Halloween is coming soon in about a month and there are a lot of good games out there to play and get into the spirit. Here we will look at spooky-themed games that don’t go overboard and most members of the family can enjoy. Part 2 will look at more violent and scary games for the horror buffs out there. If you love Halloween but without the survival horror and blood splatters than these are some great games to check out.
Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts
In Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts, players take on the role of Arthur. Arthur is a knight whom is tasked with saving his princess who has been abducted by demons. This is a tough as nails platformer that will have Arthur taking on zombies, ghosts, and all manner of demons. When Arthur takes damage, he’ll be done to his boxers before taking one more hit and instantly becoming a pile of bones. This will likely happen a lot because it’s tough but also simple. The controls consist walking, jumping, and throwing lances. The art style is very fitting for a game to play around Halloween and mixes the dark and medevil settings quite well.
The game is really fun and can be played on a variety of platforms. The original version was released on Super Nintendo but it has been rereleased several times. It can be downloaded on the Wii Virtual Console, or played as part of the Capcom Classics Collection on PS2/Xbox, or Capcom Classics Reloaded on the PSP. The slowdown from the SNES version isn’t as bad on the Collection(s) so that is the way to go if able. There was also a Game Boy Advance Version that is on par with SNES.
Ghost Master is a great pick for some light-hearted Halloween fun. Ghost Master is an RTS for the PC set in a small town where the player does the scaring. The point here is to recruit a team of ghosts and scare the pants off the people of Gravenville. There are six classes of spooks to use and each can only be attached to certain objects and they each have their own quirks. They can’t be just placed anywhere on the map, for example Gremlins may only be attached to electronic devices. This makes placing ghosts to different objects a necessity as people run away to keep up the scare. Each are leveled up separately so there is some strategy to picking the right team for each job. The game is not resource heavy though with only plasm to worry about so things don’t get too hectic.
There are many ways to scare people and some have their own fears. Some fear insects, or storms and more. Scaring people through the many scenarios is quite fun. Each scenario picks fun at a different horror/supernatural flick including Ghostbusters and Evil Dead. There are several ways to tackle each scenario so the game has a lot of replay value. Ghost Master was released in 2003 but it holds up well. The RTS gameplay is familiar but the set up is still quite unique. The game is widely available on DD sites such as Steam and GOG so those that want a quirky game to play for Halloween should check it out.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a fun game that was released for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis back in 1993. It is also available for the Virtual Console on the Wii. This fun overhead action title is a tribute to B-horror movies and has all kinds of crazy enemies. It is done in a light-hearted way though and is quite silly but in a good way. Players play through Zombies Ate My Neighbors blasting bad guys with your water gun and saving captured neighbors along the way. Aside from the main weapon, a water pistol; there are other special weapons such as the weed wacker and exploding pop cans. There are lots of ways to expose of the different creatures.
Of course there are zombies to kill, but along for the ride are giant mutated babies, chainsaw-wielding maniacs and a lot more. They will get in the way of saving the poor helpless neighbors and collecting the many scattered keys to get to them. Zombies Ate My Neighbors can play a lot like a scavenger hunt and provides a good challenge. There are many levels to tackle as well with there being around 50 levels or so. Thankfully, zombie blasting doesn’t have be done alone because players can invite a buddy over for co-op. Playing alone is fun but the co-op is really a blast and takes the challenge down somewhat. Either way most, are unlikely to finish the game in one try so the game can keep someone occupied for a bit.
Ghoul Patrol was the spiritual successor to Zombies Ate My Neighbors and released only a year later. It is also available on the Virtual Console. Ghoul Patrol doesn’t quite land the same spirit as Zombies Ate My Neighbors but it’s still a fun game. The same engine and game play style are present here so players will still be blasting the supernatural and saving helpless victims. The main weapon here is a crossbow and that’s one example of how this game lost some of it’s spirit. It just doesn’t quite the same cheesy B-movie appeal.
The game is fun to play though and still looks good. The ability to jump and slide have been added that for the most part doesn’t add much but sometimes they are helpful. Co-op is available here as well. Ghoul Patrol is definitely recommended if you play Zombies Ate My Neighbors and want more. If only getting one of them, then the predecessor is a better value.
DecapAttack to start with isn’t one of the greatest platformers out there but it’s still pretty fun. The player takes on the role of a headless mummy named Chuck D Head who throws a skull as a weapon. He may also extend the face in his torso to attack. If that’s not a great fit for Halloween, then what is? DecapAttack was released for the Sega Genesis and is also a part of Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
Aside from the look at setting, DecapAttack plays like any other platformer. It offers some challenge but isn’t incredibly difficult. Chuck can take a few hits(up to eight) as is displayed by the heart gauge, which shows beating hearts(not what what you see in most games or Valentines Day cards). The levels are fairly linear although some appear to be big and each end with a boss battle. DecapAttack is a short game but it’s a fun little trip worth taking during the Halloween season.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Here’s a more recent one to play for Halloween. Ghostbusters: The Video Game was released three years ago in 2009 on all major consoles. Players take on the role of a Ghostbuster-in-training but get to bust some ghosts along with the original four. The game has an original story but the style and game play are both faithful to the films and it really feels like a Ghostbusters game. It is especially fun to play along with a friend in c0-op.
There are some differences between the Wii and PS3/Xbox 360 versions but they are all fun to play. Both versions play as a third-person action title with the option for co-op. The Wii has split-screen though while the other version had four-player online. The motion controls on the Wii work well so it’s a fun game no matter which console it is played on. Aside from the fun game play, the original four Ghostbusters from the film lending their voices really adds to the experience.
Another game title Ghostbusters was released on the Sega Genesis and developed by Sega. It’s a fun game with three playable big-headed ghost busters(Ernie is oddly missing). It’s a quick and quirky action-platformer to play through with some some fun boss battles. Ghostbusters for the Genesis hasn’t seen a rerelease though so it’s hard to come by.
Plays games and investigates the paranormal mostly. Still parties like it's 1999.