… which also just happens to be Halloween. Reality Glitch was born 4 years ago today, on a dark stormy Halloween night, in a small grave yard, just behind an old abandoned toy factory down the road from a mental asylum.
I logged into WordPress and began this rather inconsistent, plot hole ridden blogging expedition into the unknown. My first blog post was a rather dismal attempt to review Dune II on the Amiga, it was okay, but it sounded a bit forced. These days I just write whatever rhubarb appears in my head, I’m amazed Reality Glitch is still going.
Anyways, on this anniversary day, and totally not a Halloween blog post*, here are a few spooky titles I’ve enjoyed playing over the years on the Amiga.
Genre: Horror, Point ‘n’ Click Adventure
I was always a huge HR Giger fan, I loved watching the Alien movies (before I was even technically allowed too), I used Giger as an inspiration for my GCSE art project, so when I saw Darkseed advertised I remember desperately wanting to track down a copy. It wasn’t until the late 90’s when I finally got my hands on it.
I loved the graphics and atmosphere and to a certain extent the story. I say certain extent because to be honest I’ve never completed it. Certain scenes in the game are ingrained in my mind to this day, mostly the animated parts with the baby on the doorstep, the nightmare and dream sequences, and more specifically the way the staircase is made of skulls when you cross over into the dark world. I never wanted to sleep in the game (or at all sometimes) as I knew something bizarre would happen again.
The Addams Family
I remember getting this based on playing the demo on a cover disk, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a great platformer and really fun to play, the characters are nicely drawn and look like their movie counterparts (for the most part) and this gives the whole game a great cartoony feel.
The level design I thought was excellent, vivid bright colours were nice against the dark, spooky back drops. Although pretty linear most of the time (even with all the doors etc) the gameplay and controls were simple and effective and made for a fun gaming experience, there’s plenty of secrets as well to keep you coming back. It was great to see a movie tie-in game with the actual theme music as well.
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark
Genre: Horror RPG
Being frightfully honest now (Ha, frightfully – Ed) I was as much drawn into this game by the character of Elvira as I was by the “I probably shouldn’t be playing this” feeling of daring and curiosity. It didn’t do me any harm playing this as a kid, but clearly after playing it, it was meant for a more mature audience.
It’s definitely less camp classic (like the movie) and more Horrorsoft pulling out all the stops gore and terror wise. I managed to finish this but I’m almost certain it took me a few years, and a few magazine walk-throughs to do it. Despite the difficulty being very hard it’s a great game, the atmosphere is second to none and the music creepy and unsettling.
Alien Breed Special Edition 1992
Genre: Top down Shoot ’em Up
Publisher: Team 17
This always reminded me of The Chaos Engine, but instead of a steam punk inspired nightmare you’re instead stuck in a claustrophobic alien inspired nightmare, with hordes of the nasty buggers hiding around every corner waiting to destroy you. Perfect. An awesome game (extremely fun in 2 player mode) and a great atmosphere with plenty of tension.
I remember it being tough as nails, especially if you got pushed into a corner, a dead-end or stuck in a room. The lack of keys to open doors as well is something I remember being a little frustrating, given the pace of, and tension, in the game. The lack of keys is the only fault I can bring to this game, however it does not detract from the gameplay, which has plenty of polish, action and neat ideas.
Genre: Horror RPG
Waxworks on the Amiga is the creepiest of the horror games I’ve ever played (if waxworks weren’t creepy enough). It is another RPG and much in the same style as Elvira, not surprising as Horrorsoft developed Waxworks, as well as the Elvira sequel, Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus. The game provides a chance to delve into numerous horror clichés and scenarios, making for a varied and all round fun game playing experience.
The quality of the graphics and the eerie sound effects really brought the waxworks to life (no pun intended) and made for some pretty stomach churning scenes. I spent most of the game staring with fascination at the waxworks more than playing the actual game. I didn’t make it through the whole game either, the 10 disks eventually destroyed at least one of my external disk drives, I’ve blamed this game ever since.
Thanks for reading, let me know you favourite horror games below in the comments 🙂
*totally, maybe a Halloween blog post…