Spooky’s House of Jump Scares: Surprise!
Developer: Lag Studios
Upon first glance, Spooky’s House of Jump Scares appeared to be a fun, light-hearted comical take on the horror game genre. Only after trying the game myself did I realize that I was completely wrong. In Spooky’s you are an avid history enthusiast going to explore the mysterious mansion that cast a shadow over your town. The previous history of the house is virtually unknown even to the town’s oldest residents.
When you first enter the house, you are greeted by a friendly-looking ghost of a girl named Spooky. She tells you that this house is hers and tasks you with making it through 1,000 rooms to find out what is in the 1,000th room because even she does not know. With a name like Spooky’s House of Jump Scares you would expect to see plenty of jump scares and don’t worry there are plenty of them. Randomly throughout the game cute pictures such as pumpkins, ghosts, and skeletons pop out of the walls.
These adorable pop-outs are not very scary but what they do is set up even bigger scares. The cute scares make you feel like you are safe and that’s when the game brings out the big guns. The real scares come from a variety of creatures in the game only known as specimens. The specimens include the spirit of a little girl (which seems to draw inspiration from Samara from The Ring and Regan from The Exorcist), a dead mask salesmen (who resembles the happy mask salesman from The Legend of Zelda), and killer deer. That’s right; deer that have fangs and red eyes that try to kill you. Each specimen will try to kill you and after they are first introduced can appear at any time throughout the game. The specimens will chase you through a decent amount of rooms and some of them have powers that make it harder for you to progress. For example, one specimen attacks you from behind so as soon as you enter a room you will need to turn around and start going through rooms backwards. Another specimen will change the texture of the walls and floors to a dark, blood red color which makes it more difficult to find the door to the next room.
Another thing that really adds to the awesomeness of Spooky’s is the number of locations that you will go through. You start off going through normal looking castle dungeon type rooms but eventually you make your way through the halls of an abandoned elementary schools, a haunted forest (where the killer deer live), a futuristic laboratory, and a certain fast-food restaurant (before you ask, yes you can go through the play area). There are also puzzle and maze type rooms that can be particularly difficult to go through while being chase by a specimen.
Final Thought: Many horror games are so over-the-top, overwhelmingly in your face with their environments to let you know that you are in a horror game and that you should be scared. These games cause the horror genre to become very bland because you are expecting a scare at any moment. What makes Spooky’s so special is that it lulls you into a false sense of security. One moment you feel safe and the next you’re being chase through narrow rooms and hallways by some of the most harrowing creatures ever imagined. So, what is in room 1,000? Is there even a 1,000th room? The only way to find out is the play Spooky’s for yourself. Spooky’s is available for free on STEAM and is a must play for any horror fan.