|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Scholastic Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: ELASTIC||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 28, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While a few games like the bumper car variants do handle respectably, most are all but broken. For instance, when playing miniature golf, players will need to hold the A button on the Wii-mote and then swing it like a golf club. The problem with this is that slight motions can cause the ball to react as though you were trying to knock it out of the park, while trying to actually hit the ball hard often results in a barely tapping it.
There is absolutely no way of knowing how the game will register your motions, so you cant even adjust for it. All that is left is just swinging and hoping for the best. Generally, any game that requires precision movements, speed-based swings, the Nunchuk in combination with the Wii-mote, or quick motions of any kind are exercises in frustration. Unfortunately, this makes up most of the mini-games included in HorrorLand.
As if poorly implemented motion controls and forced repetition werent enough to make players angry, the game goes that extra step and makes each mini-game cost a differing amount of tokens to play. Players will start off with twenty of these and can find more by pointing and clicking on garbage cans, light posts, trees, and other random moving objects found in each area. Some mini-games will only require a few tokens to play but others can eat up over ten per try. Sure, these tokens arent incredibly hard to find, but having to constantly run around and click on everything just to get enough tokens to replay mini-games that you are already frustrated about having to replay due to their poor controls is borderline obnoxious.
Finding the somehow meticulously hidden pieces of your ticket (even though the horror ripped it and threw it onto the ground directly below him at the entrance of the park) is also made unnecessarily annoying. Instead of just searching each area and finding the ticket on your own, you will need the help of a young girl. This girl, who you save on a ride fairly early in the game, has some unexplained magic ticket finding ability that you happen to lack. As such, youll need her to follow you to every area in the park, wandering aimlessly until she finally tells you where the ticket piece is hidden. While this is a tedious enough process on its own, each time you find a ticket piece she returns immediately to her hiding place in Vampire Village. This means you have to return to this area, fetch her, and then walk to the next area every time you want to find a ticket piece.
Despite the games great sense of humor, respectable graphics, and well crafted child-friendly horror-themed atmosphere, frustrating and monotonous gameplay make HorrorLand virtually unbearable. While being forced to replay mini-games multiple times and having the ability to square off against another player does add longevity to the title, this is one experience youll want to be over as quickly as possible. It is truly sad to see such a beloved series of books turned into such a broken and awful game.
CCC Staff Contributor