Haunted House

Atari 2600

Review by Rob "Dire 51"



Graphics: 6

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 8

Welcome to the town of Spirit Bay. Think you've got what it takes to venture into an eerie haunted house in search of a magical treasure? Then have I got a quest for you. But be warned - there are many dangers that await you, and the only thing you have on you is an unlimited supply of matches. Still here? You haven't been scared off yet? Good. Then prepare to enter the mansion once owned by Old Man Graves, get the treasure... and try to get out alive.

Before you begin your journey, perhaps you'd like to know a little more about the haunted house that you'll be journeying through. As I said before, it was once owned by Old Man Graves, a crochety, mean spirited old coot. He rarely left the house, which even while he was alive was falling into decay. His death was not mourned by many, if any at all. After his funeral, the house was boarded up, and no one has ever entered it since. However, rumor has it that a magic urn, a family heirloom owned by the the first family to live in Spirit Bay, is somewhere in the house. It was said to have been shattered into three pieces by the earthquake of 1890, but no one - except Old Man Graves - knew for sure what had happened to it.

Here's some advice that you may find helpful on your quest. The house has four floors, and there are a series of stairways that link the different floors. As there is no power in the house, you'll have to use the matches to light your way. A sudden gust of wind may blow them out, and if they burn down too far they will go out. If you go into the during the first stage of the night, you'll be able to see the walls just fine, but at any of the other eight stages of the night, the walls will be invisible. It's rumored that some of the doors that connect the rooms are sometimes locked - and depending on which stage of the day you go in, different doors are locked - in which case you'll need to find the master key that will unlock them. However, because you're using one hand to hold your matches, you'll only be able to hold onto one other item at a time. No backpacks or knapsacks are allowed in, my friend. For example, if you find a piece of the urn while you're holding the key and you pick it up, you'll drop the key - so remember where you dropped any items.

There are all sorts of vampire bats and tarantulas that roam the house. Depending on when you go in, you may just encounter one or two of them. The later you go in, though, more of them you'll find - and they'll all come after you if they spot you. It's said that the ghost of Old Man Graves haunts the house as well, so beware! If you're touched by any of these dangers, you will lose a life. Luckily, since you're brave enough to enter, you have nine lives at your disposal. Use them well!

Another thing that you should know about - Graves had an ancient scepter that was never found after his death, and is rumored to still be hidden in the house. Graves believed that this scepter warded off the evil spirits of the world, so if you find it, you may be protected from his ghost and the creatures in the house. Should you find all three pieces of the urn, it's rumored they will all join together as one. As soon as you have the completed urn, get back to the front door and exit as soon as possible!

So are you still up for it? Do you think you'll be able to find the urn and get out alive? There's the house... and look at that, the front door is open. It's getting darker, so you'd best start your quest now. Good luck, my friend.

You'll need it.


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Last updated: Saturday, September 25, 2004 09:10 AM