Game: Haunt the House: Terrortown
Time Played: 45 mins
A little Halloween fun while reviving my Steam Challenge this week! It’s hard to review Haunt the House: Terrortown because I want to like all that’s there. I just find it lacking in content.
I picked up this game as a part of a Humble Bundle for Halloween, mostly because I was interested in Zafehouse: Diaries. This came with the bundle, so I didn’t spend very much on it. As much as I really love the style and concept of this game, I can’t say that I’d be willing to pay the full price for it based on the length of the game.
A smaller scale version of this game was originally released for free on Newgrounds in 2010. My honest opinion is for you to try the flash version first… and then if you decide you love it, purchase the Steam game. The Steam version is much different than the original in that it has more places and objects to haunt. I’d suggest waiting for a sale or a bundle.
Okay, on to the good things about this game. The game itself is a lot of fun to play! That’s why I’m so torn in writing this review.
You are a sad little ghost (for reasons that aren’t disclosed until later) who has a mission: to scare people and return what’s been lost. Ooooh! It has a lovely art style, appropriate music and sound effects, and a fun atmosphere. As a ghost, you move through each area and possess objects in the rooms. Depending on the object, you have different interactions you can use to spook the people nearby. This can be anything from rattling paintings, making instruments play by themselves, breaking objects, and even making spooky apparitions appear.
The more you frighten the people in the building, the more fearful the atmosphere in the building becomes. As the tension mounts, you become more powerful and unlock several different new interactions with different objects.
It took a while for me to realize the object of the game wasn’t just to scare people but to scare them just enough that they exit the building. Sometimes this could get annoying when the last few people just run around aimlessly or stare blank-faced at your haunting attempts.
I also discovered, after I was almost done with the first playthrough, there were other playable ghosts you collected. There’s a reason for this (that I will not spoil), but it didn’t seem like they did anything different aside from the sounds they make.
My problem with the game: once you beat it, I really don’t see a lot of reason to play it again. Unless you really like it that much… or you just want to beat your score or earn achievements. After I beat it the first time, I expected a new level with different goals. But I didn’t get that, and it didn’t save the ghosts that I earned in the first playthrough. It just completely started over, tutorial and all.
I could see this game amuse younger players who are waiting excitedly for Halloween, but for me, once or twice was enough. Super cute game. Just low on replayability.