THE TALE OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE
Many years ago in the small town of Spirit Bay, there lived a mean old man named Zachary Graves. Old man Graves was not a very well liked person. He rarely left the old mansion and spent most of his life brooding about the decaying, four story house. When he died, the house was condemned and locked up.
The townspeople claim that old man Graves knew the whereabouts of a magic urn that was a family heirloom of the first family of Spirit Bay. It seems that the mansion was the family's first home and that the magic urn, which broke into several pieces during the earthquake of 1890, is still in the old house.
To this day, no one has had the courage to go into the mansion to search for the pieces of the urn. It is common knowledge that the ghost of old man Graves still haunts the mansion. Some of the neighbors claim to have seen lights flickering in the windows. Some say that they have heard eerie sounds, doors slamming, and heavy footsteps. Some even claim to have seen shadows running through the mansion.
The mysterious mansion has 24 rooms connected by long corridors and staircases. Some of the rooms have been locked up for over 50 years. There is supposed to be a master key hidden somewhere in the mansion. Without the key, it might be impossible to travel from room to room. There is also an ancient scepter hidden in the mansion. Old man Graves always carried this scepter. He believed it scared off evil spirits.
Now that you know the story, ATARI is unlocking the entrance to the HAUNTED HOUSE and letting you test your bravery. Do you dare enter the frightening old mansion? If you do, remember to carry matches; the HAUNTED HOUSE is very dark.
--From the Atari 2600 Haunted House instruction manual.
Haunted House is a unique Atari game because it is extremely simple, yet the atmosphere of the game can provide many hours of enjoyment. It was rumoured that Haunted House was going to originally be named Nightmare Manor, but Atari switched the name, most likely so that the game would have more sales. Overall, I think this game is cool because it was a good attempt at making a game for the horror genre, but the game is so simple that it leaves much to be desired.
Infiltrate the Haunted House of Zachary Graves, and retrieve a special item, which he kept locked away in the four story house, while avoiding the monsters that haunt the house. The coolest thing about the game is that it is supposed to be scary. I find it hard to be scared by pixelated ghosts, but the sound effects are cool for the Atari 2600. The gameplay leaves something to be desired, because once you know the objective of Haunted House it can be beaten in less than 3 minutes. There really is no skill involved in beating Haunted House, you just run around collecting objects and then run back out the front door. I think that in order to enjoy this game to the max, you have to play it without knowing the objective. Just trying to figure it out provides more of a challenge than beating the game.
|Directional Keys||Control Movement|
|Action Key||Light Match|
|Grab the Scepter and the monsters will not chase you. However, you cannot carry the Urn pieces and the Scepter at the same time. The Scepter is only useful so you can run around the house and find where the Urn pieces are located.|
|On games three through nine you must have the Master Key to open some of the doors. Light your match to find objects hidden on the ground!|