I remember flipping through the TV channels back in the mid-90’s and seeing some of the Goosebumps series that was based on R.L. Stine’s popular horror books for children. It’s hard but pretty cool to believe that here we are some twenty years later and the franchise is still going well, especially with the feature film taking the box office by storm at the moment. So it comes as no surprise for a movie tie-in game to be released, but there it is a surprise as to what platform it’s released on for the first time, mobile devices. Comic Forces Inc. brings the famously frightening fun in Goosebumps: Night of Scares, which has enough tricks and treats for all that play.
Serving as a companion piece to the movie, Jack Black reprises his role of R.L. Stine here, except this time he’s stuck inside of a typewriter. Once you meet him inside his fairly big mansion and feed him some typewriter ink so he can keep talking (yeah I know, weird), he’ll send you on quests you have to do in order to set him free and capture his infamous monsters using a magic book. Of course it won’t be easy, as said monsters from the book series are roaming the place, like Slappy the dummy, a zombie lady, werewolf, and more. You’ll have to sneak around and hide from them as best you can while doing things such as collecting missing pages from a book, or finding keys to unlock a door and the like.
The touchscreen controls here are pretty simple, touch the footprint icon on the floor to move around while touching glowing items such as books, doors, etc to interact with them. You can also look around by holding your finger on the screen and sliding it around. When a monster shows up, you’re usually given clues you can tap on as to where you can hide, such as under a desk, bed, table, or even inside the bathtub. When this happens, it will make an eyes icon show up on the screen you can touch and hold to stay hidden. You can let go of the icon to come out and take a peek, but be careful of the monsters spotting you or it’s jump scare time as they zoom up close and take you out, which is basically the fun factor of this title.
For a $5 game, the graphics and sounds are pretty decent. They’re not groundbreaking, but everything looks and moves pretty good. Jack Black does his usual job of being funny/sarcastic voicing Stine, while the eerie music and sounds of monsters and their shuffling around is sure to give anyone the chills. The biggest gripe I had here is the movement system using the footprint icon instead of giving the player free roaming capabilities. Too many times I happened to be chased by a monster and couldn’t move because the footprints didn’t go in the direction I needed/wanted. While I wasn’t able to test it out due to lack of equipment, it says this title is compatible for use with Virtual Reality gear. So those looking for something scary to test their VR setup with might want to give this one a go.
Goosebumps: Night of Scares is a delightfully spooky game to play just in time for Halloween, despite some clunky movement issues. Those who enjoy jump scare titles such as Five Nights at Freddy’s, Slender Man, and Amnesia: The Dark Descent will enjoy this and can even let their kids play without the fear of excess gore and mind-screwing. Even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, you’ll find your fix of frightfully fiendish fun here.