‘Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition’ Review: Retro Cheese

Ah the early 1990s, when everyone in politics wanted to blame music, movies, and video games for the “moral degradation” of our youth. As one of those yoots (My Cousin Vinny, go watch it kids), I was playing almost every game system available at the time, included the Sega CD. In 1992, one particular game on that system was the target of politicians for its “mature content,” and now that game is back for your PlayStation 4, 25 years later. Are you ready for Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition?

Anyone who was gaming in the early ‘90s remembers Night Trap. It was included in a slew of other games, like Mortal Kombat, at a congressional hearing about video game violence. Best described as a “playable B movie,” Night Trap uses filmed actors, and scenes are portrayed throughout a house where teen girls are having a sleepover. Your job is to use cameras in the house to follow the kids around and then remotely trigger traps that will stop the bad guys, called Augurs, cheesy vampires wearing what looks like cheap S.W.A.T. gear.

To be honest, even in 1992, we all thought Night Trap sucked. As a teenager, there wasn’t enough skin to keep me entertained, I had seen Porky’s and a slew of other R-rated films by then. What was left was a cheesy choose-your-own-adventure PG-13 movie that you control. Control is putting it nicely. Mostly Night Trap is just about timing your traps and choosing who to save. These choices eventually open up the various plot twists and different endings occurred based on who you saved.

Twenty-five years later and Night Trap still looks stupid. Only now, we can look back and actually laugh openly about how bad it really was. When I heard it was coming for my PS4, I had to play it. Some friends of mine, also in their late 30s and early 40s came by, we had a few drinks and booted up Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition. Instantly we were back in time, someone of course commented “Is that Dana Plato?” Yes, yes it was. And she was the best actor in the whole game.

Sadly there aren’t ANY tutorials for Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition. We eventually figured it out though after a few slip ups. Thankfully a few of us either had kids who played Five Nights At Freddy’s, or played themselves, and general mechanic is the same. Watch your targets, use the camera system to move to the rooms they move to, and when the time comes, pop a trap. Simple enough that, even inebriated, we were moving forward, laughing at the bangs, the clothes, and the scariest part of Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition: the acting.

Developer Screaming Villains did a fantastic job of cleaning up the original footage and graphics; players even have the option to play the original version if they like. They also included some very cool unlockable features, such as an interview with the co-creator, the history of the game, and even the political hubbub it was part of. While very short, at about 30 minutes a playthru, Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition isn’t going to be much more than a curiosity and party favor. It does that job very well though, as everyone really enjoyed the flashback and had a good time for an hour before we turned it off. Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition is great for those old school gamers looking to re-live that age or even millennials who want to get a good laugh at how silly it was.

Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition is available now on PlayStation 4. This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher for that purpose.

out of 5

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