Mega Cat Brings The Halloween Freaks Out, Retro Style

Want some classic-inspired Halloween fun? Mega Cat Studios has you covered like a freshly found corpse with these two games that look and play like NES classics of yore, but are available on Switch (and NES of you happen to own one or a compatible system). Fist to face combat, pixel pushing goodness and fun time await with this pair of titles:

 

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First up, is Creepy Brawlers ($4.99, eShop), an homage to the classic Punch-Out!! with a horror theme, monster and alien fighters and quite familiar (albeit very tough) fun. While it’s a single player only game, it’s cool enough that you’ll be passing around a controllers so everyone can get a turn. There’s a physical cart version for the NES if you have access to one and can run it without issues here.

 

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Next up, is HAUNTED: Halloween ’86 ($9.99), a side-scrolling platforming, beat-em-up adventure that’s kind of like the classic River City Ransom (Downtown – Nekketsu Monogatari) but with a horror vibe. Also single players, the game recalls the look and feel of classic NES games and is pretty much guaranteed to have you burning with nostalgia throughout. This one is only currently available digitally (it was initially released in 2016 as a cart version), so get it now if you like what you see.

Oh, and make sure to check out Mega Cat’s recent blog post on scary retro games and their free ebooks selection, as they’re more than just some folks who cook up a witch’s cauldron of retro games.

-GW

Puppet Combo Has A Few Scares To Share

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This PC games set from Puppet Combo will set you back a mere $6.66 total (you can pay more if you like), but the scares here are worth a million bones, especially it you have a yen for intentionally crafted PlayStation 1-era visuals, grainy VHS filters for that extra layer of authenticity, like crazy and relentless to slow-burning horror games and can get used to the controls being so old school. Take a look at the game page (some imagery is a bit jarring, but you’re expecting it to be, right?) here. Or, you can go all out and get the bundle that includes this collection and much more here.

I want to see Puppet Combo a console dev kit of some sort, as these intentionally low-poly fright-filled short games would be perfect on whichever system they choose to port them over to. Hey, PC and Mac users shouldn’t have ALL the fun, I say.

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Yeah, I’d watch this if it were a film, Horror Blanket and all.

-GW

 

Capsule Review: The Conjuring House (PC)

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Uh, mommy? Holy hell, The Conjuring House sure is scary when it needs to be (which is often). Developer RYM Games has a an almost killer game here that despite a few technical flaws (which are currently being addressed via patches that will hopefully improve the overall experience) is one near-total freakout of a game. Things get off to a scary start and the tension builds as the game follows the tried and true “Old Dark House filled with dreadful evil”  formula with some pretty hefty psychological horror and jump scares. Unlike some more popular horror titles, you’re unarmed and have to try and avoid or run from enemies whenever possible, the game has intentionally distant save points and yes, this leads to a few too many deaths whether or not you’re careless. On the other hand, when when things click, you’re playing half under whatever you were sitting on when you started with one eye opened because the other has shut itself closed.

Nevertheless, in its current form, some elements of the game aren’t quite as solid as they should be. Changing the default video settings immediately makes the game too dark to see and that default setting uses a post-processing effect that seems to add too much blur to the movement. Some well-done but lengthy cutscenes do a great job of storytelling, but can’t be skipped at all, so if you die  before one, you’ll need to watch the whole thing all over again. Add in those long treks and/or backtracking between those save points plus a single save slot and you get a recipe for frustration as well as fear of playing for some of the wrong reasons.

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Your brain will look and feel like this decrepit room right from the moment you gain control of your hapless non-hero.

