CONTRARY to what you might believe, Fright Night isn't based on the film of the same name, though it claims to be. It is instead an allegorical interpretation of Britain today.
Primarily, you must wander around a superficially well-
No, no, this has nothing to do with vampires at all. It's all a very clever piece of subversion from those chappies in Cornwall, who would have you believe that Fright Night is an adaptation of the RCA-
Yes, well, not really. I don't recall the hero of the film being a vampire, do you? More a frightened young lad trying to convince the dopey porkers that the next door is a vampire. Well that goes out of the window, and how on earth you're meant to be scared when it's you who is doing the nibbling, I don't know. I wonder whether the programmers have seen the film.
Anyway, once you get past an excellent title screen and some brilliant sound effects - pump this through your hi-fi and turn the lights down - you find yourself emerging from a hard day's sleep and your nice warm coffin.
You are Jerry Dandridge and you've got just 12 hours to suck the blood from everyone in your house. An icon down on the left in the shape of the moon slowly fading from night marks the passage of time, while a picture of yourself indicates your current health.
On encountering something detrimental to your death force, such as a Bible or a cross, layers of skin peel from Jerry's mug - they have the same effect on me, strangely enough - which wasn't pretty in the first place. The third icon indicates the strength of your dinner's faith, and correspondingly the amount of harm said believer can inflict when they get the holy water out.
Jerry is superbly portrayed on screen in what is basically an arcade adventure with re-drawn screens. He is large, well animated and crouches and leaps quickly for someone who looks so ill. Unfortunately as soon as any other sprites appear on screen, everything starts to judder and slow down. Considering there's no scrolling, this is ridiculous.
On Monday, the first day of your adventures in Vampire Land, there are only two victims to bite and nothing to hinder the procedure. If you're squeemish look away, because as Jerry bites the blood spurts.
From then on you get progressively more victims to bite and more ghosts of past victims to chase you - the topless green woman is rather tacky, Mr Lyons - and inflict damage, plus more rooms to your house. Obviously some is a dab hand at DIY, because whole new floors are being put in every day.
That's all there is to Fright Night. The graphics are excellent and the SFX are nothing short of brilliant - I love the slurping noise when you bite someone, which restores your health incidentally - but the gameplay is very, very shallow. It's also extremely difficult to get past Tuesday.