Night Trap – 25th Anniversary Review
I’m a few weeks behind on this I have to admit, but I have a penchant for playing games that are known to be terrible. I will admit the original Night Trap fits this category loosely as original reviews were pretty mixed when it came out and varied quite widely depending on the console you were playing it on.
Lots of tags of playing a B-Movie (great game on the PS1 btw) were thrown around although technologically it was pretty impressive.
I am not reviewing it as it was then, I am reviewing as it appears now. In the 25th anniversary release that was launched a few short weeks ago.
So here we go.
First thing is not to try and skip the intro, as it contains a nice scene giving the backstory of the game.
You are a member of the humorously named SCAT (Special Control Attack Team) investigating the Martin family. The SCAT team are investigating the disappearance of five teenage girls who were last seen at the Martin’s estate after being invited to stay the night.
The SCAT team have managed to hack the security on the Martin estate and found footage showing the girls being caught by a number of traps throughout the household.
Just as another party is due to begin, you have been tasked with helping to take down the Martin’s and save the gang.
Thankfully due to the previous hacking efforts you also now have full control over the traps and surveillance in the household to help you in your efforts.
The actual game, if played perfectly, is very short at around 30 minutes and it is over this span of time that you will hopefully prevent the group from being taken by Augers that overrun the property.
The game despite the little intro doesn’t really give you a heads-up on how to play or what to look out for so when I first played I was waiting out for a point where the Auger’s would stop appearing and I was told to start trapping them.
This attempt and subsequent plays were quickly ended by the commander taking over control and slating my performance causing me the need to restart. I think I even bugged the game at one point where I lost control and was sat watching the living room.
The game despite being heavily narrative based needs you to hop around the rooms and catch Augers as quickly as possible.
Though you also have to keeps your ears open for sound queues that occur from the Martins who regularly change the colour-code on the traps which you use to catch the Augers.
It results in what can be a bit of a hectic play through as you can’t really dawdle on a scene and means that you can miss out on a lot of the narrative in those scenes, which is a shame.
I suppose the good news is that once you complete the game, you can go ahead and watch the story related scenes. Which I am currently doing 🙂
The video quality of the cut scenes is shockingly good considering the original VHS format and while there are a few glitches and warps it only adds to the charm of the game.
The added live feeds to the camera previews are a welcome touch although parts of the rooms can are cut off and you can miss some of the action unless you are actively hopping or know the pattern.
Speaking of patterns, that’s what Night Trap really boils down to, repetition and doing a little better each time. This means that whilst it took me a while to complete the game, it might not for you and it does mean replay-ability is limited due to the narrow path you traverse, although the unlocks do help this somewhat.
These unlocks are worth your time, as you can unlock the ability to play the unreleased prototype game Scene of the Crime. Which was a tech demo developed by Axlon to showcase this style of game on the unreleased NEMO entertainment system. And while I haven’t quite got a perfect play through for The Scene of the Crime I am still trying.
At the end of my play, I have to admit that overall I really enjoyed Night Trap. It was brought to my attention as a game I should play in my Awful Games Done Casually Twitch challenge, however I think that it is too good for it though it might make a further appearance should it be requested.
Night Trap is not necessarily a perfect game, it wasn’t when it was originally released after all. However Screaming Villains have done a marvellous job updating and remastering it and I can definitely recommend this version over the original release by quite a margin
I don’t have an award for a game so terrible it turns out to be good, but if I did Night Trap would be the first review to get it! I just hope someone gives Sewer Shark some remake love.