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What did the grape do when it got stepped on?

It let out a little wine!


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Nostalgia and Goodbyes

The greatest thing about the eighties was...well... EVERYTHING!

Rubix Cubes, The ZX Spectrum, Walkmans, it was a decade that defined a generation and now you’ve got the chance to glimpse it in a very special way through the release of the 25th Anniversary Edition of Night-Trap.

But wait, I hear you cry, 25 years takes us back to the 90’s so what’s with all the 80’s nostalgia?
Well that’s because Night Trap is a game that exudes 80’s goodness through every pore. It’s not just set in the eighties; it was actually filmed in the eighties too!

A company called Axlon was working on some sort of VHS based gaming system, they even got as far as filming video footage for a release title, but for whatever reason the project didn’t go ahead and the film was archived.
That is until Digital Pictures came along a few years later and used the footage to create the FMV gaming phenomenon that was Night-Trap.

That’s right, Night Trap was (and still is) a Full Motion Video title.
So if the thought of FMV gaming leaves you cold then it’s time to say goodbye, the rest of this review isn’t for you.


Now that all the FMV haters have gone off to play Call of Duty or whatever it is they do, let’s talk about Night Trap because as far as FMV games go, it’s an important one.
In Night Trap you take on the roll of a Special Control Attack Team operative tasked with monitoring the live feed from several surveillance cameras.
These cameras are placed in and around the Martin residence, an inconspicuous house which hides a dark secret.

One Night At Martins

Following a wonderfully 80’s flavoured introduction video which explains that the taskforce are investigating the strange disappearance of several teenagers at the Martin residence and that they’ve managed to hack into their security surveillance system, you’ll find yourself sitting at a computer screen flicking between live video feeds looking for anything suspicious

(Think “Five Nights at Freddys” but with live full motion video instead of static 2d art.)

With My Little Eye

Watching these cameras will soon reveal that Mr and Mrs Martin are going out for the evening, leaving the house to their teenage son and daughter, along with their cousin Tony.

It also quickly becomes apparent that there are strange figures wondering around the house unseen by the occupants, as you monitor these shambling creatures through the camera’s you’ll also see a car pull up outside the property.
A fresh group of teenagers have been invited to a slumber party by Sarah, the Martins teenage daughter.
The game proper has begun and it’s not just a passive, voyeuristic experience either. You’ve got a job to do.

Something Beginning...

In addition to watching the camera feeds and listening to the conversations taking place in the different rooms, you also have control over several bizarre traps hidden around the house.
It’s your task to spring these traps to stop the nefarious interlopers and keep the house and its visitors safe from their evil doings.

The traps themselves take the comedic, family friendly approach to home defence, there are spinning book cases, sliding stairs, hidden trapdoors etc.

That’s not to say that this game is family friendly...... but then again..... There’s no nudity, no bad language and the same level of cartoon slapstick violence that you’re likely to see in any PG rated movie... Well it’s up to you what you think is appropriate but my guess is that Night Trap isn’t going to damage the sensibilities of even the most delicate of teenage gamers.

It’s ironic to think that this game caused such a stir back in 1992 when it debuted on the Sega CD.

... with Hypocrisy

You know how they have age ratings on games these days so little Johnny’s poor old granny doesn’t accidentally buy him an age inappropriate video game for Christmas?

Well those ESRB ratings are largely Night Traps fault.

The video footage of teenage girls dancing around the living room whilst nefarious shambling “bad guys” stalked the hallways was too much for the US senate; Sega even pulled the game from the shelves for a while.
Of course the free advertising kindly provided by the Senate and the ensuing media witch hunt was amazing PR for the game, which was unsurprisingly re-released and ported to a host of other platforms riding the wave of coverage it had received.

I guess morals are good but profit is preferable.

You “Auger” Know

Anyway, we were talking about the “trap” part of night trap, and these traps are all about timing.
You’ll be flicking between the camera’s, engrossed in a conversation that’s going on between a few of the girls whilst countless Augers (That’s what they call the bad guys) are scuttling around the rest of the house.

You always need to keep one eye on the other cameras no matter how interesting the things are on the feed you’re watching, and things get pretty interesting, there’s a story being told through the events and dialogue that’s taking place in the Martin house tonight.

So assuming you’ve managed to tear yourself away from the 80’s teen drama unfolding around you and focused your attention on the Augers roaming the hallways, you’re still going to need to trap them and setting off a trap, as I said, is all about timing.

Trappit Lights

You have a light indicator at the bottom of your in-game monitor which will change from green, through amber to red when it’s time to set off a trap. This indicator only works in relation to the camera you have pulled up on the screen, so you could be missing countless other trap opportunities elsewhere in the house whilst your attention is focused here.

It’s important to know that if you time your trap trigger badly you’ll miss the opportunity to catch that pesky Auger and when your chance is gone, it’s gone forever. You only get one shot to capture each Auger, miss it and that Auger will count against you for the rest of your game.

Out for the Count

When I say count against you, I mean that literally, there’s an in game counter which keeps track of how many Augers you’ve managed to trap alongside how many you’ve missed.
Miss too many Augers and the house will become overrun.
When that happens, it’s Good Night Vienna, sayonara sweet-heart and game over man, the fat lady sings and it’s time to start all over again from the very beginning.

Time after Time

The repetitive nature of being forced to replay the game might sound like a bad thing, but with eight live video streams to monitor this repetition is vital not only to learn when and where each Auger is going to show up but also to allow the narrative to unfold.

There are normally multiple conversations or activities going on at any one time, so you’re always going to miss something in a single play through.

Night Trap is a game meant to be played several times.

A house overrun with Augers isn’t the only thing that’ll make the fat lady sing, you need to protect the girls too, when the Augers corner one of the guests (and this is going to happen one by one) you not only need to be watching the relevant camera so you don’t miss it but you’ll also need to be ready with your trigger finger to trap the attacking auger and save the day (or at least the girl).

You just need to save them all and make it through to the end of the game, simple right?

Don’t you open that trapdoor...

Not so, even if you’ve memorised all the trap opportunities there’s another wrinkle with... [snip]

For the full review (and others) please head over to my site http://www.review-well.com/review-well-home22.html and thanks for reading!
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Mr. Hubble Dec 24, 2017 @ 11:45am 
Jimmy, Have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year :steamhappy:
Rafael M. Dec 18, 2017 @ 6:17am 
Xmas is coming! Have a great week Jimmy, and keep on rocking with your reviews!
Happy Holidays! :xmas_tree::Gifted:
HANNAN May 19, 2017 @ 5:27am 
Nice to meet you
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have an awesome xmas :).
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Have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! ^^
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