The game: Halloween Forever
Genre: Action, Platformer: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, PS4 and PS Vita)
Developer/Publisher : Imaginary Monsters | Vitei Back Room
Age Rating : EU 7+ | USA All Prices
: US $9.99 | UK £7.99 | EU €9.99 Release date
: 12. February 2021
Visualization code largely courtesy of Vitei
Halloween Forever is a simple 8-bit platform game with a distinctly creepy flavor. You play a little pumpkin man trying to stop an evil wizard who has plunged the earth into an endless Halloween night. It looks and feels like an old-fashioned retro game, more specifically the NES. The game takes no time to get into action. You start the game in the main menu and go straight to the first level without wasting time with the long story, and everything is very simple. In fact, you don’t see a cut scene until you play out or finish the game.
Pumpkin Man is here to save Halloween!
Saving Earth from the Horrors of Halloween
The gameplay is a simple retro platformer. Your goal is to reach the end of each of the five game worlds. You have five health points that allow you to make a few mistakes as you make your way through the levels. They can be replenished by collecting the hearts that fall from defeated enemies. Each world contains two platform sections filled with different Halloween-themed villains, such as Chainsaw Maniacs, Bats and… Frogs? Well, there’s plenty of variety and there are a lot of skewers that you have to dodge and unfortunately they can finish you off with a punch. The levels are huge and there are different paths through each of them, making you want to replay the game to find all the secrets. At the end of each section of the platform, there is a large boss fight that often requires simple pattern recognition to win.
I’m sorry I woke up the frog.
To make the challenge even greater, Halloween Forever only gives you two lives to begin completing the world’s five experiences. Each level has a few checkpoints, but it’s a game you’ll repeat several times until you get the hang of it. Just like in the good old days, you have to learn from your mistakes in order to move forward. It’s not impossible or frustrating, but it won’t be for everyone. The developers have included a few accessibility options in case you’re really struggling, including Lifestyle 99, which is more than enough to help you finish the game, or if you just want to know the layout of the course and levels. Oddly, we can’t choose the number of lives, as 99 seems a bit excessive for the easy mode.
Take a nap between games.
The steering is simple, stiff and responsive. The pumpkin man can jump and do a double jump, the latter is especially useful when doing these risky jumps. The only thing I had here was that getting off the ladder seemed a little weird, but that’s an easy nitpick. Its special feature is that it can draw corn from its mouth, which is used to destroy enemies and leaders. There are no restrictions on the use of this move, so you can just press the attack button to use it. It’s as stupid as it sounds, but I totally agree. The game works equally well in manual and TV mode.
Pumpkin Santa collects gifts
The graphics are in 8 bits, even though the game is based on a Halloween theme, it has a nice variety of levels, environments and bosses. The graphics are light, making this title suitable for all audiences. The only things I noticed were the pixelated blood splatter and the severed head on one of the end bosses, but it made me laugh. The world of Halloween seems silly, but fun.
The soundtrack was a bit of a mess for me. This is certainly a distinctly retro aspect of the NES, but many of the scores were sloppy and not particularly memorable or entertaining. The sound effects when jumping and shooting corn were perfect for the retro feel and added to the ease of play.
If I wait here, they might not see me.
short and soft
Five worlds make Halloween Forever a very short game, but I must say that this setup is very refreshing in this day and age of gaming. That’s all I really wanted, but the game offers an extra incentive to play again. There are several characters to unlock (like Santa in a pumpkin), all of which play differently, so the game is always different as you progress through the levels. There are also runes that reveal the secret ending. I see Halloween Forever as a game I will take back if I just want a quick game or if I want something retro.
All unlocked characters play differently
not just for Halloween
Halloween Forever is a retro treat for the stock market. It reminds me of a time when developers came up with crazy but original ideas and somehow made them work on hardware. But while Halloween Forever has originality and retro charm, it also brings with it retro warts; such as a hit that makes the spikes disappear and sends you back to the beginning of the game when both your lives are already over.
If you like your retro titles, this is a must. Halloween Forever is a game that can be played all year round, not just on Halloween.
Last block: I likevery much.
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