I love simple web-based video games. In my quest to find a fun, family-friendly game, I’ve found the adorable Transylmania. It’s spooky and vampire-themed, but not gory or scary. It appeals to me because I love vampires and Halloween, but I imagine it would fit nicely with younger boys as well.
The premise of the game is simple. You play the role of Vampy, a sweet-natured vampire whose castle is under siege. Townsfolk have overrun his home. The only way to get some sleep is to kill them before sunrise. His home has many rooms and levels, including the windmill and cemetery. Once all of the people in a level are gone, Vampy’s coffin opens and he can go back to sleep.
Vampy walks and flies. He’s controlled by the arrow keys: right and left. The up key transforms him into a bat and lets him fly. While he’s flying, he is still directed by the arrow keys. If the up key is released, he falls. Fortunately, falling doesn’t harm him… provided he doesn’t fall on a hazard.
The townsfolk that infest Vampy’s home move in predictable patterns. They pace from side to side. Even those who are in boats in the river or basement move from one side to the other. Some are slow, and some are fast – and more difficult to kill.
To kill an invader, Vampy must touch him from behind or from above. Don’t worry. The death sequence isn’t gory at all. The recently deceased turn into green, zombie-like characters, then fall into a little pile of bones and disappear. Believe it or not, it’s adorable.
Why can’t Vampy kill the townsfolk from the front? They carry torches, and fire takes away one of his health points. Candles and chandeliers pose the same problem. Sunlight is sometimes let in through windows that open and close in a timed pattern. Water, whether in the river or rhythmically pouring through ducts, is another hazard that must be navigated. In some areas, there are wooden spikes that must also be avoided.
Vampy’s life is recorded at the top of the screen, in the form of little skulls. Your score and the time remaining until sunrise is also located there. If your time or health runs out, Vampy turns into dust: game over. If Vampy falls into the river, the level will restart. Vampy looses one skull when this happens, but all of the people that you’ve eliminated will not return.
Earn points by eliminating villagers quickly and retaining life points. At the end of each level, you will be able to see your score and how the points were earned. You may also stay on this screen if you need to grab a cookie. Since there is no pause button, this comes in handy.
Transylmania is an interesting 2D game that is appropriate for all ages. I found it on a forum that no longer carries it in its arcade. Now I play it on Funschool, which also offers many other puzzle and strategy games, craft ideas and learning opportunities. This game, and the site that hosts it, offers clean fun for the whole family.