Who remembers the 80s? I'm sure everyone does; entertainment keeps the ghost of it around -- and even the indie game scene is drenched in the fond remembrances of slasher films and pixel graphics. Such is Haunted Halloween '86, a short but somewhat bittersweet game about two siblings and a creepy Halloween adventure in 8-bit graphics.
Other than releasing on modern machines, did you know this game had a cartridge release for NES? That's so cool!
Yet we're talking about the achievements here. We could attempt a complete run-through of the story, but that's hardly needed for the achievements on the Xbox One. You can get all of the pretty rewards popped in a half-hour or so, given how well (or poorly) you play an old-school platform. Luckily you can start over and over, rack up the needed collections, kills and hits, all without needing any significant story progress. I'll be honest -- I never did get past the caves before I had all the achievements. Maybe one day I'll finish Donny and Tami's Halloween escapades, who knows?
When starting a new game, once you have the initial story beats done, you'll get the option to pick a new skill. What's needed for the quick completion is the double jump. I know, I know - the other stuff sounds cool, but that's my suggestion. Pick at your own risk. If you're worried about making the wrong choice, don't be! Getting hurt and getting a game over are achievements, too!
Get hurt 25 times (100 GS)
Get a gameover (100 GS)
You'll have to punch a good number of monsters, so spam that X button for the following achievements. For the swamp monsters, make sure to do an uppercut to take off their heads (press up on the directional pad and hit X)! Feel free to die in high population zones a few times to help rack up the takedowns.
Kill 10 enemies (100 GS)
Kill 20 monsters (100 GS)
Kill 30 enemies (100 GS)
Kill 50 enemies (100 GS)
You'll want to keep an eye out for "Serum Sodas" while beating up beasties, which look like some seriously radioactive cans of lemon-lime soda. They place these in high places, which is why the double jump is recommended. There's a good area a few rooms in with a serum soda and some monsters to take out before you can take yourself out over and over -- like it's Groundhog Day for achievement grinding!
Serum Soda Jerker
Earn 3 lives (100 GS)
Earn 6 lives (100 GS)
Earn 9 lives (100 GS)
Earn 10 lives (100 GS)
When all is said and done, you should get this game's achievements in a short and relatively non-stressful time. If you want to go for the whole game and see how the story ends, it'll take a little work, and, given my 8-bit platforming skills, I'd save it for a day when I'm not worried about being the speediest demon.
Overall, it's a lovely little callback to the 8-bit days of no autosaves and two-button combos. I'd say the $9.99 price tag might seem a little much to some, but you'll find enough fun for your wallet -- and, if your luck holds up, perhaps you can catch it on sale around Halloween and really enjoy it when it's the season for ghastly fun!