Retro Video Games: Night Trap

Night Trap was a survival horror game that was originally released on Sega CD in 1992 and later brought to other video game platforms. Not a good game by any stretch of the imagination, though it was one of the first horror themed video games that I ever played, so it holds a special place in my heart. The plot was simple. You play a special agent who is in charge of protecting a group of teenagers who are spending the night at a lakeside mansion, where strange things have been happening. Working alongside undercover agent Kelli (played by Different Strokes' very own Dana Plato), you have complete control of hidden cameras that display the views of eight rooms inside the mansion as well as eight trap doors that you will use to capture a group of vampires dressed in all black who have descended upon the house to drain the blood from the house guests. It was an interesting concept for a video game, playing out like a movie (complete with a slumber party sing-a-long scene!) that you had complete control over.

While it was one of the first video games to incorporate live action footage, Night Trap was also one of the games featured in congressional hearings on violence in video games, which ultimately lead to the ESRB rating systems we see today. Due to the controversy, it was pulled off the shelves in 1993 and re-released a couple years later with the rating MA-17. Below is a scene from one of the heavily discussed scenes in which one of the girls meets her untimely demise. (More importantly, it meant you lost the game!)

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