For those of you who grew up in the 90s, you have no doubt heard of the infamous Full Motion Video game Night Trap that was released for the ill-fated Sega CD console, and later ported to other systems. For the unfamiliar, the game was an interactive horror movie starring Dana Plato of Diff’rent Strokes fame. While it is tame by today’s standards, the game’s violent and mature content, as well as the controversy surrounding Mortal Kombat and Doom, helped lead to the creation of the ESRB game rating system.
The game featured scantily clad young women having a sleepover at Mr. and Mrs. Martin’s house where there have been reports of mysterious disappearances. The home is populated by Vampires, called Augers in the game due to the over-the-top power tools they use to extract blood from their victims, who sneak up on the girls one by one and abduct them. The player assumes the role of an off-screen member of the woefully named SCAT (Sega Control Attack Team, later renamed to “Special” in later ports) charged with activating traps to catch the Augers before they can harm the young women. Dana Plato plays “Kelly,” another SCAT (*sigh) agent working undercover to help you protect the girls. The whole thing was a poorly acted tribute to old schlocky horror movies, served with a healthy slice of cheese and a tongue firmly planted in its cheek. Night Trap might have been, like most of the FMV titles of the time, completely terrible, but it still had an “it’s so bad it’s good” type of charm that endeared it to many players. That feel-good nostalgia has lead a Microsoft developer named Dave Voyles to begin the daunting task of porting Night Trap to the browser.
Voyles spoke of his love for the title in an interview with Engadget. “I absolutely love this game. Sure, the acting is cheesy, but it was the first time I really had an opportunity to interact with a film. If you look at it as a ‘game,’ then sure, the gameplay certainly isn’t top-notch. If you look at it as a film where you can control the outcome, I think you’re getting a great experience.”
Night Trap for the browser is not yet available to play, but you can keep updated on Dave Voyles’ official website. I can’t wait to dive back into this one.