With Halloween upon us, it is only fitting to offer up some games that are good ways to get in the spooky mood of the season. While stores are already putting out Christmas decorations, apparently skipping the whole Thanksgiving thing next month, we here at Retro Gaming Magazine are still focusing on the holiday that is looming (we will worry about the others in due time). Here are a few Nintendo Entertainment System games that do quite a good job at setting the proper mood for Halloween. Settle in with these games and you are certain to have a good time, mix in a few breaks for the appropriate movie, and occasional door knock, and it is sure to be a great Halloween.
1) Castlevania series
Okay, this weekend the little ones will be running the streets dressed as their favorite scary creature. That doesn’t mean that you can’t be inside enjoying some good old action on your Nintendo Entertainment System. The Castlevania games have it all, from grave escaping zombies to bats and even Dracula himself, if you are good enough to reach him. While you won’t sleep with the lights on after a marathon of Castlevania you will either rest easy knowing you beat it like the undead or restless because you have retro rage over that one damn enemy.
2) Sweet Home
We didn’t officially get Sweet Home in the United States but that has not stopped fans from translating the Japanese text and releasing a patch for the game. There are similarities to Resident Evil (a later franchise by Capcom) and the scare factor is set to creepy. Not a fan of action games that feature zombies and other scary characters then Sweet Home may be for you. We covered fan translations in our second issue, available here.
Okay, this was one of those titles that, back in the day, I figured would be censored to hell and back on the NES. Fortunately there was only one scene that was removed from the port, a scene that while creepy didn’t affect the rest of the game. UnInvited is a title that is in the style of point and click adventures, or early digital comics take your pick.
4) Maniac Mansion
Another adventure title that carries a fair bit of spooky atmosphere but in a cartoony way. While you won’t have to endure any blood and guts scenes in Maniac Mansion, the tension does rise as things escalate quickly- in true horror movie fashion. That is a feat hard to replicate in gaming but Maniac Mansion achieves it regularly.
5) Friday the 13th
Okay, this is a given. I couldn’t do a NES Halloween list without including Friday the 13th on the list somewhere. For many, this game is stupid, not like the movies, and pointless. For those that get it or are willing to give it a chance, there are more than a few jump scares here- much like the movies that carried the same name.
There you go, five Nintendo Entertainment System games that can help set the Halloween mood just right in your house. While not all are scary (the Castlevania series for example) they are all entertaining in their own way, particularly Maniac Mansion and Friday the 13th. What are the games you have been playing to get in the Halloween mood?