Connection Haunted (Switch, PC)

You’re about to connect to a server to boot up a classic FPS styled capture the flag game.  But when you start, nobody is around to play.  When someone else finally shows up, they don’t say anything in the chat and you can’t see them anywhere at first.  Then mysterious shadows appear that can take you out of the game!  Are the servers haunted?  It’s up to you to find out in this psychological thriller disguised as a first person shooter from the early 2000’s era.  It’s available on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

So the game kind of drops you in without giving you any instructions.  It plays like an FPS, and even gives you the controls on the right side of the screen at all times, so that’s nice.  If you are a seasoned FPS player, you may know immediately what to do first.  But if not, you just follow the squares on the map to capture flags and bring them back to your base.  Since nobody’s on the server at first, it’s pretty easy.  But when another player joins, you can’t see them at all.  You might hear some creepy noises and a shadow flash by from time to time, but that’s it.  You can shoot the shadow with the gun you pick up, but it’s not clear if that does any good.  If the shadow gets you, you get kicked out of the server and must start the game again.

And that’s pretty much what I got out of the game.  The environments are very dark and while you can drop glow sticks to brighten things up, you only get so many and they don’t help much.  Supposedly at one point, another player shows up and tells you what to do in a chat, and depending on what you do, you may get different endings.  It’s just frustrating that something you can’t see or hear can take you out of the game most of the time and make you start over.  I guess you can try this one if you want some light jump scares this Halloween season, but I think you can do much better than this.

Kid Factor:

Connection Haunted is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You can shoot shadows with a gun you pick up, but if they get you, the screen just turns to static and it says you get kicked out of the server.  So not really much violence that I could tell.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and while the game is touted as being ‘family friendly,’ younger gamers may still get frightened at the creepy atmosphere, shadows, and noises.

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