Game of the Week (1/8/17) – Splatterhouse

This TurboGrafx-16 GotW is the diabolical, gruesomely violent Splatterhouse. Based on the beat ’em up arcade title of the same name, Splatterhouse for the TG-16 is the only place you can find this title for a home console in North America as it wasn’t ported to any other consoles of the era. There were direct sequels made for the Sega Genesis but the TG-16 has the one and only original. You play as “Rick”, a parapsychology student trapped in a terror mask attempting to save your girlfriend, Jennifer, who is lost inside the mansion of Dr. West. Dr. West was known to conduct ethically questionable experiments in his mansion before going missing. Luckily for Rick, the terror mask gives him superhuman strength which he will need in order to dispatch the disgusting onslaught of monsters. The plot is straight out of a horror film and there are numerous references to other horror films of the time such as Friday the 13th (hockey-like mask wearing protagonist), Poltergeist (inanimate objects become projectiles), Re-animator and Evil Dead (the dead coming back alive to wreak havoc including disembodied limbs). The gameplay is basic side scrolling beat ’em up where you use either your fists, legs or weapons you pick up throughout the game in order to literally splat your enemies against the walls and floors around you.

The plot may seem basic but what sets Splatterhouse apart is the game design and graphics. For starters, your attack is very satisfying and results in an audible crunch/squish/splat of your annihilated enemies. Nothing can prepare you for the grotesque variety of enemies & level bosses which are keys to the game’s appeal. During the game you will encounter what appears to be decomposing bodies chained to the walls which will vomit acid, a room full of what appears to be intestines while skinless bodies fall from the ceiling and alien like water monsters. Level bosses tend to up the gross factor as well and the most memorable level boss is a skinless demon with a bag tied over his head and two chain saws for arms….dear lord what a nightmare! Nightmare is the term that sums up the entire game properly but it’s an enjoyable nightmare if you can stomach the gore. I thoroughly enjoy Splatterhouse and in my opinion it’s a must own for your TurboGrafx-16. Saving Jennifer won’t be easy but you’ll be granted numerous continues which assist your efforts. I’ve played through the game and there are a couple of surprises that await the brave souls who venture into Splatterhouse.

Rating: A

Currently in my collection: game in case, manual


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