Vampires, Teenagers, Traps OH my!
When I was a kid, I remember seeing the Sega CD at my older brother’s house and my parents and I were just wowed by seeing video in a game that players could have control over. That Christmas, my parents bought me a Sega CD, and I slowly started dabbling into the live action gaming genre that seemed to be storming the PC and consoles by this point. Night Trap, I had heard the controversy but didn’t really understand quite what was the big deal. I played Sewer Shark, Double Switch, Corpse Killer and a ton of other Digital Pictures games, but Night Trap always eluded me. So now, thanks to Screaming Villains we have a restored and new way to play the game years later, and I couldn’t be happier.
Price I’d Pay: $19.99
How long to beat: Two hours
Use the traps
Looking at pictures or videos of Night Trap or other games of this style, the biggest question is usually “what do you do?” From a visual standpoint it just looks like a bunch of videos on a monitor, and that’s mostly right. The interesting aspect is that imagine running a surveillance system in a house, monitoring it, and knowing that there are traps all throughout the house that can be activated. So everything is running in real time. This means on a single play through don’t expect to see every single scene to completion. Night Trap follows a young group of teens hanging out at a house full of augers and vampires, and it’s all presented in glorious b budget, over acted silliness. Expect horrible dialog, unintentionally hilarious moments, and a game that honestly doesn’t take itself all that serious.
I completed the game in about an hour. If players are familiar with the game, it can probably be done sooner. Some quality of life elements are here versus other releases, especially the Sega CD version, which was just as pixelated as can be. Here we have a nice monitor presentation and fairly clear video in comparison. Once completed, you can unlock a theater mode, some behind the scenes interviews, and even an unlockable game, one that was made and even helped Night Trap get created ultimately. It’s a great look back at a game that helped create the ESRB.
Oh the humanity
Playing the game all these years later brought back a sense of Sega CD nostalgia for me. As much as people dislike these FMV games, they were a part of my childhood and I just love them. Even though I never played Night Trap, all these years later, I was loving it. These are games that are definitely a creation from their time and I’d love to see more remasters of these titles released, not only as a great way to preserve them, but bring in potentially new fans to the genre. To think this game was considered ultra-violent and used in court for violence when there is almost no violence actually even on screen. No gratuitous blood, gore, or nudity. Just simple traps for simple minded enemies.
Overall the game can still be completed rather quickly, and the experience is definitely shallow as far as depth goes, but it’s charming and a great piece of videogame history. Now that I’ve played it to completion, I will say I think Double Switch, another game in the same genre, is a much more elaborate version of this type of game and still my favorite. Night Trap seemed like a great first attempt at a retail title such as this, and I’m glad to see it make a return to the gaming scene all these years later.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.