|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Scholastic Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: ELASTIC||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 28, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Goosebumps series of books have been around for over a decade now and have rightfully garnered quite a following. Their mix of child-friendly horror and quirky humor has made them unique as well as enjoyable for a plethora of younger readers. The series has already spawned a couple PC-based video games, with fairly mixed results. This time around, its setting its sights on home consoles. Unfortunately, the outcome is pretty horrific, and not in a good way.
HorrorLand starts off by having you choose a character, with your only two options being either a boy or a girl. Once this incredibly difficult decision has been made, a horror (a green-colored demon) drops a ticket on your doorstep and runs away. Despite the fact that the words HorrorLand, where nightmares come to life appear directly on the ticket, you and your overeager friend somehow still think it would be a great idea to check it out. Upon entering the park, another horror takes your ticket and tears it to pieces, effectively trapping you in the park forever. You eventually find out the only way to escape HorrorLand is to find all the pieces of your shredded ticket and reassemble them.
This is the loose story and overall objective for the game that attempts to disguise what is otherwise just a compilation of mostly-broken mini-games. Starting off in the Carnival of Screams, players are given twenty tokens and very little direction. Upon wandering around a bit, you will eventually realize the only thing you can do is participate in various mini-games in an attempt to win frights. Depending on how well you do in each mini-game, you can win a bronze, silver, or gold skull, which will provide you with one, two, or three frights respectively. Most of the mini-games in HorrorLand, as well as all the additional areas which contain new mini-games, will require a certain number of frights to unlock.
However, I have a hard time saying new because many of the mini-games in HorrorLand are either complete copies or just slight variations of former events. Expect to play miniature golf at least a couple times as well driving bumper cars, spinning and hurling objects, cart rides that involve shooting, swinging wildly to hit incoming creatures, and this list keeps going. Considering there are only thirty mini-games total in the game, it is truly sad to see so many repeats. This becomes especially annoying when you are forced to replay so many of these mini-games to earn frights, so you can progress through the game.
As I mentioned earlier, each area in the game will require a certain number of frights before you can gain access. You wont be able to play specific mini-games in each area until youve met the prerequisite number of frights either. Because of this, youll find yourself replaying the same mini-games multiple times to squeak a couple extra frights out of them just so you can get to some new ones. Early in the game this isnt as big of a problem, but to finish the game, players will need at least sixty frights, meaning youll need an average of silver in each event. This kind of forced repetition is maddening in and of itself, but becomes even more of a hassle when you throw terrible motion controls and needless token collection into the mix.