The Game: Looking for a game where you can spread your wings a little? If bat wings are okay, then Dracula is the game for you. As the impaler himself, you wander the city streets at night, looking for victims to bite. Whether you’re chasing a fleet-footed mortal or avoiding adversaries who also roam the streets, turning into a bat is often the only way to fly. You also have to keep an eye on the clock – if you haven’t returned safely to your crypt by sunrise, Dracula turns to dust. (Imagic, 1982)
Memories: Yet another Intellivision-only gem from the gang at Imagic, Dracula would seem, on the surface, to do some of the same things that Texas Chainsaw Massacre does on the Atari VCS: it puts the player in the role of the villain of the piece, going through the game and searching for victims. But where Texas Chainsaw Massacre tries (rather unsuccessfully, it must be said) to reach for Tobe Hooper-worthy shock value, Dracula keeps things simple – and it makes sure the player is vulnerable too. Nothing short of running out of gas can stop Leatherface, but Dracula faces predators, stubborn would-be bite-recipients, and the clock ticking away the hours until morning. This game’s designers also know a little something about good old-fashioned classic creepshow atmosphere – Dracula wanders past a cemetery in search of fresh blood. Lightning and crashes of thunder punctuate the game at random. You can almost hear Boris Karloff’s echoing, sinistar laugh off in the distance.
Add to that the fact that Dracula is actually fun, and a treat to play with the Intellivision’s controller (which not every game uses to its full potential), and this is miles ahead of the pack of early “shocker” games. I’m hestitant to fall back on the old clichÃ¨ that it’s a game you can sink your teeth into, but hey, it definitely doesn’t bite.