Haunt the House: Terrortown
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Haunt The House might not be the longest or most challenging game I’ve played, but it has a unique setting, stylish visuals and offers plenty of entertainment. Scaring people with the strange actions you can coax out of ordinary objects is surprisingly fun and each location offers plenty of unique opportunities to try out your poltergeist skills.

Gameplay: Very simple, but quite entertaining.

Graphics: Detailed and charming visuals.

Sound: Nice tunes and plenty of sound effects

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Haunt the House: Terrortown

Developer: SFB Games | Publisher: SFB Games | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Indie / Action / Casual | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam / itch.io

The peaceful slumber of a little ghost is disturbed when the noise from a nearby town reaches its abandoned bell tower. The ghost is not pleased with this development at all and sets out to haunt the town residence that roused it from its sleep. While scaring the poor folks witless, it also decides that the lonely bell tower can do with a few more souls to keep it company.

Haunt The House is a stylish 2D side scrolling puzzle title that gives you control of a little ghost. The ghost can make a few noises, but it is way too cute to seriously scare anyone. Fortunately, it has the ability to possess inanimate objects and this is where the real fun begins. You can choose which location you want to haunt with a museum, hospital, theatre and cruise ship available right from the start. Each location has a few floors filled with rooms that are crammed with objects for you to possess, but sadly no further locations are unlocked.

Your goal is to scare away the twenty people milling about inside each location by any means necessary. There are hundreds of different objects to possess and while initially you might only be able to rattle or move something your powers increase as the spookiness of the atmosphere increases. Things start off quiet, but soon become strange, unsettling, creepy, sinister and finally terrifying as you work your ghostly magic.

Haunt The House is quite an easy game as your interaction is limited to hovering over an object and pressing a button to possess it and then pressing another button mapped to whatever actions you can perform with said object. Of course, you want as many people as possible nearby when you let loose as haunting something is not very scary when nobody is around to see it. The people in each location are constantly moving about and your goal is to terrify them enough that they run screaming out the exit. You can actually scare folks so much that they jump out of windows in fear which is quite funny. There are also a few “special” people at each location that you can kill so that their souls go to the bell tower and become selectable characters.

I recommend that you take your time while playing Haunt The House as the game can be completed in about thirty minutes. If you just focus on possessing the same few objects and scaring everyone out of the buildings as quickly as possible you will miss out on some of the great animations each possessed object delivers. Everything from tables dancing, lamps flickering, portraits moving and mirrors cracking to dinosaurs dancing, polar bears roaring and musical instruments playing is animated superbly. This is one of those games where the real joy comes from messing around with it and exploring all the possibilities instead of really completing it. This is because the game is so short and easy that anyone will be able to complete it, so focus on having as much fun with it instead of reaching the credits as fast as possible. After scaring or killing everyone in the four locations you are shown your ranking for each area as well as some stats such as your ghost of choice and favorite object to possess. I completed the game multiple times and still ended up with a playtime of just over two hours, but considering the low price and how much fun I had I still feel that there is plenty of value for money here.

Haunt The House has a very unique visual style that blends creepy with cute. While the theme of the game is rather dark, the cute visuals and cartoon style animations means that there is nothing here that is too strong for younger players. The audio is also wonderful with some very catchy tunes and tons of sound effects. Virtually object you can posses have its own sound effect and you’ll also hear the screams of the town folk as they flee in terror. One thing that I would have liked to see is a few more Steam achievements to aim for as the game only features ten.

How much you enjoy Haunt The House: Terrortown is going to depend on how much you can entertain yourself by just messing around with all the objects that can be possessed. As I have mentioned, this is not a game that you should rush through with the goal of completing and discarding it. Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the game and would love to see a sequel or perhaps even DLC that adds more locations.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom™ 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbook class devices
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
  • OS: Mac OS X v10.6
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space

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