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“NIGHT TERRORS” (Video Game Review)

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Word dropped this week that a new ‘augmented reality game’ allows users to use their smartphones to put themselves in a real life horror movie. NIGHT TERRORS is currently being pitched as the POKEMON GO for horror fans. Instead of catching Pokemon, players will have to avoid monsters chasing them in their own home.

The game’s developers claim that the app can scan the layout of a player’s house to customize scares. It also has the ability to manipulate your phone by taking strange pictures and sending creepy texts. And even though nobody has one, there’s an added bonus for Apple Watch users. The game analyzes their heartbeat to increase the scares right as your heart starts racing. In other words, the goal will be to keep your heartbeat down so the monsters won’t be able to hear. A super cool add on that isn’t a requirement for the game, definitely adds another unique layer to the overall experience.

While the game is aiming for an October 2016 release, Indiegogo projects have a habit of failing to meet deadlines. In fact, this project had failed its initial crowdfunding campaign. While the hype around NIGHT TERRORS is still premature, there is much to be optimistic for the future of horror gaming, particularly when it comes to the mobile marketplace. Imagine if there was a storyline in an experiential game like this?

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The very thought of it conjures up memories of P.T., the notorious interactive teaser for the canceled game SILENT HILLS. Directed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, with the protagonist portrayed by Norman Reedus, P.T. offered a glimpse of how the ninth installment in the SILENT HILL series might be different. Instead of releasing trailers and screenshots, Kojima produced an interactive teaser experience that is increasingly becoming a tragic part of gaming history.

The turmoil surrounding P.T.’s cancellation has become the stuff of legends. It is the same thing in movie culture. P.T. is another example of what the future of gaming might look like when auteurs like Kojima and del Toro are allowed to experiment with conventional forms, where there is no limit to how scary you can make something. To this day, games like VISAGE and the new RESIDENT EVIL 7: BIOHAZARD are being touted on blogs as the “spiritual successor to P.T.

What this tells us is that people are in the market for this kind of authentic interactive horror experience. The creators of NIGHT TERRORS hope their game proves to be a “highly immersive, photorealistic, binaural, survival horror game,” that promises to be an “affordable, quality experience, that’s available to all.” While only in its nascent stage, the creators of NIGHT TERRORS would be wise to follow the lead of POKEMON GO and not games that require expansion packs and mods to prevent the novelty from wearing off. POKEMON GO is arguably still a fun game to play without other features such as trading promised in forthcoming updates. Other games? Not so much. If there’s anything NO MANS SKY’s reception has taught us is it’s best not to overpromise. For more information on Night Terrors, visit their Indiegogo HERE.

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Josef Luciano
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