I love that thanks to Xbox Live, I have the option to play game demos at the price of no price. I will try any game for free. Any game I say! Recently I tried out the demo of the recent remake of Haunted House because why not? The original game, made for Atari 2600 and released in 1982, is likely the first survival horror game. I don't think I ever finished it- my disembodied eyeballs trapped in the Graves mansion, dying a slow death and eventually eaten by bats. In a strange way, I hope this is my real life fate as well.
The remake maintains the same premise as the original- search the mansion for pieces of an urn and defend yourself from ghosts, bats, and spiders with nary more than the light of a match. The graphics are decidedly improved, which...you know. You might expect that they would be considering the hardware advances that have happened over the 30 years between versions. 30 years. 30...years. THIRTY YEARS.
I can't lie, the demo was fun, if totally aimed at kids. Characters say things like "OMG!" which...blehhhhh. I'm not the target demographic, certainly, but the demo was enjoyable enough, maintaining the spirit of the original game.
Okay, secret revealed: while I did download and play the demo on a whim of curiosity, I'm really just using that fact to write something where I can post box and ad art from the original game, both of which are so good:
Beauteous! I love the way video game box art used to really fuel the imagination and despite the terrible graphics of the games (graphics, I should note, that were astounding at the time), the entire game world was fleshed out in my nerdy head. Maybe it's just kids that have that ability, I don't know. The box art was technically misleading, I guess, but to me it was always more a flavor-enhancer. Like Mrs Dash, or MSG!
Oh! And perhaps best of all is that all of this Haunted House talk led me to a startling discovery: you can play the original game on the new game's website. Perhaps my disembodied eyeballs will make it out of the mansion after all...