As you may or may not know, I’m Dutch. From the Netherlands. You know, the country people from abroad often associate with tulips, windmills, bicycles and wooden clogs. (To clarify, we don’t walk on clogs, have you ever given it a try? Very uncomfortable I can tell you. )
Ours is the country were we celebrate Sinterklaas at the beginning of December. And were we don’t believe in Santa Claus for the Holidays. The country were we have two Christmas Days, two Easter Days and even two Whitsun days.
Halloween to a foreigner
Back to this article: what we don’t celebrate, is Halloween. So when we discussed making an article about Halloween, I naturally volunteered. 😂 Because the funny thing is, with our writers located all over the globe, not many of them are in fact going to celebrate the festive day at the end of October.
Still, we all know of Halloween, if only through our games. Of course I do know of the custom of Halloween. Decorating your home, trick or treating for the kids, watching scary movies. But where did it all come from? I decided to check Wikipedia before writing about it:
“Halloween has its roots in the ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on the night of October 31. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, believed that the dead returned to earth on Samhain.”
Ah, hence all the scariness, ghosts and ghouls! I don’t really do scary games, but working on this article a game came to mind that isn’t specific for Halloween. Still, the Shadows in the Persona games are scary enough for me.
When you take a good look at them I’ve always wondered how developers come up with these monsters. Sure, there are silly ones like the Hablerie, but many are the stuff of nightmares.
The ones I look at with a sense of fear mixed with feeling sorry for them are the ones that are based on real animals. Like the Enslaved Beast.
But my main experience with Halloween is much friendlier: I have been a helper for Jack 🎃 in Animal Crossing! But then, it seems Jack has many helpers: Evriun has the same kind of experience!
Helping out Jack
I kind of see games like Castlevania or Super Ghouls and Ghosts as being perfect for Halloween because of the content of vampires, ghouls, ghosts, goblins,etc, but Animal Crossing is the game I mainly think about when it comes to holidays like Halloween. It was always fun going around the village trying to find the real Jack among the villagers dressed like him (the villagers responses were quite funny at times).
But I also like a good psychological horror game (like Layers of Fear); weird things happening and not really knowing what is really going on – brilliant fun!
Celebrating in Disney Magical World 2
When the weather turns cooler and the mood gets spooky, I pull out my favorite Halloween game Disney Magical World 2. I love the Mickey jack-o-lanterns and how excited the Disney characters get about the upcoming holiday.
Lately, I’ve also found myself more involved in getting ready for the Czar of Halloween in Animal Crossing. I enjoy collecting masks and candy to use on Halloween. I also recently picked up the 3DS port of Luigi’s Mansion, and it will definitely be a new October favorite!
Spookane in My Sims Kingdom
As a child, Halloween wasn’t a thing in Australia, except for adult parties. Nowadays more people are coming around to it, but I can understand the resistance, after all who wants a holiday right when you’re thinking about Christmas shopping?
For me not many child friendly games come to mind when I think of anything Halloween. Asides from Luigi’s Mansion which has been ported to the 3DS and I’ll pick up soon.
There is also My Sims Kingdom (wii version), which has an island called Spookane. Which is very spooky, having eyeballs growing on trees next to pumpkins. Here you go on a journey with Goth Boy to get the book that contains the meaning of life. On the way you’ll encounter back pain, and confront the terror of a cookie shop! Thankfully you give it a nice makeover to appeal to her target demographic.
More terrifying than all of that is dealing with “regular business hours”. . .Yet most frightening of all, once you’ve completed your quest Goth Boy comes to the terrifying realisation that “maybe life IS an amazing journey filled with friends and new opportunities.” Chilling. 😝
Even though I don’t celebrate Halloween I do enjoy the odd game or two with spooky themes. I’ve always enjoyed the haunted boo stages in Mario titles. Some of the best boo stages are found in Super Mario Bros. U. I’m glad this game in is being ported to the Switch because it’s a great game that deserves a new lease of life.
Another Mario title that boasts a fun spooky area is Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle. The team at Ubisoft went all out on creating a fun spooky atmosphere in world 3 which makes it an October favourite for many.
Another fun game with Ghosts is Pac-Man. Switch owners can now own the arcade version thanks to Namco Museum. Namco Bandai’s arcade collection also includes Pac-Man vs. which allows players to take control of Pac-Man’s ghostly foes and chase him around a series of mazes. Pac-Man VS. is good family fun for children
Will you be celebrating Halloween? If so, then I shall wave my wand and put on my cape and wish you lots of treats and success coming your way.