Haunt the House: Terrortown is a little clumsy. It's beautifully presented, with a wonderful soundtrack and a cute cartoon style, but its controls let it down a little too often.
It's ostensibly a game about trying to scare the inhabitants of a series of creepy, creaking buildings, but more often than not you'll find yourself struggling with the touchscreen foibles of the game instead of the inhabitants of the house you're in.
That's a shame, because the central idea is a solid one. The game just never manages to make you feel like the stealthy spook you need to be to succeed.Spook shaming
You move your apparition around the screen with a tap. You can double tap to possess items, then tap around them to make them jiggle, move, or otherwise do something a bit out of the ordinary.
But if you're too vociferous with your taps you'll just fly out of the object into a different part of the screen. When you're trying to fill a bar with frightened energy, that can prove to be particularly frustrating.
You need to choose your targets carefully, striking when there's the biggest potential for a scare. The more frightened people are, the more powers you unlock. So for example a glass might shake to begin with, but scare more people and you'll be able to shatter it.
Manipulating the environment is fun for a while, but there doesn't seem to be any pattern to the people you scare. Some will get freaked out, others will just potter along like nothing's happening, despite the fact there's a dancing skeleton in the corner of a room.Dead ghosts
It all adds up to make an experience that doesn't live up to its concept. Your ghost just feels a little bit useless, rather than being a force of terror that can scare anything that dare look upon it.Haunt the House: Terrortown is a flimsy game with controls that don't quite work, and while it does have its moments, often you're not entirely sure why they've happened.