Goosebumps: The Game (3DS)

GOOSE_BOXGamers beware! You’re in for a scare!  Or something.  R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series has been delighting and spooking kids and young readers for decades with its scary stories.  Now there is a new movie in theaters based on the books, and you can play a Goosebumps game on your 3DS, too!

I’m not entirely sure if the game is based on the new movie or not (I’m thinking not). I don’t know much about the movie and I don’t plan on seeing it.  But the Goosebumps 3DS game is surprisingly, a point and click adventure (developed by WayForward, no less)!  Late one night, a moving van crashes on your street, and a living ventriloquist dummy is inside and presumably escapes!  You play as a schoolboy or girl of indeterminate age, and start out your adventure after school the day following the moving van accident.  Mysterious things happen on the way home, and once you get to your house, you find that it has transformed into a haunted mansion filled with ghosts and ghouls from the Goosebumps book series! Now you must explore your new dwellings and solve puzzles to figure out the mystery of what’s been going on in your neighborhood.

Like other point and click adventures, you move a cursor around the screen, clicking on items of interest. You can move the cursor around with the touch screen and stylus, or circle pad and buttons.  Once you click on something, a menu will come up on the bottom screen giving you options.  You can usually ‘look’ at objects, ‘open’ doors, ‘take’ certain items, or ‘talk’ to people, ghosts, and other critters.  Sometimes you’ll be able to choose what to say to them, too.  You can also check your backpack to use items, or call your mom or brother on your cell phone (just make sure your batteries are charged).

The game has a few problems here and there. The cursor doesn’t change when you hover over clickable items like it does in other modern point and click adventures, so it can be cumbersome to find what you need to pay attention to on each screen.  There are not a whole lot of hints, so it can also be hard to figure out what you need to do and where you need to go sometimes.  Most good point and click adventures make it hard for you to mess up or die, but in Goosebumps, it’s easy to prematurely end your adventure.  Right on the way home walking from school, you can cross paths with a plant monster that can ensnare you in vines, and shortly after entering the haunted house, you can drink a harmless glass of prune juice from an old lady, but it’ll turn you into an old man.  It reminds me of those ‘choose your own adventure’ books (I never liked those; I could never get the good endings).  When you restart, you’ll be close to where you ended up, but make sure to save often anyway because you never know what dangers lurk in the next screen!  I think the only people who will really like this game are die-hard fans of the Goosebumps books.


Kid Factor:

Goosebumps: The Game is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence. Most of the violence is implied in the text, as a majority of the visuals are still screens only.  If you’re kids are old enough to watch the move and read the books, they’ll be OK with this game, too.  Strong reading skills are required, and probably only avid readers of the books will get the most enjoyment out of this game.

One Response to “Goosebumps: The Game (3DS)”

  1. Goosebumps: The Game actually serves as a prequel to the recent film, and plays out similarly to a classic point and click adventure game. It’s paced slowly but that’s surely to cram in as many references to past books and characters as possible, often requiring you to simply go through the motions and read through an abundance of quippy dialogue. If you aren’t in it for the throwbacks and nostalgia then a huge chunk of the game’s enjoyment is gone, but there’s a half-decent adventure at its core that might just keep you on board nonetheless.

    Indian Rummy

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