Week in Arcade: Scarygirl, Haunt

Dueling titles this week, vying for your precious Microsoft Points, totaling to $25 worth of real money.


Scarygirl benefits from luscious artwork established by its novel origins, but then falls apart with its creaky, slippery gameplay. This platform beat-em-up is instantly stale, with a distinct lack of polish in its precision, and shaky collision that never registers like it should. Scarygirl is quick to collapse under its level design, and for some unexplained reason, the tutorial comes after an introductory level where nearly all of those skills are needed. It seems to make sense given the sometimes wonky design as it stands, and for $15, this is better off being led astray by a rogue octopus. And yes, that would make sense in the realm of Scarygirl.


In the scheme of things, Haunt has a few impressive elements. It works, so that’s something for a Kinect exclusive title. Motions are a little sluggish, and you’ll need quite a bit of space to play with this one. The haunted house elements, despite the droll, lifeless dialogue, are kooky enough to entertain. With perspective though, it’s easy to Haunt as a dreadful bore, taking the player by the hand, telling them what to do, and then there’s a reaction. It has little sense of pace, and since it’s not doing much to set up an air of fear (it’s all for laughs), whatever it’s building towards isn’t worth it. Even if you’re Kinect starved, there’s not much to see here.