Game Reviewed: Haunt
Release Date: 9/30/2011
Developer: NanaOn-Sha co., ltd.
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox Live Arcade]
Genre: Action & Adventure, Family, Kinect
Rated: E10 for Everyone 10+
Haunt, originally released in September of last year, is one of the few legitimately entertaining and fun games made for Xbox’s Kinect. Of course, being developed by a company called NanaOn-Sha co., ltd., one would expect it to.
In Haunt, you wake up at the bottom of what looks to be a collapsed cellar. A voice called out for you from a place unknown and helps you figure out a way to get on your feet. You Travel down a dimly lit hallway and encounter a strange painting. That’s when you meet him. His name is Benjamin Muldoon and he is dead, or at least I think he’s dead. You know, whether he is dead or not isn’t really clear, but let’s just say for reasons yet to be discovered he is, for all intensive purpose, not of this world. That being said, he agrees to help you escape the place you are in if you do him a favor.
Your mission, should you chose to accept it (and really you have no choice), is to help Benjamin get his body back by traveling his mansion to retrieve “phantaflasks” which are conveniently scattered around three areas of the mansion. Did I mention the mansion is haunted?
While the game certainly has elements of horror, it’s more of a video games version of the Ghostbusters films, minus the cool packs and bitchin’ car. Yes there are many moments where something jumps out at you and startles you, but it’s never frightening to the extent where if you have heart troubles you shouldn’t play this game. It’s also never suspenseful like in those horror movies where you turn the corner and BOOM! Ghost; though that does happen sometimes, just not in a suspenseful way. The dialogue is witty and on point but also entertaining. You can definitely tell a lot went into making this game interesting.
The controls are also fairly simple and easy to understand. You hold your hand out like you’re holding a flashlight to turn your view and you use your legs to move yourself forward. The game does an interesting job of capturing your legs movements as well. You can tip toe around by making small steps, or you can use exaggerated movement to walk forward mores swiftly and loudly.
The game uses this mechanic to do some pretty interesting things. For the most part you want to get around quickly, but sometimes you have to sneak around targets by making sure you are tiptoeing and making sure the pizza man doesn’t ring the doorbell as the Kinect mic is also tied into these moments. It also does a great job of recognizing and doing some interesting things with other movements. Here’s a hint, you may have to cover your ears or hold your nose during this game, and it has nothing to do with the guy sitting next to you eating nachos.
This game overall is a perfect game for young kids and adults alike. Its cartoony style offsets the dark and ominous feel of the game that makes it entertaining and light hearted but still legitimately startling at certain points. One thing I will say to this game is stretch before you do this as some scenes call for quick motion and I hurt my neck a little ducking out of the way of a ghost. Also, my inner thighs are killing me! This game made me do more squats than P90X!
Overall Rating: 4/5