Night Trap

aka: Night Trap: The Director's Cut, Scene of the Crime
Moby ID: 7276
SEGA CD Specs
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Description official descriptions

Five girls go to a party in a nice house on a lakeside. Five girls disappear without a trace... Now another five girls go there in order to spend their vacation with the Martins, the owners of the house, in particular with the lovely Ms. Martin. This time, you should not let them die a gruesome death! Because "nice people" can sometimes turn out to be... yes, that's right - vampires.

The whole house is full of traps that are intended to catch the poor innocent girls so that the vampires can suck their blood. Luckily, the brave adventurer is there in order to cease to be hunted and to become a hunter instead! Set the traps so that they capture the villains themselves, using precise timing and good organization.

Night Trap was the very first game that used FMV (full-motion video) technology with live actors. Although it doesn't contain nudity or particularly gory scenes, it was considered one of the first games to have mature content.

Spellings

  • ナイト トラップ - Japanese spelling

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (SEGA CD version)

159 People (158 developers, 1 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Original Concept
Interactive Design
Director of Photography
Screenplay
Computer Programming
Produced by
Directed by
Lead Tester
In memory of
Presented by
Kelly
Cindy
Lisa
Ashley
Megan
Danny
Victor Martin
Sheila Martin
Sarah Martin
Jeff Martin
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 27 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 52 ratings with 5 reviews)

You are trapped in a cheesy '80s horror movie...

The Good
The game DOES capture that horrible eighties slasher movie feel... because, in many ways, that's exactly what it is. It even declares on the box that it contains an hour and a half, almost, of real video footage... which is about how long most bad eighties slasher movies WERE.

Oh, and it has Dana Plato in it, which most eighties horror movies did not, but could have. It does bolster that "cheesy eighties" feel.

This could be a personal problem on my part... but the acting REALLY began to grate on me after a while. I mean, MOST bad eighties horror movies didn't have Laurence Olivier or Katharine Hepburn in them, but these actors make those bad slasher movie actors SEEM like they should be getting knighthoods from the Queen or something... I mean, they're BAD!

The Bad
This game, in many ways, exemplifies what's worst about full-motion-video computer games -- its lack of interactivity. In many ways, it feels like being stuck in a Motel 6 somewhere, with a TV set, and only eight channels. Seven of these channels are in fact hooked up to security monitors showing empty rooms elsewhere in the Motel 6, and one channel is showing the WORST sorority massacre slumber party movie you've ever seen.... and there's no way to speed things up. Much of the game is simply... waiting. This is NOT a winning recipe for a game.

The Bottom Line
The game sets you up as a member of a vampire hunters' organization. You are watching secret monitors set up at a house where a slumber party is going on.

The house actually belongs to a mob of vampires, who have set up the cameras and a series of traps, to catch the teen girls and drain them for later consumption... but YOU have hacked into their system, and will now use those monitors to track the VAMPIRES... and the traps to catch them!

Basically, you switch through a series of eight monitors, trying to catch that exact moment on any given monitor when a vampire will wander by so you can spring a trap on him. To win, catch all the vampires. To lose... simply let ONE coed get shellacked, and that's it.

SEGA CD · by Dr.Bedlam (55) · 2003

Reviewed Congress to establish Video Game Ratings.

The Good
This game, along with Mortal Kombat and several other more "gory" titles were reviewed by the US Congress in order to determine the video game ratings system as we know it today.

The idea here is that kids have been disappearing from this mansion, which happens to have a security system connected to video systems, and an elaborate trapdoor system. You've been "plugged in" to that network, and it's your job to protect the girls from would-be predators.

The particular scene that the Congress was interested in was the part where a girl comes out of the shower and is attacked by masked assailants.

The Bad
The acting. Okay, look at the box cover up there. Does that look like good acting? Yeah, that's basically the whole game. It's a gaggle of teen girls screaming and running away from guys dressed all in black. Let's face it, though.. we're not playing this game for the acting now are we?

The Bottom Line
This game is hilarious. Not just to play, but to watch. It's one of those games that is full motion video, and then the decisions you make cause different portions of video to play. You basically just wait till the right moment and push a button.

