Splatterhouse (スプラッターハウス Supurattāhausu) is a 1988 arcade game developed and published by Namco. It is also the title of the entire series of subsequent games released in home console and personal computer formats.
Due to its violent nature as well as some questionable enemies, the TurboGrafx-16 port of Splatterhouse had a parental advisory warning of sorts printed on the front of the box that read “The horrifying theme of this game may be inappropriate for young children… and cowards.”
Splatterhouse is a sidescrolling beat ’em up video game in which the player controls Rick, a parapsychology student who is trapped inside West Mansion. After his resurrection by the Terror Mask, Rick makes his way through the mansion, fighting off hordes of creatures in a vain attempt to save his girlfriend Jennifer from a grisly fate. Players of the game will also recognize a number of western horror film influences, such as Friday the 13th and Evil Dead 2.
Similar to many sidescrolling beat ’em up games, Rick can only move in a two-dimensional environment. The playing field does not feature a three-dimensional area, a feature that was added later in the series with Splatterhouse 3. He has the ability to jump and can punch and kick. Rick also has a Special Attack, where he will perform a drop kick that sends him skidding along the ground, damaging any enemies he hits. Rick can also perform a low kick, low punch, and jumping attacks, as well as pick up and use various weapons placed in the levels.
Two college students, Rick Taylor and Jennifer Willis, take refuge from a storm in West Mansion, a local landmark known as “Splatterhouse” for the rumors of hideous experiments purportedly conducted there by Doctor West, a renowned and missing parapsychologist. Rick awakens in the dungeon of the mansion to discover that he is still alive thanks to the influence of the “Terror Mask”, or in some versions, the “Hell Mask”, a Mayan sacrificial artifact from West’s house which is capable of sentient thought. The mask attaches itself to Rick, fusing with his body and transforming him into a monster with superhuman strength. With the mask’s encouragement, Rick goes on a rampage through the dungeon and the mansion grounds, killing hordes of monsters…