Head Games: House of Usher (1984)

A dull, dark, and soundless day...

For those unfamiliar with Poe's short story, Fall of the House of Usher, the basic plot revolves around an unnamed protagonist who is summoned to the residence of Roderick and Madeline Usher (both of whom suffer a number of debilitating ailments). As the story unfolds, Roderick's psychosis reveals his belief that the house is actually alive and deliberately trying to drive him mad. One of the more disorienting entries of Poe's horror prose, its often thought to be one of the first haunted house stories ever written.

As a game, House of Usher insinuates that you will take control of this unnamed hero and face all the madness of this horrid house and its insane inhabitants. I mean just take a look at that cover, the dude is literally melting! Alas, it would seem that the 8 bits of banality that the Commodore 64 offered couldn't contain the infinite madness of Poe. Instead, we're treated to a Donkey Kong clone in which the player hops around; climbing ladders, dodging cannons and traveling through doors all set to the sounds of high-pitched beeps and blips. Sigh.

Well... at least there's a new Silent Hill game to look forward to, right?


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