Review – Goosebumps: Dead of Night

It was the monster all along

Courtesy of the folks at Cosmic Forces today I’m taking a look over the nostalgia driven fright fest which Goosebumps Dead of Night.

The Basics

This title will pull on the heartstrings of many of us growing up in the 90s, and is based around R.L. Stine’s illustrious series of children’s books. It’s one which as a huge fan of the books as a child I was really looking forward to spending time with.

Unfortunately it’s one which has heavily missed the mark for me, with lacklustre visuals and gameplay which hasn’t excited or engaged me. You’ll play as Twist, looking to survive the trials of Slappy the ventriloquist’s dummy, and send him back into the books where he belongs.

There are a number of different areas and missions which will be recognisable for fans of the series, as well as simple puzzles and stealth mechanics used throughout. You’ll not fight back with the monsters you find along the way, but rather look to run, hide, avoid or otherwise distract them to get past.

Even the small and mostly harmless gnomes can be creepy

Parent’s Eye View

According to the Xbox store Goosebumps Dead of Night is rated by PEGI at 7 and above, and by the ESRB at Everybody 10+. After reviewing the content in the title, I had a further look at this one, to see that the PEGI site itself lists the title as 12 plus.

I definitely agree that this one would not be suitable for those under the age of at least 10, and possibly a little older. I myself find a number of elements in the title quite scary. There are a number of low level horrors in here, with garden gnomes, sentient tree creatures and quite a few more.

There are however some much more worrying elements in the title. When captured by ghouls, animations and sounds will likely terrify smaller children. In addition, you can be stung to death by bees, eaten by any number of creatures and more. For me it really reached a peak early on, while being stalked around a house by a clown who finds you in the dark and who is literally called murder.

With the content in the title, in my opinion this is one which could even be a worry to give to children at 10 or 12, and the pixel bandits rating for Goosebumps dead of night is surprisingly a solid no

For a PEGI 7 title I was not expecting to be chased around the halls of a house by a clown called Murder

The Run Down

Visuals – Lacking: It’s a shame to see this these days, but visuals within the title feel quite last gen. As well as the general lacklustre performance in terms of graphics, there are some other issues here such as the gargantuan stamina bar whenever you need to run, as well as the hidden icon when taking advantage of stealth elements within the game.

Audio – Good: The audio within the title is well executed, and voice acting works well as you make your way through the various stages. Voices are creepy where they should be creepy and in general things here are decent.

Narrative – Good: There’s a halfway decent narrative which runs through this one, narrated by the Stinewriter and including many nods and references which will be recognisable to fans of the original books

Replay – Lacking: In honesty, there’s just not enough in this one to pull me back in, and even playing once through has been a bit of a struggle. More in terms of collectables would have been nice here, as well as tricker puzzle mechanics

The initial enemies in the title are a good example of what’s to come, and it’s sadly not all kid friendly.

Overall the Pixel Bandits Slappy Level for Goosebumps Dead of Night is Give It A miss. To be honest, it’s just not a title I’ve enjoyed, so I guess it turns out that I was the monster all along. This one is going to be a tough sell for adults as it’s just a little too easy in terms of puzzles, includes pretty basic mechanics,and overall it simply feels very light.

If it wasn’t for the genuinely scary death animations and creatures within the title, it would be one I would say is about the right level for 8 to 10 year olds, however with murder the clown and being stung to death by bees included, especially at the current price point, it’s just not one which I can recommend for anybody

Pick It Up

If Goosebumps Dead of Night has tickled your gaming tastebuds, you can grab it on;

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