Look I know it’s not the season for scary games, but every season is a good season for Atari, so without further ado… Halloween. Halloween suffered the same fate as Mystique and Playaround’s offerings. Due to the adult nature of the games they were hidden behind the counter and only taken out if the customer requested a copy, and that’s if the store carried the game in the first place which many didn’t. Perhaps it was for the best that these games never really got out in significant quantities, what if a child played the game and saw such lurid violence, it’s a good thing that such violent games aren’t available to children today… Oh wait. Yeah, the games sold like shit and Wizard Decided to just stick with releasing movies, which has worked out well for them as they still exist in some fashion as Wizard Studios shining a light on independent film makers. Enough about the company let’s just look at the game, this is Halloween.
The graphics are alright, I won’t go so far as calling them great, but alright seems to work just right. The game takes a rather unique perspective as you are looking at a cross-section of a house, seeing both the ground and second floor. Each room is differentiated with a garish color scheme, from teal walls and orange carpeting to purple walls and yellow carpeting, and the walls are spotted with windows or doors, or both. Actually if I may nitpick for a moment, what sort of house has a door between two windows on the second floor? Perhaps to a second floor patio? Actually the layout of the house is incredibly weird since the whole house is laid out in a straight line, I don’t think they were going for realism with this one. Otherwise the only other elements worth discussing are the character sprites for Laurie Stroad, Michael Meyers, and the babysat children, all three are animated well, especially Meyers’ little stabby arm motion. The scale is a bit off since Laurie is as tall as and wider than Meyers’ which makes him look very tiny, he kinda reminds me of Scissorman from Clock Tower on SNES.
The sounds are obnoxious, there’s no other way of putting it. All you’ll hear are the gentle stomping of feet on carpeted floors and the first eight or so bars from the iconic Halloween theme, played over, and over, and over again. Seriously that’s it, apart from the same beep that is used for grabbing the children, you get two sounds, one is too basic to be considered, and one is just plain annoying.
The gameplay is simple to the point of being insulting. You run around the house, collect wandering kids, and take them to one of the rooms on the far right or left of the house, all while avoiding Meyers’. Avoiding him is easier done than said, he will follow your every movement but he moves slower than you which means you can outmaneuver him with ease, even when he starts to move faster as your score increases his movements are easy to exploit and very predictable. When you are ferrying a child across the house Meyers will appear from either side of the screen or from a doorway if there is one on the screen, as he usually does, but instead of going after you he will try to get the kids, which means you are in zero danger when you have a child on you. Usually he’ll appear in front of you, which when he moves slowly is no problem you just keep walking and he’ll never get you, and when he speeds up later on if he appears in front of you just turn around and leave then keep going back and forth until he appears behind you. This game is ruined by its simplicity, the only way you’ll lose lives is if you stand by the edge of the screen for too long and he gets you, which is rare. You can also lose a life if he gets you in the room with flickering lights, but since it’s on the second floor you can just not go up there and get the kids on the ground floor.
This game is boring, it’s easy, it’s not fun. This game is a novelty and I’m astonished that people thought that the two lines of red pixels shooting from Stroad’s head warranted shame and damnation, it’s just laughable. Due to the nature of the game coupled with its rarity it is no doubt an expensive game, let me just check Ebay real quick. Yep, a complete copy of the game sold for 900 dollars with loose copies going from anywhere between 170-250 dollars. I don’t think I really need to say this but I will anyway, Halloween goes to the Collector’s Zone. The game’s just bad man, Texas Chainsaw Massacre was more enjoyable than this one, that’s just embarrassing.