Sunday, October 08, 2017

Horror Zombies From The Crypt

Bring out your dead!

I've always been fascinated with Astral's haunted house platformer which I feel has a charming comical character. No haunting would be the same without lots of frightful creatures and this has everything from witches, zombies, werewolves, vampires, ghosts and even the odd weird statue that sticks out its tongue at you!

Each level has a particular task which is described to us during a mini-intro at the start. The objective is to hunt down and collect all the skulls and lay their souls to rest. However, this is one tricky platformer through, it's a maze of creepy screens that often contain infuriating traps to catch you out. This is no arcade-style platformer, more of a Fire And Brimstone so keep your composure and wear your patient head, Worzel.

The artwork is beautifully creepy and I love the attention to detail - look at those eyes!!

A haunted house movie in a game?

The first level introduces us nicely to the game's personality with some puzzle solving along with a variety of classic baddies: zombies, headless ghosts and a Morticia Addams lookalike. Puzzles are quite easy and shouldn't tax the grey matter too much: move a table to reach an item, find keys to unlock doors, and wear cute booties to creep past something scary. Things hot up on the next level with tougher monsters and trickier-level designs.

Level passes WolfmanHammerLugosiNosferatu & Garlic.

I must admit to taking a liking to the wolfmen but I hate the old hunchbacked witches who will drop rocks - with surprising accuracy! Every level has a password so there is never a need to restart from the beginning each time which is an excellent idea and one I wish more games would have supported (I'm talking to you Navy Seals!). Hint: try and remember to search for hidden rooms or secret objects that may need a different type of key.

Oh no, a skeleton with a bow!!! Gets me every time...


The visual style is perfectly apt for the 1950's cinematic theme with smooth scrolling, spooky artwork and freaky characters - who are superbly animated. Just wait until you die and see yourself shudder before violently suffering a Scanners-like headache, no matter the actual cause of death! I must say that I am impressed with the palette, each level is its own mini-movie and looks tremendous. The horror aspect is typically cheesy and I love it.

Audio is nothing short of incredible with a chippy rendition of Montagues and Capulets which couldn't have been a more perfect choice (I'm sure I'll be humming it all day). All sound effects are high-quality samples with the wolf howls being my favourite. However, I'm disappointed there is nothing for my head-exploding deaths?

I hate it when the old witch drops objects on my head!

The CryptO'pinion?

This is one of those games that will eat away your spare hours as it requires practice and patience. It can be so cruel at times. In fact, it's often infuriating on the later levels, just try Family Chapel if you don't believe me... Need a cheat? Oh, and Horror Zombies From The [Atari]Crypt is the perfect title for such a cheesy platformer.

I wish it was a little easier but killing wolfmen, zombies, and running scared from piercing vampire glares is right up my street. Lots of puzzles, action and a design that's always going to win. It really is lots of gory fun!

A hard disk download can be found on D-Bug
Floppies can be sourced using Old Games Finder


  1. That's a new one for me. Looks great!

    1. It really is a neat game. Gets very hard the deeper you venture but that's only to be expected. I'm sure all will love this :)