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Overview

Haunt is a Kinect-exclusive game for sale on Xbox Live Arcade. It is developed by Masaya Matsuura, the creator of Parappa the Rapper, and, oddly, stars video game designer Tim Schafer, head of Double Fine Productions and creator of Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, as the voice of Benjamin, the player's spectral companion.

Gameplay

Gameplay is based on using the Kinect to explore and interact with objects in a large haunted mansion. The player navigates from a first-person perspective, using one hand to control an on-screen flashlight that serves as camera control, object selector and weapon. Moving the flashlight to the edges of the screen pans the camera in the appropriate direction, while holding the flashlight steady on objects for a short period allows the player to interact with the object or pick it up for later use. Movement is achieved by walking in place, causing the player to move down a predetermined path or in the direction their flashlight is pointing.

The player also interacts with the environment through the use of on-screen prompts. The nature of these prompts ranges from simple actions like opening a door to physically dodging enemy attacks. Other actions include the player covering his/her ears to avoid a banshee's scream or covering his/her eyes for other attacks.

The player's health is determined the level of a substance called "Vitality", which is indicated by a vertical bar on the left side of the screen. Players can gather more Vitality by interacting with objects within the mansion to see if they contain it. In addition, the mansion contains vials of Vitality that serve as extra lives - should the player's Vitality level ever bottom out, the vial will be used to refill it.

Story

The player starts the game unconscious in a pile of rubble within the mansion. After picking up a flashlight, he/she is introduced to Benjamin, the player's new companion and guide. Benjamin is capable of inhabiting any portrait within the mansion, and can be summoned by shining the flashlight onto any such portrait. The player proceeds to the mansion's Grand Hall, where Benjamin asks him/her to do him a favor and retrieve something from within the mansion.

After more exploration, the player uncovers an object called a Phantaflask. Upon returning to the Grand Hall, Benjamin requests that the player insert the flask into an apparatus surrounding a statue of his likeness. Before the player can do so, three ghosts appear and steal the three Phantaflasks that are already present in the apparatus before disappearing into other parts of the mansion. It then becomes the players tasks to recover the stolen Phantaflasks by exploring the rest of the mansion.

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