I hasten to look at the ever-growing tide of cheap games coming out across most platforms these days as outright shovelware, but titles like Bones of Halloween make it hard not to do. A vapid, simple, cheap arena fps, it’s a title that is very difficult to see the good in.
That’s not to say that the game is absolutely devoid of any positive features, but the ones it does have are slapped upon a flimsy premise which has the amount of meat on its bones as its monsters do. As FPS arena titles go it is as basic and competent as it needs to be to class legally as a game. You have a choice of five modes, Classic: Spawn into the single damp forest arena, with bespoke muddy visuals and no personality, and shoot poorly at a range or mindless running pumpkinheaded skeletons to stop them, hurting you. On death, these enemies drop a handful of coins, which you pick up and used to pay for randomly distributed weapons located around the stage.
Every few kills, you unlock a selection of four random “fate” cards, modifiers that apply positive and negative traits to your experience. This could speed monsters up or slow your firing rate. This is the game’s one great idea, standing out in the mess of mediocrity that takes up the rest of your time. Survive as long as possible and go for the high score. You have no way of knowing how the score is calculated mid-run, just being told your score when the run ends.
There’s a range of beasts available to slay, Skeletons with swords, skeletons with laser eyes, skeletons with electric, skeletons with bows and arrows, even skeletons with bomb vests. I say a range of monsters, is exclusively skeletons, but don’t let that put you off, the game is a terrible feeling mess to play too.
The controls on console are a slow swimmy mess, with shots rarely meeting their target, and all aspects of movement feeling like a miserable chore. This chose was exacerbated by the lack of an option to switch the Y axis, or much of any options, actually.
On top of the ‘Classic‘ mode, you have Arcade: where money is removed, weapons are just free pick-ups, and the fate modifiers don’t exist, Hardcore: which is the same as ‘Classic’ but the enemies take more shots, Money Dripper: Which is exactly the same as ‘Classic’ but any money you pick up slowly drains, and Explosive: Where you get to spawn with a rocket launcher and fight explosive enemies.
The thing you notice playing on console is just how easy it is to unlock trophies playing the game, It took me under twenty minutes to get the full list and platinum, hopping into each of the game modes once, playing until I died, and never needing to again. The core of these trophies are based on scores raised during each mode. These scores, may I remind you, you have no way of tracking mid-game. Then there’s the challenges section. A selection of twenty bespoke challenges that require you to enter a specific game mode and achieve a singular task. All well and good, you might think, but only the first seven challenges have trophies tied to them. These challenges are all very basic too, “kill five enemies”, “pick up a weapon”, “collect this much money”. It all feels poorly thought out, or like a tax dodge.
It probably is a tax dodge to be fair.
Overall the game is ugly, uninteresting, slow moving, and cheap. Aside from an interesting John Carpenter esk title screen theme, and the fate card system that has some potential, there’s little of any good to be found in this painful and insulting chore of a title. I don’t like to be negative about any title, but it’s not something that is worth your time.
- Interesting "fate" cards feature
- plays poorly
- bland ugly visuals
- all the depth of a cold cup of tea
- chore almost every second you spend playing
Rob is a fan of an underdog, as such he's a big fan of Alien 3 (both cuts), Devil May Cry 2, and thinks Hawkeye is the best Avenger.
Rob is currently attempting to catch them all in all the Pokemon games at once, current count 800 of 898, but has yet to finish this because he is dreading the thought of having to play Pokemon channel to unlock Jirachi. That and he's easily distracted, which often leads to him not finishing th...