Ready for a creepy new adventure game? Then maybe you should point-and-click the lights out (ba-dum-tsh!) and give this a try. Campfire Legends: The Babysitter, a point-and-click horror adventure, is a new spin on the classic urban legend every teenage girl has probably heard at least once. Looking to pick up a bit of extra cash, as well as a recommendation from her Dean for medical school, Lisa agrees to babysit his twin daughters one night. Naturally the Laws of Scary Stories dictate this particular family must live in a suitably spooky old house frequently backlit by lightning flashes, but Lisa isn't afraid. Probably thinks her enormous purple plastic bracelets and high-tech portable cassette player will protect her. Ah, the 80's!
The twins don't seem to want her around. At least, Libby doesn't, whose rare skin condition has left her sullen and unfriendly. When strange things happening, Lisa starts to get impatient with the girls... even though Maggie insists everything is the work of Libby's imaginary friend, Nate, who lives in the closet. Kids today, amirite? As Lisa, you'll explore the old house, tracking down objects needed to complete puzzles, and doing important babysitter duties, like making hot chocolate for the twins, assuming the deep, angry male voice on the phone ordering you out of the house is a six-year-old girl playing a prank, and not informing the lady of the house about the figure you saw in the upstairs window before she leaves. Atta girl, Lisa. It's always important to provide a good role model for young girls who might someday want to be knocked unconscious by a madman.
Unlike most hidden-object games, the only items you'll ever be required to look for are items you actually need. The game will tell you what items you need for a specific task, and you'll have to track them down.The hint system comes in the form of fireflies that can be found scattered everywhere; each one is worth one hint, and since you need three of them to skip a puzzle, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for them. (Up to five can be carried.) Their location in each room is random, so don't assume that just because one isn't in the last place you saw it doesn't mean it's missing.
Analysis: Having been an enormous fan of The Hookman, the first game in the Campfire Legends series, I can't tell you how happy I was to discover that not only was the series being continued, it was being held to the same high standards. The game is visually impressive and generally very well acted, if it tends to rely a bit too much on excessively dramatic music. Playing The Babysitter is a lot like playing a 1980's B horror movie, minus a montage of the heroine trying on silly hats. It's fun, it's campy, and even scary. Of course, the potential problem with that is that there are quite a lot of jump scares in this game, particularly towards the end, so you might want to think twice about playing this one if you hate things being thrown at your face while the music goes REEEEEEE!
The Babysitter doesn't just take a few steps to the left of its source material; it catches a plane to another part of the country and puts on a goofy disguise. The original story is probably a lot scarier, with its simple premise and ambiguity, but the game's plot is a lot more complex, and thus a lot more interesting. Things get weird very quickly, and finding out just what is going on is a great incentive to keep at it. Of course, the question remains whether you can forgive being forced to play a character who does all the stupid things you yell at people not to do in a movie. Don't go down the stairs, don't go down the stairs... "I think I'll go down the stairs!" YOU FOOL!
It's just unfortunate, then, that the latter half of the game winds up dragging its feet due to some tedious item collecting. You spend far too much time scouring the environment for tiny items, and more often than not, as soon as you finish with that one list, you're presented with another. Since items can be very small and very carefully hidden in dark areas, chances are you will wind up using hints. This wouldn't be that big of a deal, except the hint system isn't very helpful in tracking down those little items unless there's one in the room. Click on a firefly, and unless there's an object you need in your immediate vicinity, you'll probably waste a hint because the game will just vaguely point you towards another room, or just tell you that you should solve the puzzle.
While it lacks the tight gameplay design of its predecessor, The Hookman, Campfire Legends: The Babysitter, is still a beautifully made and highly enjoyable title that is well worth your time if you're looking for something fun and even a little scary as everyone's favourite BOOGA BOOGA holiday approaches. Which leaves us with only one thing left to say... THIS REVIEW IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!