Night Trap

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Night Trap is an interactive movie video game developed by Digital Pictures and originally released by Sega for the Sega CD in 1992. The game is presented primarily through the use of full motion video (FMV). In Night Trap, the player takes the role of a special agent tasked to watch over teenage girls (starring Dana Plato) visiting a house which, unbeknownst to them, is full of danger. The player watches live surveillance footage of the house and triggers traps to capture anyone seen endangering the girls. The player can freely switch their view between different cameras to keep watch over the girls and eavesdrop on conversations to follow the story and listen for clues.

The origins of Night Trap can be traced back to a 1986 prototype game developed by Axlon to demonstrate their Control-Vision game console to Hasbro. The system used VHS tape technology to present movie-like gaming experiences. With the system picked up by Hasbro, production of Night Trap commenced. The video footage was recorded the following year in 1987 and was followed by six months of editing and game programming. Hasbro suddenly canceled the Control-Vision in 1989, which prompted the game's executive producer, Tom Zito, to purchase the film footage and found Digital Pictures to complete its production. Night Trap was eventually released as the first interactive movie on the Sega CD in 1992, five years after filming.

The game received mixed reviews. Critics praised the game's B movie-esque quality, warped humor, and smooth video animation, but criticized the shallow gameplay. The title is particularly notable for being one of the principal subjects of a 1993 United States Senate committee hearing on violent video games, along with Mortal Kombat. Night Trap was cited during the hearing as promoting gratuitous violence and sexual aggression against women, prompting toy retailers to pull the game from shelves that December, and Sega to cease its production entirely the following month. The Senate hearing eventually led to the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the North American video game ratings board still used today. After the controversy subsided, Night Trap was re-released and ported to other consoles. These later ports received more harsh reviews due to the aging appeal of full motion video as a game medium. A re-release of Night Trap in celebration of its 25th anniversary was released on August 15, 2017.

Release date
Developer
Digital Pictures
Publisher
SEGA, font-weight:normal;font-size:inherit;background:transparent;text-align:left
Age rating
Not rated
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Last Modified: Aug 28, 2019

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