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THQ's PlayStation 2 version is best described as a 'Resident Evil' for kids. It has all the same trappings and gameplay without any of the gore.
Monster House looks good and sounds good, and combined with THQ’s attention to the film, the game has atmosphere in spades. That’s the real selling point of the title. Older gamers will enjoy it for at least a little while, but the younger set, which the game is aimed at, should eat it up, especially if they’re fans of the film.
Reenacting the movie's plot, players navigate DJ, Chowder, and Jenny through the dangerous domicile and its Pottery Barn-from-hell arsenal of chairs, bookcases, and lamps. There's plenty of action in the game as well as some straightforward scavenger-hunt puzzles that should keep 14-and-unders busy for hours. There's room for improvement — it would have been cool to give players the option of playing as all three kids at the same time — but Monster House is a pretty solid effort that even packs in a playable version of the satirically-primitive Thou Art Dead Dead arcade game that appears in the movie. Now that's what we call a full house.
Licensed games aren't supposed to be solid. They're supposed to be rushed, or look bad, or control poorly or not deliver the style of the source material. Monster House is none of these things, it's pretty, fun and interesting, just don't expect an epic.
I was quite surprised by Monster House. Movie license games, especially one’s based on kid’s movies, are usually not so great. Monster House draws inspiration from the myriad array of Mature rated survival horror games all while keeping it rated E10+. It’s a fun, scary romp that’s perfect for fans of the movie and tykes that like goosebumps.
Mildly impressive graphics and passable gameplay make for a fleetingly fun romp through this monster house.
Monster House is quite short, but it is very well paced, keeping the action moving quite well throughout. Normally, licensed games are packed to the gills with unlockable features. Here, the only extras are the photo gallery and a throwback 2-D platform game called "Thou Art Dead." When I noticed this game in the menu, I realized that this could actually be a game that people would play on Xbox Live and compete for highest score or something. Gamers of any age should easily complete this game in seven or eight hours, making this an easy weekend rental but a tough purchase decision. Monster House is a breezy summer title for the kids that will keep them busy for a while, but it doesn't take full advantage of its impressive source material and leaves its players wishing for better.
Monster House holds some amusing moments, but they're few and far between. At one point, young DJ and Jenny are trapped on other sides of a locked grate. When DJ yanks on it, Jenny smarmily notes that she tried pushing, but hadn't thought to try pulling. More moments like these would have made the game a gem to play, but as it is, it's just one extended chair wrecking, box-shoving session. And that's a house of pain, to be sure.
Ultimately, the game ends up being like most summer movie releases - a bit fun, but ultimately forgettable. Monster House isn't offensive, but at the same time it doesn't have anything to make it stand out from other action-adventure games. It's a very average title that will seem above-average to kids and fans of the movie.
In the end we can't really recommend this game to adults, but if you have kids that enjoyed the film this game is -- at the very least -- worth a rental. A purchase may be in order for those kids who want to extend the experience of the film from the comfort of their living room TV.
As we've come to expect from titles aimed at youngsters, Monster House does everything it needs to do to provide a satisfying yet undemanding adventure suitable only for very young children. It's easy to pick up and play, has generally tip-top production values, has a moreish appeal and only a couple of bits where parents might have to help out the little ones. Sadly, grown-ups needn't feel like they're missing out, for as much as it contains most of the ingredients that should make it interesting to everyone, Monster House quickly becomes too repetitive and shallow to deliver on its early promise. The fact that it's also extremely short and has absolutely no replay value makes it less attractive than it initially appears, and once you're through with it you'll bemoan the lack of love lavished on what could have been so much more than it is.
Good harmless fun, but there are more creative and better-value children's games available. Enter at your own risk.
Ultimately, it all boils down to whether or not someone wants to spend the money to rent or purchase a tedious and flawed game that hardly lasts longer than the movie it's based on. Common sense would suggest not.
Okay, im Vergleich zu Lizenzkatastrophen wie Zathura, Codename: Kids Next Door oder Charlie und die Schokoladen-Fabrik ist Monster House, als Kinderspiel betrachtet, gar nicht mal so schlecht. Die Handhabung ist recht einfach, die Lokalisierung ordentlich, der Schwierigkeitsgrad die meiste Zeit äußerst harmlos und die lebendige Spielwelt ansprechend in Szene gesetzt. Man kommt sich teils fast wie in einem Resident Evil für Kids vor. Von einer Empfehlung ist Monster House aber dennoch weit entfernt. Dazu ist der Kampf gegen das gefräßige Anwesen viel zu kurz, zu linear und zu monoton. Die sich ständig wiederholenden Gegner, Rätsel und Räume werden schnell langweilig. Zudem nerven Kameraführung, Kollisionsabfrage und der dürftige Storyanteil. Auch das ins Spiel integrierte 2D-Retro-Bonusspiel "Du bist des Todes" dürfte höchstens anspruchslose Hardcore-Nostalgiker ansprechen. Da hilft auch der ermäßigte Preis nicht viel.
The game isn't a total monstrosity. After all, it's difficult to hate such a good-natured title, even if it doesn't try that hard. Knowing THQ could have done worse isn't a glowing compliment though, and at forty bucks and four hours, the little side-scrolling mini-game included (played by spending tokens you find in the main game) and lame unlockables add no real value. Even if you or your kids loved the movie, it's hard to imagine getting much enjoyment out of Monster House.
It costs a lot more than the movie and isn't that much longer. You might want to just take your kids to the theater again.
Unfortunately, a game needs more than good atmosphere. Monster House could have been a spiritual successor to the GameCube launch title, Luigi’s Mansion, and rips off plenty of elements from Nintendo’s haunted, vacuum cleaner-endowed game. It just doesn’t do it very well.
If you loved the Monster House movie, avoid this game at all costs. It'll lull you in like a Trojan horse with its slick cinemas, and then emasculate you with its suckitude. I hear the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance Monster House games are rather decent, so perhaps you should pick up one of those instead.