Interesting Sequel that can be Slow
Developer: Grey Designs Release: 1994
Nitemare 3D is a sequel to the DOS trilogy Hugo’s Adventures which contain; Hugo’s House of Horrors, Hugo 2: Whodunit? and Hugo 3: Jungle of Doom, all which where a 2D side scroller that involved Hugo finding and saving his girlfriend Penelope. Although the title does little to involve itself with the Hugo’s series, in the manual it states other wise. You are Hugo and you must search a haunted house for you beloved Penelope that has been kidnapped by the evil Dr. Hammerstein.
The story is essentially a remake of the first Hugo with a bit more story added to it. In the first Hugo, House of Horrors, is the same premise although you don’t really know why she has been truly kidnapped besides babysitting (at least that’s what I can recall). Most of the fans of the game consider it the 4th entry of the series while some consider it a remake.
This is a DOOM clone straight and simple, get the keys and find the exit without dying. Its very different than the others in series where as in earlier adventures you were out collecting different items to help in your quest. Unfortunately the games graphics are on the dull side, most of the rooms are the same with a few minor details which can be a drain on the eye. Character creations are you standard monster fare with the likes of Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, Vampire bats, witches and more.
The music is not so great but makes you feel like your are in a haunted house. Although not scary at least there are some jump scares that still can get you to this day, such as witches coming around the corner screaming. That’s one thing this game did right and that was the sound effects. From the Lightning sounds that are far and few between to the monsters yelling. Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster have the same sound effect coming after you but its the witches screams that are the most unnerving of the bunch. You can hear them around the corner and nothing is going to prepare you for their attack.
The controls are a hit and miss, moving around using the arrow keys feels like you are driving a slow tank and hit detection is a serious problem. You have to hit the middle of the target to kill them and trust me you are going to miss a lot. Opening doors is easy, it’s getting through that’s the problem. While the door is opening, you’ll have to wait till the door is completely open before you can enter it and if you try to enter before the door opens, you simply just stay in the same place until otherwise. There are only four weapons in the game and one of them is an upgraded version of the first one; Plasma gun, Rapid fire Plasma gun (upgrade counted as a different gun), magic wand and Silver gun (shoots silver bullets for werewolves). Ammo is not scares for the first three weapons but the silver gun has limited ammo and each monster is weak to a certain weapon but I would recommend using the wand for most of your battles.
The game itself contains three episodes, the first being shareware, until you reach the end assuming you actually reach the end of the first episode. The first few levels are quite easy but eventually they get longer and harder as you venture through the haunted house. The only items that will help you navigate the house is the eyeball and crystal ball. The eyeball will help you see enemy placement while the crystal ball allows you to see the map but be careful on how long you use the items as they can run out quickly leaving you stranded in the maze like levels.
FINAL THOUGHTS – While Nitemare 3-D is an alright game, I do remember playing it quite often while I was a kid. Coming back to it as an adult showed me how flawed it really was and patience is the key to this game. It is by no means a fast paced game as much as it wants to be. The haunted house setting and Monsters do a great job of recreating old school horror even if it’s not scary. The limited weapons and items make for an intense game and the level of difficulty is on par if not a little bit challenging later on.
Graphics: 5- Graphics are dull and unimaginative but the monsters are a welcome to look at and their death scenes are just a poof of dust?
Sound: 5- While there isn’t much in variety in the soundtrack it does set the mood for a haunted house but its the Monsters Screams that will give you nightmares.
Controls 6- You feel like you are controlling a tank and getting through doors is a real pain. Good luck killing monsters…
Replay 6- The maze like levels are going to grind on you and the monsters do have some thought to them instead of just being some target, they do manage to corner you and group to destroy you. While not the greatest game in the world and very far apart from DOOM, its is fun to play even if for a few minutes.