REVIEW: ‘Goosebumps: Dead of Night’ (Xbox One)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Goosebumps

Goosebumps: Dead of Night, a first-person horror survival game developed by Cosmic Games, was released this week. Upon playing it, I was brought back to the day that I attended my elementary school’s book fair and purchasing several Goosebumps books. Several of my friends loved the series and would always try to convince me to read them. I wasn’t too excited about reading horror books since I still wasn’t completely into them yet.

However, after reading Welcome to Dead House, I wanted to read more books from the series. I couldn’t imagine if my love of the horror genre would be as strong as it is today if it hadn’t been for R.L. Stine’s work. With all this in mind, I was thrilled to find out that Goosebumps: Dead of Night was being released. It would give me a chance to experience something new within the franchise while also hitting on nostalgia from being a long-time fan. 

In Goosebumps: Dead of Night, you play as Twist, a mysterious being who stumbles upon R.L. Stine’s home. The famous author has been trapped inside of a typewriter by Slappy the Dummy, one of his own creations. Stine needs help to get out of the typewriter and asks Twist for help. The only way to free Stine and vanquish Slappy, Twist must find the missing pages from Stine’s work. If collecting missing pages wasn’t enough, Twist must also deal with several of Stine’s creations coming after him. Taking place throughout three different levels, Goosebumps: Dead of Night offers an introduction to new fans of the franchise while also focusing on nostalgia to fans of Stine’s work. 

I wasn’t quite sure what to really expect from Goosebumps: Dead of Night, even after watching the trailer. I didn’t want the sense of nostalgia to completely dictate my excitement or overall feelings of the game. However, the game quickly proves that it offers much more than a nostalgic element. For one, the tone of horror is set within the first few minutes of the game. The jump scares don’t necessarily measure up to those of more popular horror games, but the game does an incredible job in tapping into the horror that Stine was most known for. I was immediately brought back to when I first read his books and remembered how scared I was.

Goosebumps Dead of Night

Most of the game mechanics in Goosebumps: Dead of Night are simple enough to follow and understand. There is no particular health mechanic, but there is a sprint gauge that limits how long a player is able to sprint. It’s recommend for players to keep track of the gauge when needing to hide from an enemy. There are several spots that players can use to hide from creatures and enemies whenever they are in danger. However, if an enemy is aware of your hiding spot, they will trap you. Several enemies, such as Lawn Gnomes and Murder the Clown, can control the environment to their advantage. Be mindful of dealing with certain creatures that can do this. When looking for pages, it helps to search everywhere, especially since some take a bit longer to find than others. It can be a bit frustrating to deal with, but it’s quite rewarding whenever all 10 pages are found. 

Even with the simple game mechanics and the level of horror that Goosebumps: Dead of Night implements, there are few elements that lowered my overall experience. For one, the game seems too short for how much it costs. I was able to beat the game in less than eight hours, which doesn’t reflect well on how much the game is. Secondly, there were several bugs whenever I tried to access any of the options either in the title scree and during the game. I couldn’t switch any of the settings without the game pausing for a few seconds or having to restart the game altogether. On top of that, I understand that this is meant to be a horror game, but that doesn’t mean that the it has to lean too hard on the environment. There were times where it was too hard to see my surroundings, even after switching the level of brightness on my screen. 

Although I enjoyed the plot, horror elements, and game mechanics of Goosebumps: Dead of Night!, there were various elements that lowered my enjoyment of the game. Having to restart my game or deal with lengthy pauses disturbed my enjoyment of the game, which is quite disappointing because of how much I love the Goosebumps franchise. However, the horror and game graphics were enough to keep me playing the game. I’ll surely go back and play in the future, especially with the great sense of nostalgia that it brought me. 

Goosebumps: Dead of Night is available for purchase now for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on Steam.


Goosebumps: Dead of Night
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

Although I enjoyed the plot, horror elements, and game mechanics of Goosebumps: Dead of Night!, there were various elements that lowered my enjoyment of the game. Having to restart my game or deal with lengthy pauses disturbed my enjoyment of the game, which is quite disappointing because of how much I love the Goosebumps franchise. However, the horror and game graphics were enough to keep me playing the game. I’ll surely go back and play in the future, especially with the great sense of nostalgia that it brought me.