A Look Back At "Night Trap"

Do you remember “Night Trap”?

For those of you who don’t know about it, it was a (DEEP BREATH) survival horror interactive movie video game that was released in 1992 for the “Sega CD”. 

After the ‘Video Nasties’ controversy in the 80’s it was now video games turn to be put in the spotlight and “Night Trap” became one of the biggest examples alongside the likes of “Mortal Kombat” and “Doom”.
But I’m jumping ahead of myself here, much like the game itself which was way ahead of it’s time. Here was a Horror movie game that you could interact with and feel part of, nothing like this had really been released before.

The games story is simple: A group of young women are staying at Mr. and Mrs. Martin’s house for the night. Odd things have been occurring at this house, five girls who previously stayed there had disappeared, so the “Sega Control Attack Team” (“Sega” changed to “Special” once the game was ported to other consoles) is called upon to protect the new guests and find out what happened. As the new wave of girls arrive for a slumber party (one of whom is undercover S.C.A.T. agent), the vampiric Augers begin to invade the Martin family house. 

You, the player, views events via hidden cameras set up in eight different locations, which can be viewed one at a time. You then have to view the scenarios and  and use traps to capture them. This might not seem like much these days and admittedly a great deal of more graphic games have been released since then, but you have to remember that in 1992 things where different.

I remember being in shock and awe playing this game, I was young, probably too young, to be playing a game of this nature but it was strangely addictive and had an eerie feel to it. That was helped by the way it was made, it was initially intended for “NEMO”, a strange console that used VHS tapes instead of cartridges or discs.

Things went wrong and the console was never released and five years later it was acquired by “Sega”. The biggest name attached to the game was Dana Plato, you may remember her as ‘Kimberly Drummond’ on the U.S. sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes”, well admittedly she was the only ‘big’ name.

Not too long after it’s release was when all the controversy happened, on both sides of the ocean. In England the BBFC stirred up a storm (as usual) and in America Senator Joe Liebermann held a hearing in Congress about violence in video games and its effect on children. You have to remember that back then there was no rating system for games, it was described as “disgusting”, “shameful” and “ultraviolent” and also concluded that the aim of the game was to trap and kill women, rather than protect them. 

A couple of years later after the dust had settled and everybody had moved on to the next thing they thought was corrupting the nation’s children. the game was eventually available for release on the Mac, PC and the 3DO (remember them?!). But it was never the same, If you’re interested in what it was all about and what it was like then just type “Night Trap” into YouTube.

“Night Trap” was definitely ahead of it’s time and a big influence on future Horror games, personally I’d love to see something like this released again, it was so much fun!

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