Welcome to our Haunted: Halloween ’86 review. Originally developed for the NES back in 2016 (yes another late NES title) Haunted: Halloween ’86 has found its way to the Nintendo Switch to give owners a bit of retro style platforming fun.
- Haunted: Halloween ’86
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, NES, PC, Xbox One
- Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Retrotainment Games
- Publisher: Mega Cat Studios
- Multiplayer: None
- Available: October 24th, 2019
- Price: £8.39 (U.K) $9.99 (U.S)
- Age Rating: PEGI 3 (U.K) E10+(U.S)
- Review Code Provided
Haunted: Halloween ’86 is the sequel to Haunted Halloween ’85, a game of which I haven’t played but you may have. Similar to its predecessor the game sees you taking on the role of Donny as he kicks the ass of evil, although this time he’s joined by his girlfriend Tami.
The story starts off with Donny and his friends getting ready for Halloween and as the fun begins Donny hears that something isn’t right. After he saved day the back in ’85 he’s asked to go and check it out but it’s clear to see he’s quite anxious about doing so, that is until his girlfriend challenges him to prove his bravery.
In a true retro platformer style, the game has you working your way through various levels beating up bad guys and avoiding obstacles. Combat plays a huge part in the game and as such both characters have a range of different attacks they can use although they aren’t all accessible right away with an in-game upgrade system making each one accessible on a choice by choice basis as you play through.
When it comes to fighting monsters a good understanding of the dodge and attack mechanics in this game is a must and if you’re like me you’ll probably find yourself having to try a level over and over again until you get it just right.
A tag in and tag out system is used to switch between Donny and Tami whenever the player feels like it. The best way to use this system is when one character’s health is at the critical condition as once one character is killed you restart from the last checkpoint. If you lose all of your lives you’ll simply restart from the very beginning of the chapter instead of the first part of the zone you’re in.
Donny and Tami’s health can easily be tracked by the color of their skin in a rather simple fashion. If the skin is of a normal color then the health of the character is full, if it’s pale then it’s medium, and if it’s green then they’re not far from dying. Replenishing health can be achieved by picking up candy drops, although these are limited.
At the end of each chapter, players face a boss fight and these are each quite challenging at first until you learn their pattern and can easily put your own attack/dodge abilities to good use in a well-timed manner.
Instead of a traditional save system, Haunted: Halloween ’86, unfortunately, features a code system and upon completing each chapter you’ll be given a code to enter on the continue screen of the main menu. Writing these codes down is a must if your memory isn’t the best as forgetting them means you can’t continue.
As well as the story mode, there’s also the Onslaught mode which allows you to take on hordes of enemies as you fight to last as long as possible before dying. This addition is an okay way to get more from the game but it’s not enough to keep the interest going much longer after completing the story.
Graphically the game is rather impressive for an NES title, with colorful scenes, smooth transitions and overall pleasing quality. Unfortunately, though the developers have chosen to use a lot of Black and this is kind of frustrating as it makes seeing certain things a little harder than they should be which adds a bit of frustration to the overall experience.
In conclusion, Haunted: Halloween ’86 is a fantastic modern-day recreation of what a good classic game should be like. It plays well and has an easy to follow storyline. The combat is easy to get the hang of although the real skill is in mastering your attack and dodging patterns.
That concludes our Haunted: Halloween ’86 review. To purchase the game on Nintendo Switch check out the link below.