Wegenbartho – Wii U eShop – 1-2 Players
Those who have played the excellent Nintendo Land, will have no doubt played the fun Luigi’s Mansion spin off, where one player is the ghost, the other players try and catch the ghost or perish trying. Developer Wegenbartho have taken this concept and expanded upon it. Utilising the gamepad, one player takes control of the Mr. Spook, a ghost (if the name doesn’t give it away), doing their best to set up traps and scare the other player. The other player is on the TV screen, using the Wiimote and Nunchuck to control Charla, a young lady who is trapped in a nightmare. Each character has their strengths and weaknesses, although playing as Mr. Spook does give you the upper hand as you can always look at the TV to see where your victim is. As Mr. Spook, you can set up traps to scare Charla, whose health gauge depletes each time she walks into a trap or encounters the blue apparition. There are several kinds of trap, including decoy ghosts and walls, jammed doors, as well making creepy noises and breaking windows to try and unnerve the other player. This works similarly the other way round, only there’s less to do. If Mr. Spook comes into contact with light, the health metre will go down.
Although there is less to do with Charla, you still have to find keys to access certain doors before Mr. Spook, scares her too much. As Charla’s health depletes, it becomes harder to see as she becomes more consumed with fear. Charla is armed with a torch however, and although it does run out of batteries, you can find them dotted around the map (unless you’re a whimp and choose to have unlimited battery in the options). As spooky as it sounds, it is aimed at a family audience so don’t go expecting to be scared out of your wits (although there are a couple of jumps to be had, and it’s quite amusing seeing the look on the other players face when it happens). The presentation is rather basic. On the gamepad, it’s basically just a floor plan which you navigate with the ghost and set traps where indicated, but despite its primitive appearance, it’s good fun controlling Mr. Spook. Players that take on Charla’s role see the world through a first person perspective, which again is rather basic, with a lot of the environment being quite grey, but it shouldn’t detract from a fun experience. There are several creepy maps to choose from, including a basement, mansion and school, which are staples of the horror genre when it comes to videogames.
The game is designed to be enjoyed as a multiplayer experience, but there is a ‘Bonus’ section, which is a single player mode where you take control of Charla, to try and outwit Mr. Spook. At the time of writing, there is only one level, but more are to be introduced very shortly in a free update. The games score was a nice surprise, with some spooky atmospheric music, while quite creepy, in places it is quite calming and serene, which really adds to it. Sanatory Hallways is a fun take on the concept and is great in local co-op. It’s a gameplay style that makes great use of the gamepad, adding a little originality, bringing in a style of game that is surprisingly absent from the console.