First off if you don’t get that reference, then you are too damn young. Anyway, what has become a Halloween tradition for me in the last few years is to watch replays of horror shows in the 90s aimed at children. I would argue that shows aimed at children these days are more creative then shows for adults, but we’ll save that for another entry. Two of my favorites are Goosebumps and Are you Afraid of the Dark (or GB and Dark for this entry).
Growing up I was an avid reader of the Goosebumps series, during elementary school R.L Stine was my hero. When the series was translated into a T.V. format I thought it managed to capture the variety of stories shown in the books. One element of GB that I find unique for a horror series is that some of the episodes had a comedic twist ending. In which we either see the bad guy (or thing) point of view or that the whole experience didn’t happen like we assumed.
Moving onto Dark which was one of my favorite shows growing up, didn’t go for a comedic ending to its tale and had many episodes end badly for the main character. The premise was that a group of kids get together and tell scary stories, like GB each week had a new tale with a new cast of characters. However the kids who tell the story show up at the beginning and ending and were the main cast. As the series went on some of the more eccentric characters would appear in other stories.
Since the shows were aimed at children, there wasn’t any gore, but similar to the Twilight Zone each episode dealt with a different plot line each week. This gives me an idea for episodic games, a horror series in which each month’s title is a completely new story. I could picture an adventure game format with the player trying to either escape or defeat the baddie and with a new situation each month should keep things from being too stale. We’ve seen episodic game play bring back the adventure genre thanks to Sam and Max, now I would like to see it go further. The recent Alone in the Dark tried to do episodic game play, but it focused on one story instead of multiple different ones. So how do I know that this could work for the adventure genre? Because I played the Are you Afraid of the Dark adventure game way back then. I got far and almost beat it, but I kept on getting caught by that evil crazy bitch (oh yes there was one in this game).
With Halloween one day away, I think this will be my last entry on horror titles, so enjoy and have fun this year.