Protect the lives of scantily clad women in this bizarre 90’s cult classic.
Format: Sega CD, Sega 32X, 3DO, Mac/DOS [We played the Sega CD version]
Original Release Date: October 15th, 1992
Genre: Interactive Movie
Synopsis: Night Trap puts you in control of surveillance at a nearby house where teenage girls have previously been reported missing. To prevent history repeating itself, you must keep a watchful eye as you navigate between 8 different rooms and areas of the suburban household, seeking and trapping anyone and anything that attempts to harm those girls. Remember, if you’re unable to handle such a task, then do us all a favour and give the controls to someone who does!
Digital Pictures probably thought they were going to set the industry on fire with Night Trap, but perhaps not in the way they’d originally hoped. You can just imagine… It’s the early 90’s, and most people by this point comfortably have televisions and VCR players in their homes. People understand television, film and they way they both work as storytelling devices. Suddenly, here comes a computer game — one of the first of its kind — that whether commercially successful or not, was going to manage to fuse those mediums together. It seemed like the most natural form of progression gaming was due, we all thought back then that games looking like ‘real life’ were just around the corner. There was just one small problem… Night Trap wasn’t good, it was really bad.
As part of team SCAT (Sega Control Attack Team), you have no choice but to act out on some casual voyeurism through a camera lens and breeze through each room and hallway of the house. Shortly after you’ve familiarised yourself with the complex mechanic of clicking through rooms, you can go ahead and subject yourself to some godawful acting from a laughable cast of (mostly) unknowns as you painstakingly hunt for access code clues you need to enable traps. These weird guys called Augers turn up in droves, break in and waddle through the house in balaclavas like cartoon criminals; all they needed was a black and white striped top and a swag sack to complete the look. You can trap each Auger with the correct room code, but it’s as riveting as it sounds. This is just it, Night Trap isn’t fun. Even if attempted to be experienced from a noble standpoint, it is tough to feel like you really want to save these girls, since their characters are short a couple of dimensions, lacking in personality and outwardly possess the emotional range of small, domestic cats. Night Trap boasts 90 minutes of video content and though it’s mostly dire, you’ll actually end up spending the majority of your time flicking between rooms trying to catch augers – missing any and all possible story behind these faceless morons anyway.
The real conversation that most remember surrounding Night Trap sadly has little to do with the (dismal) gameplay. Instead, Night Trap today is best known for causing a wee bit of a stir regarding violence and mature themes present in video games. Mortal Kombat had already been scrutinised for its brutal executions and excessive use of blood, but some people had reason to believe Night Trap had crept into that super dark area of violence towards women, coupled with the fact they were all wearing little clothing in the game. It had been decided — at the time — that Night Trap had crossed a line. The game soon became the centre of some media attention and was the focal point in a congressional hearing over its content. Night Trap, Mortal Kombat and other titles which strafed into mature territories were therefore responsible for the birth of the ESRB rating we know and use today.
- Exceptionally unique for its time
- Helped provide solid proof that CD’s were the future format for games
- State-of-the-art video and sound quality on a technical level
- Unclear instructions on how to play
- Dull gameplay once you do know how to play
- Cheesy, terrible acting that was never good, even then
- Bit weird, bit creepy and a bit shit
- You have no choice but to be part of a team called SCAT
Night Trap initially shows promise and it is outwardly very enthusiastic and fairly captivating. It did a great job buttering and preparing me for what I’d hoped to be a great and perhaps enthralling experience. Unfortunately, though for the time it had some cool full motion video and had showcased what’s possible with CD technology… The game itself just isn’t fun to play. Seeing that it looks even more dated and tired than it did 20+ years ago, this game is becoming harder to relive by the day.
- You can fail the game if you don’t push any buttons at the end of the opening cut scene
- I’m not so sure girls hang out in big groups like this and then pretend to sing, using tennis rackets as guitars.
- A Kickstarter project was created by the original team to release an HD remake of Night Trap. It was unsuccessful in its funding.
- That infamous bathroom scene