The Sega CD was one of those expensive add-ons that were popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This add-on brought cutting edge CD technology to the Sega Genesis fans and then hampered it with 64 colors on screen at any given time (but it added rotation and scaling capabilities that the Super Nintendo had out of the box). The Sega CD did go on to have some really great Halloween style games see the light of day. We have collected the best atmospheric games here for you all in one article.
Iron Helix by Spectrum Holobyte is one of those atmospheric, slow as hell, games that you either love or hate. I personally hated it when I first played it but after giving it more than a cursory shot, it grew on me. The first person perspective forces you to only see what is right in front of you and that is literally it. The story behind Iron Helix is all science fiction gold- if they made a movie it would do great.
Basically, the ship you are on has gone rogue thanks to an unknown virus making the onboard computer think the passengers are bad guys. This causes the computer to kill them all. Now, if that was it this would not be cool. There is also this major weapon onboard and the ships computer is in control of that and chosen a nearby planet for destruction- this is a concern for the interstellar cold war the human race is in with aliens. You collect DNA samples from the crew, access closed off areas of the ship and must stop the ships computer from escalating a terrible situation. Gold, I tell you. Gold. Grab Iron Helix on Ebay.
Dracula Unleashed by Viacom New Media is a Full Motion Video game that many will hate just because of that fact. Don’t be one of those people. Give this one a chance.
You are tasked with stopping Dracula. Sounds simple but oh boy is it not. Everything plays out in video clips starring actors in period dress. There are some animated scenes to go through for the map, inventory and the like. The atmosphere in Dracula Unleashed is set just right. If you can’t stand Sega CD Full Motion Video then you can grab a much better version on PC and DVD. Grab Dracula Unleashed on Ebay.
Mansion of Hidden Souls by Vic Tokai is another first person game similar to Iron Helix. Here you are investigating a mysterious mansion and trying to stay alive. Similar in setup to that of The 7th Guest and Myst, you are going to have to explore and figure out the puzzles to beat this one. Much like Iron Helix, the animation is all full motion video point and click fun. Grab Mansion of Hidden Souls on Ebay.
Ground Zero Texas by Sony Imagesoft is one of those “aliens are attacking” games. By the time this one got released, Digital Pictures (the people behind Sewer Shark and Night Trap) were getting A LOT better with getting around the Sega CD color limitations. Besides, this time of year, who doesn’t like a good old “aliens are attacking” plot? This one has a serious “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” feel to it and some decent ideas for Halloween costumes to be had. Grab Ground Zero Texas on Ebay.
Rise of the Dragon by Dynamix is another point and click adventure. There are some gruesome scenes to deal with, some great atmosphere and a lot of challenging puzzles to deal with. Fans of Escape from Monkey Island or Maniac Mansion but wanting something more “mature” will want to check this one out. You won’t get scared to sleep at night but you may find yourself staying up later than you wanted as you try and solve the mystery. Grab Rise of the Dragon on Ebay.
What is your choice for atmospheric gaming for Halloween? Let us know in the comments below.