GooseBumps: Dead of Night
Reviewed by: John Cano
On Xbox One
Growing up my favorite book series was Goosebumps, and after playing this game it brought back nothing but nostalgia for me to say the least.
Goosebumps was a series of children’s horror fiction novels by American author R. L. Stine, published by Scholastic Publishing. The stories follow child characters, who find themselves in scary situations, usually involving monsters and other supernatural elements. The books had a good run from 92-97 with 62 books under its belt and numerous other forms of entertainment ranging from, a ’90s television series, audiobooks, movie adaptions, comic books, and of course video games.
Seeing Stine’s classic monsters reimagined is one of the greatest facets of the game, but nostalgia can only carry a game so far. I will admit walking around the mansions with a bunch of free-roaming monsters trying to find you does give you some chills, however, once you learn how to elude each monster they become more of a nuisance than a threat and therefor gameplay becomes stale and repetitive.
Goosebumps Dead of Night is a console and PC port of the 2015 mobile game, Goosebumps Night of Scares. The story picks up where the 2015 Goosebumps movie left off. R. L. Stine, voiced by Jack Black, has been sucked inside a typewriter and the monsters from his novels have been set loose inside of his house. The player controls Twist, a young boy who has mysteriously found himself inside Stine’s mansion. Twist is tasked by Stine to collect the pages to the novel Night of the Living Dummy to catch Slappy, an evil dummy who is responsible for trapping Stine and setting all of his monsters free.
The game itself has three chapters each spaning about 45 minutes, all in all, it took me almost 2 hours to complete the game.
The mechanics of the game are quite simple when monsters are looking for you you just run and hide but there are puzzle-solving mechanics but nothing very memorable.
To be honest it’s what’s to be expected from a mobile game port to console and pc, a dip in frame rate, some audio lag here and there as well as some unresponsive controls.
Audio-wise it is not the best sure you have some voice over by Jack Black reprising his role as R. L. Stine himself, however, some of the sound fx can be a bit on the laughable side, but the music does help with the creep factor.
Goosebumps Dead of Night has an interesting story with some memorable moments that fall short by how unpolished the final product is. While it is a port of a mobile game, it looks and plays like an unfinished original Xbox title. In some cases, the story and environments outshine the gameplay issues, but the game as a whole is a mechanical mess.
Goosebumps Dead of Night is a fun game to experience but an unenjoyable game to play. It’s hard to say suffering through the gameplay is worth the interesting storyline, but it’s easy to say that Goosebumps Dead of Night is not worth its $30 price point. Players can pick up an R. L. Stine novel for a third of the price and enjoy the same style of writing without suffering through an unpolished nightmare.
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