Night Trap ReVamped brings the infamous FMV adventure back in HD

Andy Chalk

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Five scantily-clad teens arrive for a weekend sleepover at the Martin house. Little do they know that this is more than just an innocent slumber party: Lumbering, vampiric beasts are stalking the guests, and only you, a top-level S.C.A.T. operative with access to security cameras, bizarre traps, and Dana Plato's house, can save them! And not in 1992, either; I'm talking about early 2015. That's when Night Trap ReVamped will be delivered to Kickstarter backers.

Night Trap is commonly looked down upon as one of the worst videogames of all time, but there's no denying its influence. It was a pioneering FMV game when it was released back in the early 90s and remains one of the best-known examples of the genre today. More importantly, it was also one of the games, along with Mortal Kombat and Doom , that drove the creation of the ESRB.

The Kickstarter comes in response to ongoing demand for a high-definition re-release of the game on modern platforms, according to the team behind it, which is headed by many of the key people responsible for the original. "In the early- and mid-nineties, digital video was still in its infancy, and the image quality was frankly terrible: granular and full of artifacts," they wrote in the Kickstarter pitch. "With the aid of the latest in digital technology, the game's video has been transferred directly to an improved high-definition format, providing the opportunity to experience the action at a level of resolution never seen before."

The Kickstarter claims that the biggest part of the job—creating the digital HD transfer—has already been completed, and an agreement with a developer who will finish the game has been reached as well. Because of that, the new Night Trap is expected to be out the door within six months of the end of the Kickstarter campaign, putting it at mid-March of 2015.

Despite its prurient hype, Night Trap was neither sexy nor violent; it was, at its core, a vaguely embarrassing, exploitative mess capitalizing on the fading fame of Dana Plato, one of the troubled stars of Diff'rent Strokes. The Kickstarter, of course, casts it in a much more positive light, describing it as both "iconic" and "a major hit with fans," but the obvious question remains: Does anybody actually want this?

The Kickstarter goal is $330,000, which is probably optimistic and perhaps even a tad excessive, given that the game's core component—the video—is already a done deal. The Night Trap team says the money will cover "coding, manufacturing and fulfillment of the rewards we are offering," and that if it manages to raise more than the goal it will pursue the rights to other Digital Pictures games (Digital Pictures being the original Night Trap developer) and, dare to dream, a sequel. The Night Trap ReVamped Kickstarter campaign comes to an end on September 9.

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