Continue reading

The Horror of Too Many Scary Games (is a Good Thing to Have), Part 2

You’re either back for more… or you fell asleep reading that first part and just woke up in time for part two. Well, here you go, then. Some of today’s entries are coming out after October, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less frightening. Anyway, here are six more games to look forward to (unless you’re too freaked out to want to try some of the scarier ones, mua-ha-ha-haaaa!):

 

 
Home Sweet Home (PS4/PSVR/Xbox One) – If the trailer is any indication, this could be one of the downright scariest stealth/horror games of the year. I missed out on the PC version of this truly scary-looking Thai horror game from Bangkok-based indie dev Yggdrazil Group Co.,Ltd, but my pals at Mastiff Games seem voraciously intent on putting me under the couch with this upcoming PS4 and Xbox One port. The PS4 version will support VR as an option (I’ll take my scares flat, thank you much) and if you prefer your games on a disc, this one’s going to be a GameStop exclusive in addition to a standard digital download on PSN and Xbox Live. I may have to shell out for the disc version, as this one certainly looks scary enough to be a keeper. That and I want to have the option of maybe loaning that disc to a friend or two who hate horror games but are slowly coming around. Then again, I have the feeling that this might be one of those games that sends them back down the ladder to being too skittish to fire it up.

Continue reading

Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut Brings Humor To Horror In Spades

 Slayaway Camp BC_1920x1080_Art_with logo (Custom)

I was hoping Blue Wizard would get around to getting their runaway PC hit Slayaway Camp onto consoles and yes indeed, it’s finally here to slay. The most murderiest puzzle game ever comes to consoles with hundreds of levels, easy to grasp, hard to master gameplay and loads of killer content (as in loads of killers to choose from and bump off camp counselors and other B-movie fodder in plenty of blocky but gory ways). It’s kind of like Sokoban… but with 100 percent more killing instead of crate pushing!

Key features

Includes the base game and the following additional content: Deluxe Edition, My Gory Valentine, HellCamp, Monthly Murderers Series 1 & 2, Supernatural Forces, and Santa’s Slay
300+ Fiendish puzzle levels to massacre your way through
60+ Killers to cause comical carnage with, including deranged wackos such as Mutant Hillbilly, Kevin, and the killer inter-dimensional clown: THAT
90+ Gorepacks with delightfully OTT kill scenes to shock and entertain
Starring Mark Meer (Cdr. Shepard from Mass Effect) as Skullface and Derek Mears (Jason from Friday the 13th) as Jessica
Genuine hair-metal soundtrack by legendary Canadian group GNÜ TRUNTION
Created by Jason Kapalka (Peggle, Bejewelled), Nate Schmold & Jessi Ross (Cosmochoria) and Ido Yehieli (Cardinal Quest)
Slayaway Camp was recently selected as an overall winner at the annual Google Play Indie Games Festival
Achievements and Trophies (includes Platinum) added for Xbox One and PS4 versions
Localized in the following languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian

The game even has a non-violent mode for those of you concerned little Johnny will turn into a hockey-masked murder machine, although I’d say he was already headed there before this game was created. Anyway, yeah – go get this NOW, chop-chop. I just started playing, so a full review will go up over the weekend. As I loved the PC original to death, expect a similarly gushing review.

Okay, I’m out of slasher flick puns. Back in a bit.

-GW

HALLOWEEN Meets Halloween: Dreamy Nightmare Time


 

From the depths of the Internet, one smart YouTuber named juvan baldeo took my favorite Halloween movie and my favorite Halloween song and made this beauty of a clip. Enjoy!

-GW

Review: The Park (PC)

THE PARK bannerPlatform: PC
Developer/Publisher: Funcom
MSRP: $9.99
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B (80%)

Although it’s set in The Secret World universe, no previous experience with that MMO is needed to get a jolt or two from The Park, Funcom’s short psychological horror adventure that’s both a nice looking and eventually haunting game experience. It’s not without flaws that make parts a lot less immersive than they should have been and as an experiment in storytelling it relies on too much inner dialogue from the main character that makes her sound more like a writer working on a short story in her head more than a worried parent. That said, if you’re in the right mood on the right dark night, the game will eventually get its creepy points across and right under your skin.

