Classic FMV game Night Trap planned for re-release

May 20, 2014 // 7:45 a.m.

Tags: #bbfc #digital-pictures #esrb #fmv #full-motion-video #hasbro #james-riley #mega-cd #night-trap #project-nemo #sega #us-senate

Notorious 'video-nasty' interactive movie Night Trap looks set for a re-release on modern platforms, according to rights-holder James Riley - although whether a title which looked dated at its 90s launch has anything to interest modern gamers is questionable.

Night Trap, an interactive game that saw the player protecting nubile young things from blood-draining vampire assailants by spying on them through a series of hidden cameras and triggering traps as required, launched for the Sega Mega-CD in 1993 as one of the first full-motion games. Its origins go back further, however, having been filmed in 1987 as part of a project by toy giant Hasbro to create an interactive video games system based on VHS tapes dubbed Project Nemo. When Nemo folded, the footage was shelved until its acquisition by Digital Pictures in 1991 and subsequent release for the Mega-CD in 1993.

Although subsequent ports for the Sega 32X-CD, 3DO Interactive, DOS and Windows would boast improved visuals, it's the grainy and blocky video of the Mega-CD port that most remember. Despite a $1.5 million budget, the game suffered from poor quality and even poorer acting - but that wasn't enough to prevent the title landing firmly in the crosshairs of the US Senate, where politicians who had not played the game successfully petitioned for its removal from sale on the grounds of gross indecency.

In the US, that led to the founding of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, a self-regulatory organisation that aimed to calm the government's nerves with family-friendly ratings that would help parents determine whether a title was suitable for Little Jimmy. On this side of the pond, the existing British Board of Film Classification slapped the game with a 15 certificate.

Night Trap may, like most semi-interactive full-motion video titles of the era, seem dated today, but it has a cult following who have been clamouring for its re-release. In a message on Facebook to fans asking for the copyright to be reassigned, spotted by CVG, rights holder James Riley told fans: 'I appreciate your on-going interest, but please understand I do plan to re-release Night Trap and have been talking with a number of interested parties to do so. However, the specific platform(s) have not been confirmed (including online) and I will let you know once we have a definite plan and release schedule. Night Trap will come back, in better resolution and game play than before, we just want to be sure it's the best strategy for all involved.'

With Night Trap offering little in the way of actual gameplay, it remains to be seen whether a re-release of the game that shocked America could ever be a money-spinner for Riley and his partners.
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