Night Terrors: The Beginning

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Night Terrors: The Beginning App Poster Image
Creepy AR experience intro has legit scares; avoid stumbles.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not with educational intent.

Ease of Play

Just move your device as you walk around.

Violence

While there's no bloodshed or combat, it will scare you with creepy images.

Sex
Language

The word "kickass" appears in a pregame warning.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Night Terrors: The Beginning is a scary, augmented reality experience intro (there's more in development) that will freak out kids ... and their parents. It uses a similar type of tech as Pokemon GO, only to totally different effect. Using the device's camera and audio capabilities (headphones are recommended), the game creates a freaky vibe full of jump scares and psychological terror as you walk around your own home in the dark. While there is no gore or bloodshed, players may scream bloody murder or yell a string of curse words when frightened. Which they will be doing. A lot. The word "kickass" is used in the warning at the beginning of the game. There's no privacy policy available at the time of review.

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What's it about?

NIGHT TERRORS: THE BEGINNING is a psychologically frightening augmented reality experience that uses your device's camera and audio capabilities. It's meant to be used in your own home, in the dark. Once the lights are out, you look around the room, and the camera manipulates the image to give everything a grainy quality. Soon, it inserts quickly flashing lights and freaky images that can include two burning eyes that disappear if you stare too long. Adding to the atmosphere are sound effects that include the sounds of rain, creaking, crackling, and even some low electrical moaning, as well as the sound of someone discussing, well, you'll see.

Is it any good?

By creating a tense atmosphere, and then inserting quick flashes of lights and weird imagery, Night Terrors: The Beginning really creates a frightening experience, though it's a fairly short experience for a paid app. It's meant to be an intro (more material is in development), so it's unclear how much the whole experience will cost. Also, the fear is somewhat diluted by the message at the beginning that basically explains what's going to happen and that it's not real, and it asks you to please click "I Agree" so you won't sue if you bump your knee on the coffee table. Parents should note that teens (and adults) could potentially get hurt playing, so talk about how to stay safe while playing; moving slowly and sticking to uncluttered areas without stairs might be best. It's also not something you'll want to do a lot, save for maybe every Halloween, so it's likely a one-shot deal. Still, if you're looking for an interesting and scary experience, and you promise you won't have a heart attack if something goes bump in the night, Night Terrors: The Beginning is a simple but scary experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about staying safe while playing augmented reality games like Night Terrors: The Beginning. Since it's hard to walk around in the dark looking through a device's camera, users need to move slowly and stay aware of their surroundings.

  • Discuss being scared. What scares you? Does this game scare you? Why, or why not?

  • Talk about using augmented reality? Do you think this makes the game more effective, since you're walking around your own house? 

App details

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For kids who love scary games and movies

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