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Double Switch

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Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Sega CD/Mega CD

It gets a bad reputation today, but Night Trap was kind of impressive back in 1992, as nobody had seen a game which could switch between multiple video streams like that before. It sold well too, shifting 800,000 units on the not-too-popular Mega-CD. With this success under its belt, Digital Pictures started work on a spiritual sequel, which ultimately became Double Switch.

Double Switch doesn’t play tremendously differently from Night Trap. Like that game, you need to switch between cameras in various rooms of a building, setting off traps to get rid of intruders. Double Switch has some ideas of its own, though: each room now contains two traps, and these must be individually primed with three switches before they can be activated. It seems like the key plan would be to get both primed and ready, right? Wrong – having too many trap switches active at once will overload the system, causing your trap to fail. As a result, Double Switch is a lot harder than Night Trap. You still need to catch lots of intruders to stay alive, as well as protecting the various denizens of the apartment block. But you also have to defend the power box in the basement, as it’s an instant game over if it’s switched off. Harsh indeed.

All that having been said, the stiff challenge might not deter fans of Night Trap, and there are plenty of other reasons to like it. The video window is bigger than its predecessor, and the bizarre plot is endearing – particularly given star turns by Corey Haim, who plays basement-dweller Eddie, and Debbie Harry who plays his mother. If you’re into FMV games, it’s worth a go – and if you’re in the US, there’s a full-screen Saturn version available too.

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