I often see retweets from a Twitter user @IndieGamerChick offering up free games. I decided to take this one.
Maybe I shouldn't have.
Haunt the House isn't a bad game, but it feels like it's for kids. Despite the “Ghost inhabiting random objects to scare people into running away, leaping to their doom or outright killing them.” it's a cutesy game with simple mechanics.
Use the directional arrows to move the ghost around. Haunt things with the S button. Depending on the progress of the “scare-o-meter” on the bottom (if it has an actual name, I missed it) each object can perform different tasks. So, for example, a lamp might just be able to wiggle at first, but scare the people a bit more and you can make the bulb burst, which can scare people more.
I guess? That was the one thing that didn't seem clear to me. Did certain things scare certain people more? I know there were some actions I had to activate once the “scare-o-meter” was high enough to kill special characters, or make them jump to their doom, but otherwise I felt like I was randomly performing actions and hoping the people would run away.
Which I didn't get entirely because if I was doing something scary to the left of a person, they might run left past the haunted object. When in actuality I wanted them to run right so they’d leave the screen.
Each of the human characters has different stages of fright. They seem calm, slightly unnerved, scared and then absolutely terrified. It seems like the “absolutely terrified” state is what gets them to run away, but then again some seemed to run away at lower levels of scared-ness. Maybe it depends on the person, but none of it felt intuitive.
Perhaps there was something to read or something I missed that explains all of this. But it didn't feel intuitive, other than the obvious things like triggering actions to kill certain characters.
High production values, though. I can see a younger kid, well, not too-young what with the death and spooks and all, getting into this as a fun little game to screw around with, unlock all the achievements and replay the stages trying to clear them as fast as possible.
I thought this might be perfect for some people on iPads and other tablets and yup, there is an iOS Version as well as one for Android. So I can see this being a cute little time-waster, but it is not something I would ever have paid money for and cannot recommend unless you are into cute little games to mess around with for a bit.
Catchy tunes, too.