Well, well, well ... you have just opened up one the most important questions. You see, Night Trap is the Genesis of this web site. Though this is not the first review we have done for this web site, this is the game that will be given the most attention in the long run. To answer the question at hand as simply as I can, Night Trap is a little game made by now defunct Digital Pictures and published by Sega of America for their ill-fated Sega CD add-on.
It's pretty simple, Night Trap was the first full-motion video (FMV) game released on the Sega CD. Though, originally meant for another system, Night Trap was a simple enough game that gave you the impression you were a security night watchman at Wal*Mart. You could switch between rooms looking for some activity. Since it's a house you are monitoring the game really plays more like out takes from CBS's Big Brother. In some of the rooms there will be people eating, in other rooms there will be people sleeping ... but hey, don't get that excited, the activities are mostly null, and only one video segment happens at a time. So, you are basically reduced to writing down when activity happens, and then play it again until you have it memorized.
But if that wasn't bad enough, once you have done everything, which should take you 20 or 30 tries, the movie it gives you is really terrible. Alright, I know it's supposed to be bad, but it's worse than bad. The robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000 couldn't even make it funny. And to see the late Dana Plato (Diff'rent Strokes) prance around in a nightie and then battle vampires ... it just seems wrong to me.
So the pay off isn't worth the trouble, the game is dull, and it is seriously frustrating. Why is this something I was waiting for? Well, because Night Trap is probably the single most important video game of all time. You heard me right, it's the most important video game of all time. I do not say that lightly and while there are so many games that helped the market place, Night Trap was the game that broke the government's back. Up until Night Trap game makers were ungoverned. Oh sure, there were Publishers that held back, but there was never a government crack down.
What Night Trap attracted was a war between gamers and the U.S. Government. And this war is still going on all these years later. Though, I must admit that the real battle, like the one forged in 1993, is long gone, but the effects still linger.
Of course Night Trap was only released on systems that had no life. Looking it over we have the Sega CD, Sega 32X, and 3DO. Talk about a bunch of losers. You didn't see Night Trap on the PlayStation. If a million people bought the game it was only because of the government's advertising. So why make such a stink about a game that was reduced to having no market at all? Why not go after something bigger? Something people cared more about? Well ... later on they did, but that's not the point.
Night Trap, first the first time, made us gamers understand how out of touch the government was with technology, how important video games are. And we can be proud. You know video games have made it when they are getting Hollywood style news features on E! Television.
There is so much more to this story, as I'm sure you can imagine. The politics alone can be argued for pages, but that's not what this review is about. This is not an indictment on the lawmakers, this is supposed to be a review. Sadly Night Trap isn't worth talking about, the controversy surrounding it is simply more interesting, the game is just annoying and difficult, a combination that will have you avoiding the game soon after you've played through it. You may find some fun in Night Trap, but it's not going to come from the "game" aspect of things.