If you were a gamer in the early 1990s, ‘Night Trap’ was possibly the most infamous game of that time. The early poster boy of the ‘interactive movie’ revolution, ‘Night Trap’ caused controversy due to its supposed content, and ultimately resulted in the introduction of compulsory game ratings in the US. It also stars former ‘Different Strokes’ star Dana Plato (who died in 1999)
But what the hell is it about? In ‘Night Trap’ you play an unnamed member of the S.C.A.T., a special forces unit, tasked with monitoring an isolated house near a lake. This house is home to a family of vampires, who kidnap teenage gorls and drain them of thei blood, partly for themselves, and partly for a race of subhuman vampires known as ‘Augers’. While you monitor the house, a new group of teens arrives for a party weekend with their friend (who unbeknownst to them is part of the vampire family). Within this group is an undercover member of S.C.A.T.
Your task in the game is to capture the rogue Augers who are infiltration the house, whilst ensuring that none of the teens are captured and killed by them. To do this you have been hacked into the houses strangely complex security system, which consists of a number of traps in various rooms. You activate these traps when Augers approach them, causing the Augers to be removed from the game. If any of the teen girls are captured by the Augers, it is game over. While you do this, various members of the vampire family roam the house also, and occasionally reset the access code for the trap system, so keep listening to what they have to say, otherwise, the traps won’t work!
As a game, the mechanics are pretty basic, in that you simply cycle through the rooms, watching the various video feeds, and activate the traps when required. Watching the videos can be highly entertaining, as most of the actors employed are from the Joey Tribiani school of acting (a nice 90s reference there). The script isn’t exactly Shakespeare either. despite this, there is a lot of fun to be found. Despite its simplicity, the game can become compulsive to play, seeing if you can capture all the Augers.
The main differences between the various versions of the game released are mostly to do with the quality of video footage used. The Mega CD version (arguably the most famous version) has the lowest quality video, with the PC version probably the highest quality, although truthfully there is little difference between the PC, 3do, and 32X versions, other than different GUI designs being used. from my playthroughs, I feel the PC version also controls slightly better, using a mouse rather than a joypad.
Now, if you hate ‘Interactive Movies’, and a lot of gamers do, then don’t play this. It will only confirm your fears about limited gameplay options, etc. if you do enjoy them, like myself, then this is probably the must play, being the original, and in my opinion best.
5/5 Fiends if you like Interactive Movies, 1/5 if you don’t.