The day that a handful of weirdos (myself included) have been waiting for is finally here. Night Trap has been released on the Nintendo Switch.
If you want to know a little more about the history of Night Trap you can read all about it in this article.
If you want to know whether this game is worth your time and money, buckle up buttercup! That happens right now!
Bottom Line: Night Trap isn't a good game, but this time capsule, along with all the extras, makes this re-release a true gem.
- Amazing extras, including an all-new survival mode without the story and documentary
- A goofy 1980s time capsule
- The Criterion collection of game re-releases
- Still has the original's repetitive gameplay
Is Night Trap a "good game"? No, not really.
Night Trap was originally released in 1992 and it really shows its age. The 80s and 90s were a time when folks were trying to figure out how to use and mash-up all sorts of new media. It wasn't uncommon to see board games that came with VHS tapes included. While Night Trap may have been a novel idea when it was released, I could totally see a young person rolling their eyes if they had to play the game now for any period of time.
The basic concept of the game is that there's a house being over-run by baddies and it's your job as a member of a ridiculously named police squad to protect the innocent folks within by viewing security cameras in each room of the house. When you see a bad guy that needs to get taken out, you trigger a trap in order to catch them.
The gameplay itself, while somewhat boring and repetitive, is irrelevant to what makes this a great release.
That Sweet Sweet 80's Feel
Ok now that we have the gameplay out of the way, we can talk about what makes Night Trap fun.
If you have a soft spot in your heart for spandex, leg warmers, big hair, goofy soundtracks, and the schlocky horror flicks of the 80's, then you're going to have a blast with Night Trap. The live action movie that takes place throughout the duration of the game is dripping with more cheese than a plate of nachos. Diff'rent Strokes' very own Dana Plato couldn't even make that dialog seem believable.
The whole thing is a like a fun and silly time capsule and that's what makes it great.
Quite possibly the greatest part about this release is all palpable care that was taken in putting it all together. For years, companies like Criterion have been giving loving re-releases to films of all genres. I think most of us can finally agree that there is an art to video games and they deserve to be treated as such. Screaming Villains managed to give this sort of treatment to a video game and I feel like this reverence is long over-due.
Aside from an all-new survival mode which does away with the story in the game, the re-release of Night Trap is jam-packed with extras. There's a 1995 documentary which outlines the controversy and subsequent congressional hearings. There's also an in-depth interview from 2017 with Night trap co-creator James Riley. Before Night Trap was released, there was a proof of concept game called Scene of the Crime, which is also included. While the game itself may not be the longest in the world there are so many extras present that I felt as if I got my money's worth. Night Trap stands as a time capsule of an earlier time and Screaming Villians did their best to put as much as they could into that capsule.
Night Trap isn't a game for everyone. It has been re-released for a very specific market and they did a wonderful job catering to that demographic. If your gaming interests lie with the newest and most advanced games, you can most likely give this one a pass. However, if you have been seriously considering picking up this game and know what you're getting into, I have to imagine that you are really going to dig it.
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