Developer: Orbit Studio
Reviewed For: Nintendo Switch
In the shadowy corridors of a spooky mansion, Haunted House on the Nintendo Switch remakes a retro classic. Barely armed, players will employ stealth and strategy over brute force in a roguelite that’s perfect for fans of light horror games.
The narrative centers around Lynas as she explores a mansion full of the supernatural. Her uncle is supposedly trapped there, so Lyn needs to be brave and overcome the ghosts and ghouls.
Haunted House distinguishes itself from other roguelites with a focus on stealth rather than combat. Each playthrough offers a new labyrinth of puzzles as rooms shift and change. Each room requires players to vanquish ghosts and unlock doors. Usually, this is done by sneaking around. Players have the option to defeat the ghosts with their lanterns, but combat is risky and players don’t have a lot of the resources needed. Sneaking around is necessary, even if it isn’t always easy. Defeated ghosties provide currency for in-run boosts. Some drops enhance Lyn’s abilities permanently, which helps progress.
The gameplay loop is satisfying throughout. It’s a nice twist on the formula and it is also refreshing to have a roguelite game that isn’t obnoxiously difficult. Players will die, but not too often and it isn’t too frustrating. Boss encounters are challenging yet fair. With enough room variety to keep the experience fresh across multiple runs, “Haunted House” proves that a stealth-focused roguelite can be as thrilling as its combat-heavy counterparts.
Visually, Haunted House presents a cute, hand-drawn aesthetic that is appealing. The visuals and room layouts can be somewhat repetitive, but everything holds up from beginning to end. The game performs well throughout without hiccups, visual or otherwise.
Haunted House is a refreshing entry in the roguelite genre that will especially delight those who enjoy stealth games. It’s a labor of love for a long-lost horror game.