Hide and Shriek

Game review by
Marcia Morgan, Common Sense Media
Hide and Shriek Game Poster Image
Mischievous, scary fun leaves players wanting more.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

A lot of mischievous, magical horseplay going on. Players sneak into their high school late at night. It might be tradition, but technically it's also trespassing, breaking and entering. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's scare or be scared. Whole point is to sucker other player into one of your carefully laid traps.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

There's plenty of tension, feelings of dread while waiting for some invisible threat to jump out at you, but very little actual violence. Some traps can paralyze you, send demons after you, but nothing lethal or bloody.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

A spin-off of Funcom’s horror MMO game, The Secret World, which has already spawned other spin-off games.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hide and Shriek is a downloadable first-person action game. It's a part of Funcom's The Secret World MMO universe, with young magic users sneaking around a school in the middle of the night, baiting other players into traps to scare them. The game has a spooky feel that might be too much for younger kids, but those scares don’t necessarily translate into violence. It relies more on its creep factor and tension, while staying fairly light on actual violence.

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What's it about?

In HIDE AND SHRIEK, there’s a Halloween tradition for the magic students at Little Springs High and Innsmouth Academy. Each year, late at night, the students sneak into school, turn themselves invisible, and try their best to give each other the scare of a lifetime. This is a one-vs.-one multiplayer game where players have 10 minutes to sneak around, stalk their friends, and lure them into magical traps, all to scare the wits out of them. Players collect runes to cast spells or scramble to an ever-moving altar to perform a ritual and earn extra points but have to make sure to look over their shoulders. That noise you just heard might be nothing, but it could be leading you into someone else's trap. You might be invisible, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be afraid.

Is it any good?

This scary action game will run chills up and down player's spines, but it can be a little light on content. See, most people love to be scared at least a little. It's why we watch horror movies and ride roller coasters. It's also fun to do the scaring, which is why it's hard not to sneak up on someone and yell, "Boo!" It's that same adrenaline rush that makes games like Hide and Shriek so much fun. Sure, you might be skulking around in the shadows trying to trick another person into stumbling across one of your well-placed traps. But deep down, you know that somewhere in the school, the other person is just itching to do the same thing to you. Matches may only last 10 minutes at most, but that's not such a bad thing. There's so much tension that your nerves might not be able to take much more than that.

If there's one thing to really complain about, it’s that the game feels light on content. This may be a "value priced" game, but you'll still wish there were more to do. At the very least, there should be more than one map to mix things up a bit instead of you always sneaking through the same halls of the same high school. With that said, you'll get your five dollars worth of fun out of this game, with the added benefit of hearing your friends scream.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fear and violence in games. Does a game have to be violent to be scary? What are some ways tension and anxiety can be entertaining (roller coasters and the like), and what are some ways to deal with anxiety when it's a negative influence?

  • Talk about video games versus reality. Why is it important to remember that games are not reality? What are good reasons to never imitate what you see on the screen?

Game details

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