It's not as easy as it sounds, especially when you're laughing so hard at the dialogue.

This thing is a riot, especially when you have a large group watching. Try it out if you can find it!

SEGA CD · by Nick Seafort (16) · 2004

Welcome To The Next Level

The Good
Night Trap was probably the first Full Motion Video game released for a home console, CD-ROM system. As games started to make the transition to the CD format, consumers eagerly looked at what this "Next Level" of gaming would offer.

Slasher film fans will recognize the game's storyline. Sexy college co-eds are vanishing. Local law enforcement is baffled, so a special military unit has been assigned to crack the case by focusing on the one thing that seems to link these disappearances: a Yuppie family and their lakeside cabin.

The special, top-secret military unit has set up hidden cameras throughout the cabin and you, with a little help from an undercover agent, have to switch between the cameras to protect the new batch of college co-eds.

It seems that the seemingly all-American Yuppie family are really vampires who, with an army of goofy-looking minions, have been devouring the nation's all-American, wholesome youth!

The Sega 32X edition of the game features much better Full Motion Video, in comparison to the original Sega CD version. This is because the 32X device can display over 32,000 colors on screen, while the Sega CD can only display 64 colors on screen.

The Bad
Night Trap is a B-minus slasher film earning a PG-13 rating. Despite the controversy that surrounded the video game, complete with Congressional hearings, the player is much more likely going to laugh at the cheesy production values, than find anything in this game comparable to an R-rated slasher film. It seems that the Next Level of gaming was mostly harmless.

As with other Full Motion Video games, the actual level of interactivity is pretty limited to switching between cameras, trapping a villain or overhearing a conversation. Little room for error exists and once you get past the initial awe at playing an interactive movie, Night Trap is not especially fun to play.

Either you fail to protect the kids (and have to re-watch the same video clips over and over again), or you manage to memorize when you need to visit a particular camera (and thus are treated to a fairly tame mystery).

The Bottom Line
Night Trap defined the interactive movie genre, helped pave the way for video game ratings and is so cheesy, you may wonder why this game has never been riffed by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 folks. Students of video game history should give this game a try, but if you want to see R-rated horror and suspense in a video game, I would suggest trying Resident Evil instead.

SEGA 32X · by ETJB (428) · 2021

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Controversy

Night Trap along with Mortal Kombat (both uncut games on SEGA systems) were two of the mainstream games that brought about a lot of controversy in North America during the mid 90's. Because of this and a push by people like Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the supreme court got involved. A law was passed in 1994 to make a game rating system for all video games in the market. The system became the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

Ironically, Night Trap's controversy, that led to its part in the creation of the ESRB, was due to misinformation. The news reported that the object of the game was to kill the girls. This is incorrect. The object is to protect the girls and assist the soldiers who enter later. If you lose a girl or soldier, you lose a life.

Despite the hearings, the case also showed the industry that controversy sells. The SEGA CD version was lifted from poor sales to more than 50,000 copies per week in the US. Despite that, SEGA stopped the distribution of the game by January 1994 because of what it did for its public image. During the hearings retail chains such as Toys R US and Kay-Bee Toys had already stopped stocking the title. Distribution of Mortal Kombat was never discontinued.

Dana Plato

Night Trap actually made a name (sort of) for actress Dana Plato (remember her from Diff'rent Strokes?). To this day, everyone still remembers her from this game.

Development

This game, along with Sewer Shark, were originally made for Isix's ill-fated Control-Vision console (the console was to use VHS tapes for the games), but after Isix's console project (code-named NEMO) got the axe, this game and Sewer Shark (both made by Digital Pictures) were 'saved' by being ported over to the Sega CD.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #6 Worst Game of All Time

Information also contributed by Captain Canuck, LepricahnsGold Sciere and The Ring Hawk

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  • MobyGames ID: 7276
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Unicorn Lynx.

Macintosh added by Cobra Blade. DOS added by John Chaser. 3DO added by Opipeuter. SEGA 32X added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: MAT, Satoshi Kunsai, Katakis | カタキス, John Chaser, LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 27, 2002. Last modified June 12, 2024.