Happy (early) Halloween, audience dudes, and welcome to a very special edition of the Vault, where we've been scaring up some seasonal spookiness that ranges from all-ages puzzling entertainment to more haunted houses of horrors you might want to make the kids wait outside for. After all, we know some of you want the treats, and some of you want the creeps. (But whatever you like, remember to be excellent to one another.) And so without further ado...
- Jinx: A Dark and Stormy Night - Created for Canada's YTV network, this cute (if not challenging) point-and-click adventure stars little Jinx, who picks the wrong house to trick-or-treat at and he finds himself locked inside. Naturally, this means there's a mystery to be solved, though let's be honest... this is still preferable to getting banana flavoured Laffy Taffy, which is way scarier. If you're looking for a sharply designed, engaging, and kid-friendly Halloween gaming treat, you should look no further than this adorable little gem.
- Ghostscape 2: The Cabin - Psionic's fantastically creepy adventure is packed with all the jump scares you could ever want... especially if you believe in ghosts and think dolls are creepy enough all by themselves. Armed with your trusty camera, you set out into the woods to investigate an old legend and rumours of ghostly happenings, and things start to get weird pretty much immediately. In addition to solving the mystery you encounter, you'll use your camera to catch photos of paranormal phenomena for points... and shriek like a little girl whenever something jumps at the monitor. Despite a loosey-goosey narrative and some rambling gameplay, this is a spectacularly creepy game to play with the lights off and the sound turned up.
- Haunt the House - The people inside your home are having a pretty good time, but if you're a restless spirit, it's actually pretty annoying when all you want is a little peace and quiet. Part arcade game and part puzzle, Super Flash Bros delivers an aggressively cute and not-so-scary game where the objective is to possess different objects around the home until you've scared all the party guests away. The design is top-notch, and there's a ton of fun to be had in being the thing that goes "bump" in the night in the most adorable of ways.
- Phantom Mansion: Spectrum of Souls - If you like sokoban puzzling with a ghostly twist, then fire up this series of challenging games about a poor sap named Hector who needs to rescue souls and collect keys to find his way out of dangerous rooms while avoiding nasties like skeletons and zombies. The series spans eight games plus a sea-faring sequel, and is perfect if you're looking for beautifully designed casual fun to engage your brain without leaving you tearing your hair out this Halloween night.
- Project Pravus - If you like your point-and-click horror adventures with a bit of the ol' Creepy Pasta flair (THEN WHO WAS PHONE), this is the game for you. It's a short, creepy little game where you play a real-estate agent who wants to know why a recently listed house is going for such a bargain price. Naturally, if something seems to be too good to be true it usually is, and you quickly discover there's something very dark going on inside the walls. Project Pravus suffers somewhat from an abrupt ending that will have you raise an eyebrow, but it has a great design and oppressive atmosphere that will keep you glued to the keyboard until it happens.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!