The House of the Dead (1996) is a horror-themed shooting game where you control the targeting but not the movement. Unlike general on-rails shooting games, this was controlled using a light-gun pointing at the screen (or similar controller). This gives the game a novel fairground attraction feel. Add to this the branching paths and stories, the prestigious history and arcade legacy and this is a notable and unusual series.
Play involves targeting the different undead enemies in a range of locations. You need to shoot them before they get to you. This differs in the various games that offer different characters, firearms, and types of enemies. Later games offered a branching path and a range of endings determined by your choices, as well as unlockable bonuses.
Your task is to the area of enemies to advance through the story. Hitting zombies in the head will dispatch them more quickly but you also need to make choices about which weapons to use in each scenario. Clearing a level often brings in a boss to battle. The first two The House of the Dead games featured civilians to rescue that offer a reward. You can gain lives by shooting boxes, crates, vases and destructible scenery.
The following games are available in the series:
The House of the Dead (1996) Arcade, PC
The House of the Dead 2 (1998) Arcade, Wii
The House of the Dead 3 (2002) Arcade, Xbox, Wii, PC, PS3 (Move)
The House of the Dead 4 (2005) Arcade, PS3 (Move)
The Typing of the Dead 2 (2008) PC, PS2, iOS, DS (English of the Dead)
The House of the Dead: Overkill (2009) Wii, PS3 (Move), PC
House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn (2018) Arcade
The House of the Dead: Remake (2022) Switch, PS4 and Xbox One
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked The House of the Dead 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 3 weeks ago.