Halloween Forever review for PS Vita, PS4

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Poppy Works
Developer: Imaginary Monsters
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Gameplay-wise, there?s not much going on in Halloween Forever that you haven?t seen countless times before. It?s a retro-influenced, tough-as-nails 2D platformer. It doesn?t do anything new with the formula in any way: you run through short-ish levels, you face countless hyper aggressive enemies, and you die a whole bunch. If you?ve played one game like this, you?ve played pretty much all of them, and there?s nothing here you haven?t seen many, many, many times before.

To its credit, however, what Halloween Forever does do really well is create a distinctive visual identity. As its name implies, the game goes heavy on the horror, with witches, bats, killers with chainsaws, and every other trapping of Halloween you can think of. It?s not scary, obviously, and, truthfully, it?s occasionally kind of an eyesore, but that doesn?t diminish the fact that the game does a better job of giving itself its own look and feel than most of the other zillion 8- and 16-bit clones out there.

Moreover, in the name of fairness, it should also be noted that Halloween Forever works like it?s supposed to. That may not sound like much, but given how many of those other wannabe-retro games have horrible controls — which, obviously, just add to the frustration level in games as hard as this one — it?s always nice to find one that doesn?t artificially increase the difficulty with floaty jumps or imprecise running.

Is that enough to make Halloween Forever worth checking out? Probably not, unless you?ve got a thing for retro-platformers and a thing for Halloween. But if, for some reason, you were to compare this to every single other game of its ilk, Halloween Forever would definitely fall in the upper half of the list.

Poppy Works provided us with a Halloween Forever PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B-