Night trap! That boy will find you! Night Trap! Watch out behind you! Night Trap! You’ll be caught in the night – Night Trap! Repeat the chorus and enjoy it like your enjoying your sandwich that’s made of ham and cheese.

Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PS4, PC
Publisher: Screaming Villains
Developer: Screaming Villains
Release Date: 15 Aug, 2017
MSRP: $14.99

Night Trap – 25th Anniversary Edition is a remaster of the 1992 Sega CD game (also on Mega CD and 3DO) that uses Full Motion Video (FMV) to deliver an experience that was new for its time. The idea was to merge easy to grasp gameplay—usually involving just pointing at the screen, or selecting a choice under a different context; with live videos to provide a somewhat “you’re in the game” feel.

The actors within the FMV acknowledge the players presence, typically to deliver a tutorial or to scold them if they fail at the game. Now, with the rise of the “so bad it’s good” trend, Screaming Villains, the group who remastered this game, decided to re-release it with high definition video instead, hoping it would catch on even for just a bit of novelty. Is it so bad it’s good though? Or is it so bad you go mad?

The story of Night Trap has you, the player, take the role of a Special Control Attack Team (SCAT—yeah, I am not making this up) agent whose job is to make sure that the teens can enjoy being teens in their Americana style suburbs by monitoring their activities and making sure the Augers don’t get to them first. The Augers are ninja vampires by the way…ninja vampires than use long metal sticks with a clamp on the tip to constrict their victims, allowing them to be captured. Again, I am not making this up.

With that said, the gameplay is fairly simple. You have your multi-screen setup, and your job is to monitor all 8 rooms and in the house, and whenever an Auger(s) shows up, you hit a button to trap them. There is also color-coded security system that changes throughout the game, and the only way to find out the exact color is to listen to the actor’s dialogue. With intruders constantly pouring in, it’s in your best interest to capture as many as possible or the game is over.

With such a simplistic premise, where does this game fit in? The video game industry is already saturated with similar games that are not just better in terms of presentation but also value (the game’s price is bit steep for a 30-minute experience). Upon playing the game for no less than a few minutes I already exploited the mechanics; you see, the buttons to change the color codes can just be mashed alongside the trap button endlessly until you correctly trigger the trap at the right moment. There’s no wrong timing, and no repercussions for failing to do so.

Once I found out about this exploit, I didn’t feel the need to play it properly. This is also annoying because you have the unfortunate choice of either playing the game or trying to watch the movie—deciding otherwise will land you in the game over screen. Thankfully once you finish the game, there’s a theatrical mode that just let’s watch the entire movie without having to worry about failure.

Is the game worth it then? That’s tricky to answer, I myself am a big fan of B movies and just bad movies in general, they are fun to pick at yet charming in their own unusual way. I have to say though, I think the game is borderline unplayable in today’s standards. I felt that this game shouldn’t have to be challenging in order to see the entire story unfold—other narrative games just use gameplay to complement the story instead of hindering it.

I also realized that I like the story behind the game’s creation more, and the controversy it created in the early 90s due to its “graphic nature” which of course is a ludicrous statement even back then. The simple answer is: if you are fan of this kind of content with gameplay hindrance not being an issue, then I’d say go for it. Some say the catchy theme song is a reason enough.

6.5
Justified
Night Trap 25th Anniversary Edition - Review
Score Definition
You better have to choose if it’s worth spending your spare cash, because it might not be the game for you and it might be for others.
Pros
It knows what it is
Compelling behind the scene narrative
That song
Cons
Full price not worth it
Easily exploited mechanics
Gameplay is a hindrance