Goosebumps is my favourite book series of all time. I grew up with R. L. Stine, reading a new book every week just about. I’d say I read at least 90% of his 1st series through elementary and middle school. Stine is a master at captivating young minds and introducing them to a world of darkness. My older sister and I’s late night horror binges of Friday the 13th and Hellraiser were a major influence as to why I loved Stine’s work as a kid and why I was excited to play this game.
Goosebumps Dead of Night begins with a cutscene in an old mansion on a dark and stormy night. Cliche, I know. The cutscene, then leads to a typewriter talking to you in Jack Black’s voice. Yes, THE Jack Black provides voice over work for some characters in this game. That’s a pro for me! Pressing plus (+) or minus (-) brings up the menu screen, which has a diagram that shows you the control scheme. On the left, you can reload from the last checkpoint, reset chapter, access various options like sound and control, and go back to the main menu.
On the right is where you can see the objectives. Some objectives will populate on their own, following the story line. Other objectives you can pick up while you’re playing and exploring. What I noticed though is that the objective menu that pops up on the top right doesn’t stay there. It appears and then disappears with no way to bring it back unless you come across something needed for a current objective or if you find a new objective. Y and X to interact with things, ZL to sprint, ZR to throw, and R3 to crouch/look around.
So if you forget what you’re looking for or where to go, you have to pause. That might not be an issue for most, but I would’ve liked a button to press to toggle it to appear or disappear so that I wouldn’t have to be taken out of the game each time I need to remind myself of what to do. The objectives aren’t in any particular order either. So you can’t click on or select the objectives to toggle which you want to do. You can just do them in any order you see fit.
You’ll notice right away, there’s no save option. The game auto-saves, which can be a blessing or a curse. The checkpoints when you die are hit or miss in fairness in that the game sets you back a ways when you reload. You have to keep playing back to the point where you died if you didn’t die when an auto-save occurred.
On that note, load times. It took at least 1 minute each time you reloaded. While that doesn’t sound like a long time, if you are consistently dying, it can grate on your nerves. On top of having to replay a bit to get back to where you were, the load times take away from Goosebumps Dead of Night’s experience. What’s supposed to be scary and creepy quickly becomes aggravating.
As you progress through the story, you’ll encounter familiar enemies like Slappy the puppet, vengeful lawn gnomes, and Dr. Brewer among several others. Characters from Night of the Living Dummy, Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes, and Stay Out of the Basement, respectively.
Goosebumps Dead of Night will have you exploring basements, dodging monster blood, throwing gnomes, running for your life, and reliving the terrors of some of Stine’s most famous books in the series. There are also puzzles to solve as you progress, and they weren’t too difficult to figure out. Manoeuvring the thumbstick to move and the right to crouch proved to be somewhat tedious at times because with the right thumbstick also functioning as a way to look around, I couldn’t press it quick enough to duck out of the way of enemies at times since my camera was all over the place. Even changing the sensitivity doesn’t make much of a difference. Stamina drains quickly, so time your sprints or you could be in for a bad time.
There were times the frame-rates often dropped when you moved to survey the area or during instances of a lot of movement like sprinting, but it righted itself after a few moments. There are quite a few jump scares as to be expected with this series as well. So if you’re not a fan of those, you might want to turn down the sound effects because it can get loud during those moments.
Overall, Goosebumps Dead of Night is a creepy, fun-filled nostalgia trip. I thoroughly enjoyed playing through various familiar world’s and characters from the Goosebumps universe. Awkward controls and load times aside, it’s still a blast to play and with Jack Black’s voice overs, it makes the experience that much more entertaining.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Goosebumps Dead of Night Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 5/10
User Review( votes)
Goosebumps Dead of Night is a creepy, fun-filled nostalgia trip.
- Lots of familiar characters from the Goosebumps universe.
- Jack Black’s voice work is fantastic.
- Jumps scares work well with the tense atmosphere.
- Long load times.
- Checkpoints are a hit or miss.
- No way to save manually.
- Drops in framerates at random intervals.