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Night Trap: What Did Critics Think in 1992?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 05, 2014   |   Episode 12 (Show Archive)  


Night Trap (Sega CD)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

Two decades after its release, Night Trap remains one of the most controversial video games of all time. The full-motion video game starring Dana Plato (Diff'rent Strokes) sparked Congressional hearings and helped usher in an era of game ratings. These days Night Trap is little more than a punchline, but was that always the case? Could it be that Electronic Gaming Monthly, Sega Force, GamePro and other old school magazines actually enjoyed this reviled oddity? Find out now as we go back in time and see what old school critics thought of Night Trap!

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Night Trap
[ Company: Digital Pictures | Console: Sega CD ]

86% out of 100%

"While the graphics in Night Trap are the grainy kind we've come to expect, the full-motion video is absolutely stunning. What you're actually doing is directing your own B-movie. Night Trap makes you feel part of the game. The crazy way Augs are trapped and the way the actors camp it up gives Night Trap an incredibly tacky yet humorous feel. I like this. There are even more of these games to come and they can only get better." -Ade

8 out of 10

"NT is a game that looks deceptively easy. This is because there are many things going on (on parallel video tracks!) that you can't see without a lot of trial and error and flipping from room to room. Although looking hokey, this just adds to the tongue-in-cheek humor. Not as easy as it looks! A spectacular use of video!" -Ed Semrad

4 out of 5

"Even non-Sega CD gamers should check out Night Trap to see the Sega CD's potential. The game is fascinating to watch, very entertaining, moderately challenging, and easy to play. More importantly, unattached, beautiful females between the ages of 16 and 19 need you! In the meantime, GamePros, heed this GUTS command; if you wander into Night Trap, look out for the Boogie Man!"

81% out of 100%

"Wow! Scantily-clad babes and loads of them, this is my kind of game! Yes folks, Night Trap is the first interactive movie on the Mega-CD and the great news is -- it works! Night Trap's a treat to look at and holds your attention as you trap monsters and try to look down the front of the girls' blouses. All in all, Night Trap's a good CD game which paves the way for more involved and more enjoyable games." -Paul

78% out of 100%

"Aliens have infested an American country house, where a gang of high-spirited teenagers are holding a slumber party. But as the evening progresses, the kids start ... disappearing! The strict schedule to all of the events is a bit limiting though, because the secret to success is simply to learn when there's going to be an alien wandering through Bedroom 2, keep an eye on the clock and be ready to catch it. It's novel and it'll impress your mates, but Night Trap isn't a tremendous game." -Rich

DIE HARD GAME FAN (February 1994)
60% out of 100%

"So what's the big deal with these congressional boneheads? Not only is this game as mild as they get (Beach Blanket Bingo had more skin) but you have to switch around camera angles so much you never get to watch it anyway. This is just a lame VCR game or a really bad movie. Either way, it has no business on any game system. I don't care how good it looks. Personally, I'd rather watch paint dry. Conclusion ... Congress needs a life. Get a hobby." -Skid

5 out of 10

"Night Trap is the type of title that makes me ask WHY? several times throughout the game. The digitized pictures are decent, but the plot needs some work. After playing for about five minutes, you will quickly lose interest in this one! Still, this is the cutting edge of technology, so accept some glitches here and there." -Sushi X

1 out of 5

"This is still one of the most crashing bores ever released -- Dana Plato, miniskirts, and drills in the neck notwithstanding, this is a nongame, folks. It's so badly structured that you spend all your time following those damned Augs, tapping one button, and almost never getting to see the video the game is supposed to be about. Just forget it. Leave it alone. Let it die."
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 65% - Good or bad, game critics weren't exactly sure what to make of Night Trap at the time. Several critics hailed the game as a step into the future, while others argued that it wasn't even a real game. Die Hard Game Fan used this review to speak out against the U.S. Congress and said it was "the most crashing bores ever released." While it had its detractors, Night Trap also won over a few fans. GamePro thought that even non-Sega CD gamers should check out the innovative title. Sega Force also loved it, with Ade praising the tacky, B-rate look and feel. On the other hand, Next Generation hopes the game dies. Night Trap really is one of the most polarizing games of all time.



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