects break through the silence of the game like a knife and if you’re not expecting it, it can make you jump.
The game is based around Halloween and you are inheriting your aunts castle, but you are given a rather suspicious set of instructions to approach the castle at midnight on Halloween. You then go on to explore the castle and it’s grounds, trying to get up to the 2nd floor room where your inheritance is supposedly waiting for you. Sounds like a cheesy B-list horror movie plot, but it works surprisingly well. It’s not going to win any prizes for complexity and you can guess the plot “twist” a mile away but it’s a pleasantly entertaining ride trying to gather up pieces of a pentagram to open up a door. The plot just smells cheesy, but it is just good old-fashioned horror fun.
The other thing I really enjoyed about this game was the humour, and the ribbing it gave some popular culture phenomenons that are happening at the moment, like Fifty Shades of Grey (There was a line in the game that said “Twenty Shades of Awful Writing”) and Harry Potter( It’s a book about a necromancer called Henry Porter. Who would read such clichéd rubbish) Just these small instances made me crack up laughing. They also managed to make fun of themselves which I am extremely happy to see a developer do.
There was very little I disliked about this game, it made for a few hours entertainment, and it re-awoke my love for the old text-based adventure games. This is definitely a game for you to pick up if you’re planning on spending Halloween inside playing games, and at just 80 MS points on XBLA, you have no excuse not to.