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Haunting Starring Polterguy

Genre: Action Developer: Electronic Arts Publisher: Electronic Arts Players: 1 Released: 1993

Haunting Starring Polterguy was released in 1993 for the Sega Genesis. It was developed and published by EA. This is truly one of the most original games on the system by virtue of its unique gameplay and relatively original story that intertwine perfectly. The gameplay revolves around you trying to scare the members of a rich Italian family out of one of their four houses. This family has had Poutlerguy killed, and he seeks revenge by scaring them out of the very things they love the most: their precious mansions. You scare them out member-by-member and mansion-to-mansion, slowly whittling away their courage, until they have none left and flee the mansion. They move to another one, and the cycle begins anew.

In order to scare the family members out of their many mansions, you’ll have to enter some of the houses’ many objects. You can enter things such as pianos, band saws, and even the walls of the house. When you enter, you can make the object do things to scare the family members out. You can make the piano play on its own, you can make the band saw fly into a frenzy, and you can even make the walls bleed. In order for these tactics to work, a family member must bear witness to the spooky actions. If they don’t see it, they’ll just continue on their way. So be sure to spook them at just the right time, or all of your effort will be for naught. This unique style of gameplay is extremely fun and never gets old. The game isn’t the easiest in the world, you’ve got to really put some effort into timing so you can spook the family members when you want to. Because of this, you get a great feeling of satisfaction each and every time you scare the family out of a mansion. This is definitely one of the most personally rewarding games out there.

The controls of the game are remarkably simple, just enter an object, hit a button, and spook the hell out of a family member. Going from object-to-object is simple thanks to the D-Pad. The controls are about as well-done as one could expect.

The graphics are simple, yet very effective. The game’s 3/4 overhead perspective doesn’t allow for much detail on the family members. Thankfully, the details in the mansions and the many objects in the game more than make up for it. Most of the details in the game are focused on the mansions themselves. Each one has a unique look and feel to it. The objects in the game also received a ton of details, despite the viewpoint, you can make out numerous parts on the band saw and even patters on the wallpaper. I’m surprised EA was able to squeeze so much detail out of a 3/4 overhead game engine.

The sounds of the game do an amazing job of giving it a feel all its own. The music has a moody, spooky sound to it that enhances the atmosphere and the many sound effects are dead-on. You’ll be sure to watch your fingers when you hear the band saw sound off in the game.

Overall, Haunting Starring Polterguy is one of the finest Genesis games out there. The gameplay is fresh and addictive. The controls and graphics are simply, yet effective; while the sound is amazing. If you’re in the mood for something unique, give this game a whirl, you won’t be disappointed.

Owners of the Nomad will want to stay as far away from this game as humanly possible. The Nomad’s blurry screen makes the mansions look washed out, and makes navigation from one object to the next near-to-nigh impossible. The graphics, as you can imagine, take a huge hit due to the blurry screen. The once detailed game objects now appear squashed. The sound and control of the game remain intact in the transition to the small screen, but the gameplay and graphics take a huge hit.

SCORE: 7 out of 10

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3 Comments

  1. The Jackal says:

    Another underrated gem in the Mega Drive’s library. I remember fondly renting this alot back in the early ’90s. As Cobra said, could never beat the final boss – perhaps the game’s weakest point.

    It’s so out of place, like they threw it in because all the others at the time had them, and it was “needed”. Well they were wrong.

  2. theparallaxscroll says:

    Judging from the high praise of this review, I had expected the score to be minimum 8/10.

  3. Cobra says:

    The game certainly is unique and enjoyable! I remember playing it a lot but never could defeat the last boss.

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