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Written by  :  ETJB (474)
Written on  :  Nov 25, 2021
Platform  :  SEGA 32X
Rating  :  3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars

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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.