Rick dons the hockey mask and busts up some monsters in Namco Bandai's latest release.
Namco's Splatterhouse always fascinated us because it was so violent. Keep in mind this was 1989, well before the Mortal Kombat controversy. We'd flip through old video game magazines and drool over screens starring a guy in a hockey mask hacking his way through a mansion full of freaks, essentially splattering them against walls and caving in their skulls. Forget about the cute and cuddly Super Mario Bros. We wanted to grab a two by four and come out swinging.
Now, more than 20 years later, the dusty TurboGrafx-16 classic comes to Apple iOS, and while it's a solid port, a couple strange decisions left us disappointed.
Splatterhouse casts you as Rick, a Jason Voorhees inspired character that goes on a monster killing rampage after some creeps kidnap his girlfriend. What results is video game violence at its best, as you punch, kick and splat your way through a creepy mansion full of horrors that include vomiting enemies, worm like things and other disgusting bad guys. Along the way, you'll battle a possessed chair and a dude wearing a burlap sack over his head brandishing two chainsaws. It's great stuff.
There's the full game, then you have a Splatter Rush Mode that asks you to destroy as many monsters as possible within two minutes, which is a decent distraction from the main quest. You can even upload scores to an online leaderboard.
That said, you cannot view the action in full screen. For whatever reason, the developers encased the game within a border.
On top of that, you'll probably have issues crouching, as pressing down on the virtual d-pad sometimes works, then sometimes doesn't. This makes the game more frustrating than it should be.
Finally, $2.99, while not a terrible price, seems a dollar too high. After all, this game hit U.S. shores in 1989, but we'll let it slide so we don't sound like cheapskates. At least not too much.
So, is Splatterhouse worth it? If it ran in full screen, absolutely, but if the thought of playing with borders sounds annoying, we understand if you skip it. But, for the most part, this is a faithful port of the TG16 classic that'll keep you entertained for a couple of hours. After all, those monsters won't kill themselves.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.
What's Hot: Faithful port of the 1989 classic, lots of gore, Splatter Rush Mode is a nice diversion.
What's Not: Hard to crouch, no full screen option.