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When her child, Callum, goes missing during a trip to a shuttered amusement park with his single mother, Lorraine, she heads into the gloomy, deserted venue in order to track him down. That’s the simplistic way of telling the story without spoiling much because the game experience is actually fairly short, clocking in at about two hours if you take your time and do as much as possible. As Lorraine makes her way around the park calling out her son’s name, she ends up making the rounds of the few rides and attractions while talking to herself (internally and externally), finding newspaper clippings and other notes that detail the park’s not so safe past history. Continue reading

The Last Crown: Midnight Horror – Iceberg’s Happier Halloween Adventure Looks Like A Winner

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You should SEE my backlog, ladies and germs. It’s huge and scary like a mountain and just as hard to move. That said, Darkling Room‘s new game The Last Crown: Midnight Horror looks really fun. I’d never even heard of the developer until I got an email about this one and how it’s a lighter fright game that’s also an in-between chapter of The Lost Crown and the still in development The Last Crown: Blackenrock, two adventure games I now need to also play at some point. No experience with the first game is needed here as the game’s Halloween theme makes it a standalone “between cases” experience.

Take a gander at the trailer and screens below the jump and if you like what you see, you can grab the game on Steam for a mere $4.49, 50 cents of the normal price of $4.99 (a total BARGAIN for such a cool-looking throwback). Continue reading

Review: Slender: The Arrival (Wii U)

Slender marqueePlatform: Wii U
Developer: Blue Isle/Parsec Productions
Publisher: Reverb Triple XP
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B- (75%) 

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Nowhere is safe in Slender: The Arrival, a somewhat polarizing first-person horror game that’s made the rounds on PC, PS3/PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One and has finally arrived on the Wii U in time for Halloween. As someone who’s avoided the game in its previous incarnations thanks to not being into the whole Slenderman myth (that some take way too seriously), I have to say I was pleasantly surprised that the game is actually more than a little frightening.

Or should I say unpleasantly surprised that I found myself backing out to the HOME screen on my Wii U after a few particularly well-placed random jump scares. At the right time (after midnight) and under the right conditions (big headphones on in a dark room, rainy and miserable outside), I found myself unable to push on during one part where that damn skinny suit-wearing freak kept popping up and making me squeal like a trapped piglet. Squeee! Squeeeee! Yipes. That’s the game doing its job quite well despite some flaws in the ointment. Continue reading

THE PARK: Fear Rides The Fairway in Funcom’s New Horror Quickie

THE PARK banner
 

A trip to the amusement park really goes off the rails in Funcom’s new short first-person psychological horror experience, THE PARK, now available for PC on digital platforms Steam, Humble Store, NVIDIA GeForce Now Store, Green Man Gaming, and GamersGate for $9.99, a 23% savings on the game’s $12.99 MSRP. If you’re like me and thinking “Hey, doesn’t Funcom only make big-budget MMO experiences these days?” Well, you’re not 100% wrong there. And you’re not 100% correct, either. Funcom wants you to know they’re not all about those expensive to produce and addictive online time-sinks these days:

“Thanks to similar games in the narrative space, such as ‘Gone Home’, ‘Dear Esther’ and ‘The Stanley Parable’, we are confident that there is a place in the gaming industry for shorter, intense experiences,” says Funcom creative director Joel Bylos. “Technically, it explores the limits of what is possible for a team to achieve with a small budget, short deadline and a strong focus.”

 

Aha. Well, short and horrific seem to be selling well these days, Funcom does have the talent to make it work and hey, at ten bucks… that’s less than a movie ticket and you don’t just get to sit there and get scared while choking on your popcorn. THE PARK seems like a game that while brief, is going to get people talking. Or in this era of social video site streaming, sitting down in front of their monitors watching someone play and freak out. Hmmmm. You can probably have someone feed you popcorn while you play this one. Just don’t be surprised at all if that a piece of that slimy “buttered” junk ends up shoved into a nostril at some point because Fatima peeled out of the room in fear an stuck that corn in the first orifice he or she could reach.

Sometimes, it’s best to experience certain types of horror alone. Or at least after you have your popcorn.