'A Magical Dolphin Plays...' is a series of short blogs where I write in-brief about my experiences with some of the lesser known games I've played and hopefully explain a little bit about what goes on in the game and how the game feels overall, before offering my thoughts on whether or not I think the game is worth recommending to others. Hope you enjoy!
Originally known as 'Halloween' before the developers were hit with some sort of copyright notice and had to rework elements of the game, and obviously inspired by the movie, Babysitter Bloodbath is probably the closest thing you'll get to a Resident Evil style Survival Horror game that pays homage to slasher movies. A spooky murder mystery experience where the murder is your own (that you're trying to avoid) and the mystery is who keeps letting all these psychotic mental patients loose at night.
What I did in the game:
I start in a modest house, being introduced to two particularly blocky parents.
I am apparently a babysitter. Hah.
I'm unsettled already...
So we basically spend about five or ten minutes here being introduced to the kid, our character, the basic mechanics and the setting of the game. It's very bare bones. I do a little exploring, get a few items and then make sure the kid is in bed before our plucky young heroine decides to dial out to make a bootycall to some dude she met at the mall the other day... don't judge.
What follows very quickly is we get our first blood sacrifice, seen hanging from a wooden fence, before we're introduced to an escape mental patient who thinks my face would look a whole lot better with a knife through it.
This does not end well.
Babysitter Bloodbath was certainly a surprising treat to play as a survival horror fan. For what it is this game really perfectly captures all the elements of those old-school survival horror games from the PS1 era, mixes them up with the things you'd expect to see most in a slasher and adds in a dash of modern game standards. What you end up with is a rather entertaining, albeit short, ode to survival horror games and slasher movies.
If you're the sort of person who really likes their games to challenge in that sort of overly frustrating, very tense, way that early survival horror games did so then you'll probably enjoy Babysitter Bloodbath a lot. Though it doesn't take it to the degree that a full-blown survival horror title might, if only because of time considerations, Babysitter Bloodbath will have you hunting for items, scared shitless as you're about to be murdered, and wondering why the fuck your character doesn't control more easily.
The only real problem I have with Babysitter Bloodbath is... well, it's just too short. I mean the game itself is really good, but playing through it, noticing all the key moments occur (the parents leaving, the news on the radio about the escaped mental patient, the weird call, etc), it just feels as though it happens too fast. Being a big fan of survival horror games it makes me think of other classic survival horror titles, and how much more awesome this would be if it were a few hours long, instead of half an hour - if the tension were stretched out a bit longer; and ratcheted up a bit more before the big reveal.
Overall I'm impressed enough with Babysitter Bloodbath to recommend it to horror fans, it's short and will probably leave you, like me, wondering why nobody has done something like this in the retail game market before but I think you'll get a kick out of all the obvious little nods to the slasher genre and to survival horror games.