Most VHS games come off as less than they intend to be, but watching this VHS presentation of 1992’s “Nightmare” I can’t help but catch a chill.
Nightmare’s a 3-to-6 player board game fueled by the Gatekeeper, your host on the VHS tape. Unlike other VHS board games where you fast forward and rewind to certain parts of the game, Nightmare plays straight through as a one-hour experience. Players race around the board to collect 6 keys and make it to the center. If none succeed by the end of the tape, the Gatekeeper wins.
The Gatekeeper interjects every so often to shake things up a bit, changing the rules and impacting the player whose turn it happens to be when he appears. It’s genuinely startling when he appears, a simple scare that works over and over again.
He also deteriorates as the game progresses, turning from human into monster. If you make it to the end of the tape, where the Gatekeeper wins, your eternal punishment is….an ad for Nightmare II. That’s the horror industry in a nutshell, isn’t it?