Monster House

Format: PS2

4 005209 079198
Age Restrictions: 7+
04 August 2006

Three children must do battle with a mysterious home that is determined to eat every trick or treater in sight on Halloween...

Monster House is based on the movie of the same name - the latest film to employ the technology of Performance Capture Animation, a technique developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks initially for Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke's ImageMovers Company. While the game doesn't employ the same technology (obviously) the developers have tried to keep it as faithful to the movie as possible.

Players get the chance to experience key moments of the movie as they uncover the mysteries of the house in order to save their neighbourhood. Playing as all three children - the character's change periodically throughout the game - you must brave the depths of the living house. To be honest though, I found this a bit disorienting. Just as you get used to controlling one character, with their own special weapon, the game jumps you into the body of one of the other children.

You have to guide your characters around the house looking for its heart (the furnace) in order to stop it from destroying your neighbourhood. As you wander around the creepy rooms objects come to life (chairs and books etc) in an attempt to stop you from completing your goal.

As well as the annoying insistence on the game changing character every few minutes, the other frustrating aspect is the choice of camera angle. This becomes very annoying very quickly and can make it difficult to fight your enemy - it really is a pain sometimes getting your character to face the way you want them to.

There are plenty of seriously jumpy and creepy moments, which is surprising for a game of this sort. But. to be honest, there's not a whole lot here that we haven't seen before. Yes it's fun, but it soon gets very repetitive.

Nick Smithson

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