Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary Review

You knew your high school was situated right on top of a hellmouth. You just knew it. How could the band be described as anything but the clashing din of the damned?

Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary is an official role-playing/ augmented reality game based on the popular supernatural horror films. If you’re not familiar with the movies, fear not. All you really need to know is that demons stalk the streets you call home, and there’s a particularly fierce hotspot right on top of your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Sleep tight!

In Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary, you take on the role of a demon hunter who must quell hellish uprisings. When you boot up the game, you’ll be placed in your current location courtesy of Google Maps. You’ll immediately see red splotches nearby. Those are hell holes, areas of corruption where demons reign. They must be plugged up with magic before the forces of Lucifer rob you of your sanity.

Just your average neighborhood hellmouth.

The first order of business is to protect yourself by casting a spell and creating a Sanctuary. From there, you can probe nearby hell holes. If they’re close enough, you can attempt to seal them off by accepting missions and casting the necessary magic spells. You’ll earn items and experience for your pains, and you can also use your device’s camera to super-charge your spells.

If you’re not close enough to the hell hole, you’re supposed to get up off your couch and go for a walk until you are close enough. Oh sure, go ahead and moan about taking a walk around the block. Then complain in front of Blade and get a smack upside your head.

Obviously, Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary is not a game you can enjoy while you’re slumped on the couch. It’s meant to add a fun spin on mundane tasks at the bank, grocery store, and what have you. If you’re stuck in an endless queue, you can whip out your iPhone, identify problem areas, and patch them up. With any luck, the elderly gentleman who’s holding up the line over an expired coupon will shrivel into a cinder and disappear in a puff of sulphur.

Put some clothes on.

There’s even an added mini-game wherein you use your iPhone’s camera to “find” and snap pictures of ghosts. This is a bit cheesy, but it’s also a quick, fun way to earn some experience points.

Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary isn’t deep, and it’s far from flashy; you essentially stare at a version of Google Maps with a few additional icons. It’s a fun game, however, and you’ll be doing your part to keep your neighborhood clean.

Note that Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary requires the iPhone compass, and is therefore only supported by 3GS and above.

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