Haunted House was one my favorite games for the Atari 2600, so it only stood to reason that when the game was being re-released that I would get a copy. The new version of the game is fairly straightforward update of the classic, but with better graphics and slightly enhanced gameplay. That’s right you can take a deep breath and relax if your a retro fan, Atari kept the suspense filled movement through dark chambers very well intact, but added a bunch of new room layouts (well ANY layout would be new compared to the original) and also created a back story to the game that I love! It seems your grandfather disappeared in the Haunted House 30 years ago and now you have a clue to his whereabouts and are off to the Haunted House to find him.
That sort of nod to the original was what really drew me to the title and as I watched the story unfold I often chuckled with retro glee.
Personally, I think the game is a fun romp, but as you may know in some ways you cannot “go home again”. The gameplay that was challenging for me as a kid, is very easy as an adult and the added puzzles and even boss fights, while nice, are not as challenging as they could be for a person who played the original back in 1981. I think this game is most appropriate for kids from maybe 7-12 years old and nostalgia freaks of all ages.
If you need a quick Halloween type gameplay fix or have some young people in your life who you cannot convince to play the classic, the new Haunted House is a perfect title to pick up and since it available for the Wii, PC and through the XBLA, you have plenty of gaming platforming options.
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