Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition review
Oh man, Night Trap. I remember playing this back in 1992 on my Sega CD, which, considering my age at the time, probably wasn’t the best idea. I also remember many other FMV games of the time: Who Shot Johnny Rock, Mad Dog McCree, Crime Patrol, Double Switch, Sewer Shark, Fahrenheit 911, Tomcat Alley… the list goes on.
Night Trap is clearly the most memorable bunch, as it pretty forced what we know as the ESRB into existence, thanks to Sen. Joseph Liebermand helicopter parents who complained about its “gratuitous sex and violence”, two things which Night Trap doesn’t have.
And here we are in, 2018 (I realize it came out last year, I just got to reviewing it now), and Night Trap is an insanely tame game by today’s standards. Is it still worth playing? Yes.
If you’re unfamilar with the game, you’re cast as an unnamed, unspoken operator in charge of eight cameras set up in the house, and you have to trap what are known as Augers (read: vampires). They skulk around the house, and you need to swap to the correct camera to be able to trap them. Trapping is performed by right-clicking when a specific meter turns red, which indicates they’re over a trap. This could be lowering glass panes which traps them, before the floor gives way, turning the stairs into a slide where they slide down into a waiting gap in the floor, and various other methods.
This is the core gameplay loop. Watch scenes, find the augers, trap them, save the girls. Occasionally the access code will change colors, which you’ll need to watch a scene to figure out, as the colors are random.
Screaming Villains has touched up the entire video track for this anniversary edition, but bear in mind the game was released in 1992 (therefore the video was filmed in 1991, if not earlier), so it’s going to be grainy. Don’t expect high fidelity, 4K visuals for something that’s now 26 years old.
Sound and music are roughly the same, in that they’ve been retouched, but still maintain qualities that was early 90s technology. Voice acting is cheesy and bad, but considering the 90s horror’ish vibe they were going for, it works.
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There isn’t much to the gameplay aside from what I’ve mentioned, and a full game will take you roughly 26 minutes. There’s a timer that counts up for the duration, and the game will always end around 25, unless you’ve failed before hand.
There are six endings to get, most of which require a full playthrough from the start, as well as various achievements to complete the game using different screen layouts from various years, as well as a new for one 2017. The devs have also included a decent amount of bonus content, including a theatre mode that lets you watch all the scenes (once you’ve unlocked them), two documentaries, and a playable version of Scene of the Crime, which was an early Night Trap prototype.
- It’s still fun, at least once or twice
- Watching the augers fall into various traps is neat
- It’s an FMV, and therefore comes with all the bad things associated with that
- It hasn’t aged well
It’s Night Trap. If you’re old enough to remember the Sega CD release (or one of the subsequent ones), you’ll know what to expect. If you don’t know what to expect, it’s an FMV game. Think of something like Late Shift or The Infectious Madness of Dr. Dekker, two FMV-style games I can think of in recent memory.
It’s very linear, it’s short, and unless you want to unlock everything and see all the endings, it won’t take you long to get through it. With all the bonus content that Screaming Villains has thrown in, especially Scene of the Crime, I believe that Night Trap is well worth its asking price, despite its short duration.