Webgame Wednesday: Goosebumps Enter Horrorland
Who would’ve thought that a free browser game made to promote R.L. Stine’s 2008 Goosebumps HorrorLand book series would be the most high-quality and faithful adaptation of any Goosebumps story in history?
Well, it was.
After a disappointing 1997 low-budget television adaptation of the 1994 One Day at HorrorLand book, and just months before the release of a shovelware HorrorLand game for Nintendo DS and Wii, Enter HorrorLand made its debut on web browsers.
Perhaps the only decent Goosebumps game to have ever been released, Enter HorrorLand made the perfect tie-in to the HorrorLand series which were released between 2008 and 2012.
Goosebumps fans, at the time, could go to EnterHorrorLand.com, which would take them to a locked amusement park gate. Registering an account would provide users with the key to unlock this gate, which would then take them to the park, with minigames, familiar Goosebumps characters (Monster Blood, the evil camera from Say Cheese and Die, and the Haunted Mask to name a few), and a story which developed over several months–the game receiving updates, with new areas of the park becoming slowly introduced, like the BioShock 2 teaser game There’s Something in the Sea, which we explored for Webgame Wednesday last week.
Twelve sections of the Goosebumps map represented the first twelve Horrorland series books to be released, with the user having to face all twelve villains and monsters from the respective books.
By navigating the maps, from a top-down view, players could enter the different sections of the park, and the buildings and attractions within.
Slappy, the ventriloquist dummy villain from R.L. Stine’s 1993 Goosebumps book Night of the Living Dummy and subsequent sequels, served as the major villain controlling the plot.
Madame Doom, a gypsy fortune teller machine, would provide assistance to players.
Sadly, the game was pulled down just a few years later, and Enter Horrorland has been unplayable since. However, years after its demise, Goosebumps fans are still mourning the loss of the game, and have been calling on Scholastic and R.L. Stine to put it back up.
“I loved that site… I can’t believe they took it down,” declared one fan on a forum.
“I missed playing all afternoon after school on that site when I was a kid,” another user nostalgically added.
Those looking back on screenshots at the game might not see anything special, but it was a game made for its time, and no Goosebumps game since has beaten it in terms of faithfulness to the atmosphere of the books and maintenance of the Goosebumps aesthetic.
And the dated 2000s webgame style just adds to the experience, like most nostalgic webgames.
Taking a look at the other Goosebumps games released over the franchise’s history merely strengthens the case for Enter Horrorland. (*cough* Goosebumps Horror Town microtransactions *cough*)
So, without further ado, let’s get to the pros and cons of the game.
- A catchy, spooky soundtrack which, thankfully, has been saved by a user on YouTube.
- A clever book tie-in, which promoted the children playing to read.
- A faithful rendition of HorrorLand from the original story.
- Free, with no microtransactions, unlike modern Goosebumps games (Goosebumps Horror Town).
- The game no longer exists.
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