Night Trap

From Academic Kids



Night Trap is a video game released on October 15, 1992. It was released for the Sega CD and was later brought to the 3DO, Sega 32X, and PC (with higher-quality video). It was created by Digital Pictures and cost $1.5 million to make. It was originally titled Scene of the Crime and was developed for Hasbro's NEMO system, which used VHS tapes instead of ROM cartriges. However, Hasbro stopped production of the NEMO, and Night Trap was moved to the Sega CD console. The game uses live-action scenes in full-motion video.

Claim to Fame

Night Trap is now fairly infamous because of its part in 1990s Congressional hearings on offensive video-game material. Night Trap and Mortal Kombat (1992) are often cited as primary factors in leading to the development of the ESRB game industry ratings system and other similar organizations in the mid 1990s. Despite its quality concerns and controversial controversies (the game hardly contains anything the public would deem offensive), Night Trap is considered a pioneering title in video game history, as it is one of the first successful games that incorporate gameplay with live action video.

The developer, Digital Pictures, is was notable for their use of interactive live action video sequences in most of their games. Other noteworthy Digital Pictures games include Sewer Shark and Corpse Killer.


As the game begins, the player is told that they are to work security for the party at the family's house. You play the game by looking around at one of eight house locations (switchable via your "security camera" console). After a bit of story, the house starts getting overrun by the "vampires" (who look like men in black garbage bags and nylon masks limping around), who attack the girls and boys attending the slumber party. Then you, as the security guard, have to correctly use the traps in each room to "trap" the vampires. This is done by hitting a button at a time corresponding with the level of a "danger meter". The game is difficult and interesting because you must be constantly switching rooms to be on the lookout for vampires. You cannot get too caught up in watching the slumber party musical or other interesting events. Time always moves forward and if you miss too many vampires, the game will end as the house gets overrun (the game will also end if certain important characters are "taken" or if the hosts of the slumber party disconnect your access to the traps).


A group of young co-eds are staying overnight at Mr. and Mrs. Martians for the night. The Martians family seems like a normal (albeit circa 1980s) American family. However, odd things have been occurring at this house. Five other teens have already disappeared while staying at the place, so you are called upon to protect the house as a member of SCAT (Sega Control Attack Screen). As the party gets started, the vampiric Augers begin to overrun the house and you have to help save the teens along with the help of Kelli and other SCAT agents.


Night Trap has several endings to uncover. Many can be found by simply failing to save certain inviduals or failing to catch enough vampires. One can see the "good" ending by beating the game, and you see a "perfect" ending if you catch all 95 Augers. This is extremely hard to do because of the sheer amount of places to look and because of the two-second loading times for each section, but if you succeed, you find a humorous ending where you can betray Kelli.


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