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Nightmare Anniversary: “NIGHTBREED” and Its Official Video Game

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Welcome to Nightmare Anniversary, where FANGORIA looks back at film’s celebrating special anniversaries this year and toast to the times in which they were released. What skeletons remain in the closet of the fright films we love so dearly? That’s what Nightmare Anniversary aims to dig up.

It’s been a long 25 years for Clive Barker’s NIGHTBREED. Barely making a mark on the pop culture of 1990, the film found a loyal audience who embraced Clive Barker’s imaginative yet compromised vision over the years. And it wasn’t until a mere 3 months ago that the film finally was shown in its intended form, and even more importantly, arrived to the fanfare it deserves.

Yet even in its underwhelming initial release, 20th Century Fox gave NIGHTBREED the industry standard tie-ins of the era, even if its cinematic marketing missed the mark. Aside from a very cool yet virtually forgotten comic book spinoff,  perhaps NIGHTBREEDS most prolific tie-in was its video-game, which allowed fans to interact with the world of Boone, Decker and the monsters of Midian.

As you can see from the clips and videos below, NIGHTBREED had two unique video game adaptations: NIGHTBREED: THE ACTION GAME and NIGHTBREED: THE INTERACTIVE MOVIE. The first game, which was released for such groundbreaking consoles as Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spetrum and Amstrad CPC, essentially follow the plot of the movie, yet with more action than even the director’s cut would offer. Meanwhile, the second game was a much more limited console release, and essentially played like an walkthrough of the movie with character prompts and playable levels.

These NIGHTBREED games were both poorly received by the public and gamers alike, and have mostly served as a footnote of a weird age of movie merchandising in which flops were treated like hits even before hitting theaters. Nevertheless, much like the film it was based on, NIGHTBREED: THE ACTION GAME has received a bit of a cult following in the underbelly of gaming community. In fact, it’s the aforementioned community that has likely preserved so much of the game on the internet for us to share with you today. So without further ado, 25 years later, here’s a look at the NIGHTBREED video games…

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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