Haunting

a game by Electronic Arts

Platform: Sega GenesisGenesis

Genres: Action, Adventure/RPG

Haunting

One minute you're thrashin', the next minute you're dead! It's all the fault of Vito Sardini, an unscrupulous skateboard manufacturer whose cheapo deathtrap deck puts you six feet under. In Haunting Starring Polterguy, you're a fresh spirit who's out to can Sardini and his fishy family. This game's fair fare, but if you don't fiercely fancy spooky tricks, it's no treat.

Scare Tactics

In this unique action game your supernatural task is to scare the four Sardinis out of four mansions. First, you use an overhead-view map to find the Sardinis. Then you switch to a sharp 3/4-overhead view to stalk them.

ProTips:

  • When you scare Sardinis out of a room, they always leave behind Ecto Globs near the last place they were standing. Sometimes the Globs are hidden by scenery.
  • If you exit a room before you grab Ecto Globs, they're gone.

As you enter a room your spooky presence triggers flashing ethereal lights that identify household objects as possessed possessions called Fright 'Ems. When an unsuspecting Sardini approaches, a single button press makes you literally dive them into the Fright 'Em with creepy results. For example, kitchen knives fly through the air, and aquarium fish become man-eating sharks. Haunting's packed with 250 Fright 'Ems! The graphics are humorous (to everyone, that is, except the Sardinis).

  • Use the Fright 'Ems to control your victims' movements. Keep moving them toward the mansion's exits.
  • Use Spells whenever a Sardini's Fear Level is at Very High.

Stringing together Fright 'Ems jacks up the Sardinis' fear levels five notches until they run screaming from a mansion. Every Fright 'Em saps your Ectoplasmic energy, though.

Although Haunting is an imaginative game, it has a few soft spots. The game play is repetitive -- you basically just float after the computer-controlled Sardinis and use the Fright 'Ems. Overall, the graphics and animation look great, but some Fright 'Ems are too small to really appreciate. Also, Polterguy suffers from the curse of the mushy Genesis directional pad, making it hard to move him precisely sometimes.

  • Interactive Fright 'Ems are fun, but it takes time to use 'em. For quicker scares use Automatic and Manual Fright'Ems.
  • In the Dungeon you can anticipate where Ecto Globs will fall. Watch the ceiling.

Finally, Haunting offers a somewhat transparent challenge. There are only four mansions, which dampens the replay factor. Inside a man-sion, you occasionally run into Ectoplasm-sucking Ecto Beasts. However, you possess Kicks and Super Kicks, which beat the Beasts, no sweat.

It always pays to use the Dog-Off Spell whenever you encounter the pooch.

Plight of the Living Dead

Haunting is a spookfest that's over all too quickly. It isn't going to give you nightmares (no gruesome graphics or crunching challenge). Just the same, this game qualifies as a fun fright to the finish.

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Haunting Downloads

Sega Genesis Haunting download

Electronic Arts has just created a spooky new cart called Haunting. The main character is a young Frankenstein Monster, and he's got a bone to pick with the Sardini family. You see, they axed him a long time ago, and now he wants revenge. So what our young ghoul does is chase the Sardinis from house to house, frightening them away from their homes and businesses.

With a comical approach, Haunting creates a good ol' time by letting you scare the pants off some bad guys. For even more laughs, you can have two players haunting away. Sooner or later the Sardinis catch on to your plan, and that's when the trouble begins. Will you stand a ghost of a chance in Haunting?

reggie posted a review
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