Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Haunted Mansion: Fun With Grim Grinning Ghosts

Welcome foolish mortals, to the next installment of Halloween-inspired posts on Strange Moments in Gaming.  If you're a fan of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, then the game featured today is right up your alley.  This game is none other than The Haunted Mansion, a ghost-filled experience that is somewhat unique due to being based on a theme park ride.

Ready to dive into this massive house of spooks?  Ok then, there's no turning back now.

First thing's first, don't be deterred by the fact that this game was released in the same year as Eddie Murphy's Haunted Mansion movie, this game has nothing to do with that mostly-unfunny film.  This means no annoying subplots involving kiddies trying to face their fears or whatever nonsense happened in the movie (I've only seen it once).

In the game you play as Zeke, who has applied for the caretaker job position at the mansion, not knowing that the house is packed with nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts (sorry, it's very hard to write about this game without referencing the ride's audio track).  Anyway, the truth about the mansion hits Zeke the moment he walks through the door and encounters his welcoming committee AKA a large group of ghosts.

Soon afterward we are introduced to Madame Leota, who you may remember from the ride as the talking head inside of a crystal ball.  It is here that you learn about the plot, involving an evil wizard who has enslaved the ghosts of the mansion and forced them to do his bidding.  In short, you have to explore the various rooms of the mansion while fighting off evil spirits and gigantic spiders, in order to restore peace for the happy ghosts who inhabit the place.

The majority of evil ghosts you encounter aren't all that scary.  They'll usually just spawn in large groups and then charge at your location, making them easy cannon fodder for your magical spirit lamp (your only weapon in the game).  However, there is one type of evil specter that can be somewhat freaky, due to the fact that they don't make any sound as they slowly stalk you through the rooms.  Once they get in striking range though, they will scream like a banshee to inflict damage (oops I mean "fear" as the game puts it).  I was pleasantly surprised to receive a couple slight jump scares from what I initially thought was a kid's game.

The best part of The Haunted Mansion though is its various references to the ride it's based off of.  You'll explore rooms containing the famous "changing" paintings from the ride's queue, as well as the statues whose gaze follows your movements.  You'll have a humorous encounter with the hitchhiking ghosts, and the singing quartet busts from the graveyard even make an appearance, complete with new songs to serenade you with.

In short, if you're a Disneyland fanatic this is a game you should have in your collection.  If you can get past the simple gameplay you will find this to be a game with a very enjoyable spooky atmosphere.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! seems too interesting. I like to visit haunted circus as I am fun loving person. I like zombie hunt too.