Review: Haunted: Halloween ’86 (Nintendo Switch)

Haunted Halloween '86

October 31st, 1986: In the once-quiet town of Possum Hollow, two 11-year old kids are gearing up for some Halloween hijinks! Before a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating Donny and Tami venture up to the old farmhouse where Harry, the crazy old farmer, suddenly thrusts them into a nightmare. Now trapped deep down in his dungeon on a pile of bones, they must break out and find their way back home. They will face hordes of heinous haunts, monstrous bosses and environmental hazards as they make their way through the various landscapes of Possum Hollow and fight to save their town from the curse that plagues it.

Pros:

  • Retro 8 Bit graphics.
  • Coded entirely in 6502 Assembly language down in our 8-bit laboratories.
  • 73.6mb download size.
  • 3 difficulties-easy/normal/hard. This affects max health and how many powers (moves) you have.
  • Music player.
  • Two modes-story and onslaught.
  • chiptune soundtrack composed entirely in Famitracker.
  • Two characters–Tami and Donni.
  • Onslaught mode-wave based survival.
  • Optional tutorial at the beginning.
  • Tag-swap characters on command with each having their own health bar.
  • Health-your skin changes color as you take damage with you going greener and greener until you turn.
  • Wide range of powers like an uppercut, sliding kick, and double jump.
  • Pick up health and weapons in level.
  • A handful of lives then it is game over and you restart from the very beginning.
  • Keeping it old school you cannot go backtracking or just turning around and going back in any meaningful way.
  • Awesome looking locations.
  • Cool border art.
  • A lot of fun.
  • Proper retro feel.

Haunted Halloween '86

Cons:

  • The long intro even with skipping.
  • Can’t quit out of modes.
  • Hard to always read your health.
  • You don’t auto tag when a character dies.
  • No touchscreen support.
  • Not fullscreen.
  • Little replay value once you finish it.

Haunted Halloween '86

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
7.8/10

Summary

If NES games allowed more code then this game would have totally been a thing all those years ago. The amount of love and detail that has gone into this is astonishing. Luckily they didn’t keep all the clunky controls and other issues of old games. You get a lot of attacks (depending on difficulty), the game boasts a lot of terrific backdrops, I lived jumping in and having a session in the go. Yes, the lack of continues does make progress slow but that’s how it was back then so this is realism people! This isn’t just another “retro” nostalgia thing, it uses the old school properly and adds enough modern stuff to make it fun and engaging.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

You may also like...