New Game Review

Review – Goosebumps: The Game (Switch)

It really is true horror, for all the wrong reasons...

Remember Goosebumps? Remember the beloved soft horror book series we used to read in the 90’s, as well as that cheesy TV show that we swore used to scare us as kids? Well, the franchise went through a brief revival due to the release of the surprisingly decent movie starring Jack Black back in 2015, as well as the release of an underwhelming game alongside it. Fast forward to 2018, where a new Goosebumps movie is out and with it, a Goosebumps game released for the Switch. If you think that’s good news, forget about it. This is nothing more than a port of the same disappointing Goosebumps game from three years ago. A port that has aged as poorly and quickly as the wrinkles on a witch’s skin.

goose2
Who the heck are you? The Little Rascals?

Technically speaking, Goosebumps: The Game is a horror-themed first-person point-and-click adventure game that borrows elements from various books on the series. The shrunken head is here, the puppet from the Night of the Living Dummy book makes an appearance, and so on. In terms of fanservice, this game actually does a fair job, but it falls flat at using those elements to create a good game.

Let’s start with the visuals. Just take a look at the pictures in this review. Goosebumps: The Game feels like it was created by using clip art you’d find in older versions of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. And of course, there are absolutely no animations to accompany those images. It’s ugly and it doesn’t fit with the grim tone the game tries to provide. The same can be said about the sound design, or lack thereof. With the exception of a somewhat passable rendition of the TV show’s theme song in the title screen, everything else from the “music” to sound effects are as borderline poor as they can get.

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That should be considered harassment.

In terms of production values, Goosebumps: The Game ain’t a winner and it doesn’t do a lot better in terms of gameplay. It’s your generic point-and-click adventure, meaning that all you need to do is pick all items onscreen and keep using them on a puzzle until the one item that had absolutely no logical relation to the problem turns out to be the solution.

The controls aren’t inherently terrible like the rest of the game, even though they’re as basic as basic can get. Move the arrow to where the arrow icon turns into something else, open the options menu and hope something happens. One neat inclusion was the addition of touchscreen controls for this Switch version, but instead of opening the entire options menu, touching the screen acts just as the ZR button, automatically interacting with whatever you just touched. That’s the epitome of missed opportunity.

Of course, even if the game had pristine controls, it wouldn’t be worth the hassle if the story wasn’t good enough to keep you invested in whatever happens in this bland and stereotypical suburbia. Surprise surprise, it’s not. The plot is nonsensical and poorly written, acting just as a means to shove as many Goosebumps references into your face just so you can point at them and utter a very unenthusiastic “huh, I remember that”.

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I have a fully charged phone and yet my character doesn’t have enough IQ to call 911.

Goosebumps: The Game is just plain awful. Featuring really poor production values, the most basic puzzles you could imagine, as well as an uninteresting story, this is one of the least entertaining adventure titles I’ve played in years, as well as one of the worst licensed video games I’ve played in a while. If you’re really craving for any modern rendition of R.L. Stine’s works, just stick to the Jack Black movies. This game, as well as my memories towards the cheesy TV series from the 90’s, is better left untouched.

 

Graphics: 2.5

With the exception of a few backgrounds and one or two enemy designs, it feels like you’re playing a slideshow comprised of poor clip art from the 90’s.

Gameplay: 5.5

The controls are borderline basic, but they’re otherwise functional. The addition of touchscreen support was a nice bonus, but not well-implemented.

Sound: 2.5

The only instance when good music is played in this game is when a slower rendition of the classic Goosebumps tune is played on the title screen. It all goes downhill from there.

Fun Factor: 3.5

A boring story, very poor production values, and severely uninventive puzzles await you in this Goosebumps game.

Final Verdict: 3.5

Goosebumps: The Game is available now on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, 3DS and Switch.

A copy of Goosebumps: The Game was provided by the publisher.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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