A personal introduction - This game haunted has me for a long time... Like many people when new to the 'geek or eBay, I ransacked my memory trying to think of all the games I had when growing up to either research or replace. After rattling off the 'obvious' titles (Talisman & the other 80's GW boxed games, Car Wars, and a whole heap of 'mainstream' games) I was left with vague recollections of a number of games, including one with "metal daggers and a coffin that lights up when you stab it".
I was glad to see that, upon adding this description to a 'geek forum with a plaintive cry of "help", I was not the only person struggling to put a name to the game, and was quickly given the answer. Creeps!
But, alas, it was no-where to be found on the 'geek, and even the customary Google search didn't reveal much, so it became a personal crusade to find a copy, and here we are...
The game - As mentioned in the blurb, the idea is for each player to race to the centre of the board and slay the sleeping Vampire. Each player chooses a colour (either red, yellow, green or blue footprints) and follows his own path through the creepy graveyard, hoping to avoid waking the Vampire. Each turn, starting with the youngest, players move their daggers up to a total of 6 footprints (6 moves shared between the 5 daggers in any combination as long as no 2 daggers end their move in the same footprint). The moves are counted, but the dagger is only stabbed into the board when it has reached its last footprint for the turn (ie you don't stab each and every footprint as you move). This is bacause the Vampire is woken if a dagger is stabbed into the board in one of a randomly selected number of 'hotspots'. If a dagger is stabbed into the board and the Vampire screams, then that dagger is removed from the game!
Play continues in this fashion until the first player reaches the centre of the board and plunges his dagger into the Vampires heart...
The game can almost be likened to an electronic Ludo, with pieces moving around the board but always at the risk of being sent back to the start/removed from the game. Players need to decide upon a balanced strategy, 'racing' one dagger to the finish means you'll make less stabs, and therefore lessen the risk of waking the Vampire, but should he wake you'll have to start from scratch. Being over cautious and trying to move all your daggers towards the centre will virtually guarantee you'll set off the alarm. Players unlucky enough to lose a dagger will have to remember which footprint caused it to happen and avoid it in future turns. Fortunately the graveyard graphics on the board gives us plenty of points of reference to help in this matter...
The board is set into a large plastic 'tub' (for want of a better word) and can be rotated to change the 'hotspots' for each path so that no 2 games need be alike. The game works using a 4.5volt 'flat battery' which may be tricky to find (although they are still made) but replacement daggers can be nabbed from an unwanted Clue/Cluedo set!
This game, typical of Action Games & Toys Ltd. titles, is now very hard to find but, unlike Trafalgar which is an excellent game to play even now, I'd say that Creeps! is strictly for Nostalgia Nuts. I'm very happy to own a copy after all these years, but realistically it'll see little or no play, (unless maybe, one day, a Wibblenut Jnr appears)
New Dia die Los Muertos. Lighter, sillier, and Stickers.
I think I've got a couple more Action GT games aside from the two that are listed on the 'Geek.
Horror House is listed as Bandai, and might be worse than Creeps! save for a brilliant screaming mini-record combat system and completely psychedelic monster art.
Are there any more? And did any approach the coolness of Trafalgar?
What do YOU 'serve' an awakening "Vampire" with? Why, a heaping helping of "stake & eggs" for some 'breakfast' course, of course!