LifeisXbox’s Bones of Halloween Review | Rise up and take on waves of dangerous skeletons that have risen from the dead and are threatening your life. Using all you can at your disposal while traversing a dark and dingy forest as you realise your surroundings are that of a castle graveyard in Bones of Halloween. Your only task is to defend yourself using any means necessary, find new guns to protect yourself, and watch your back for any skeletons that attempt to sneak up on you. Bones of Halloween is a first-person shooter that also acts as a horde defence in every mode that is available for you to play but you are only required to protect yourself. Bones of Halloween has been developed by Petite Games and published by Ratalaika Games S.L. to provide us with non-stop shooting satisfaction in the form of different modes and challenges, should you choose to accept them.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Choice of modes | As there is no story/campaign element in Bones of Halloween, you are given a choice of five main modes, known as survival mode, to play from the main menu. The settings that vary with these modes affect elements of your gameplay in different ways. For example, one mode named Money Dripper affects your gold, making you constantly drop money as you move around, forcing you to spend it as soon as you can. Another mode focuses on the fun factor, allowing you to pick up everything without needing to purchase it. They all have their own individual appeal meaning there is a mode to suit anybody and their preferred playstyle. I personally liked classic mode the most as all elements are present but the explosive mode is great for just shooting unlimited rockets at self-destructing skeletons when you feel like it
- Enemy variety | When battling the skeletons, be mindful that they can have different forms of attack. These vary from swords to archers, explosive to elemental so it’s always good to keep an eye on your close surroundings in case anything gets too close. Being mindful of my surroundings was pretty easy, with the explosive skeletons making an obvious beeping noise when approaching. It’s also advised to not get cornered if you can help it as four out of five enemies can only attack when they’re in close proximity. Basically, aim for the head and keep them at a safe distance; collecting the money when it’s safe to do so.
- Purchasable weapons | Whenever you kill enemies, in the modes that include money, they will drop coins for you to spend on either other firearms or ammo for guns you already have and are using. This gives you different types to try out. Whether you prefer to spray ‘n pray with assault rifles, blow up with rocket launchers, or snipe headshots with bolt-action rifles – the choice is up to you as long as you have enough money to purchase them. There is also the fun of finding them as they can spawn in different places so there is no guarantee you’ll find what you’re looking for when you might need it most. The mini-map can help you to locate them though, with guns showing as blue icons and yellow icons representing ammo.
- Fortune cards | Successful progression, in modes that include them, will present you with a choice of fortune cards every so often – although I’m unsure if these instances are based on score or enemies killed. There are always four to pick from and these can either positively or negatively impact your gameplay, similar to buffs and nerfs. Again, these can affect multiple elements of your game such as the amount of money dropped by enemies, your fire rate, and even the amount of damage you take or deal. My only gripe with these is there is nothing that notes what is currently affecting you; no icon or text to remind you. Otherwise, I think these are a great inclusion as it is unpredictable each time you earn a fortune card.
- Tedious challenges | Other than the survival modes, the only other option you have to play with is the challenges that range from easy to extreme difficulty. The requirements to successfully complete the challenges differ once again. My personal favourite was X amount of headshots but unfortunately, the difficulty stated does not hold up; they are far too easy to complete and there aren’t enough of them either which left me wanting more. Challenges are supposed to be challenging. If they aren’t, they may as well just be extra objectives added to the main modes instead.
- Halloween theme | I get it – there are skeletons who have risen from the dead and they are trying to kill you, the environment is set in a spooky forest/graveyard, and pumpkins are everywhere (including being used for the heads of the skeletons) but that, in my opinion, doesn’t make the game ‘Halloween-themed’. Halloween is about trick-or-treating, sweets, horror films, scary costumes, hauntings and so much more! Perhaps ‘Bones of the Graveyard’ would have been more appropriate or more Halloween details could have been added to set the Halloween spirit a little better.
What we Disliked
- Effortless completion | Yes, we are here with Ratalaika again which more often than not means one thing – easy gamerscore and quick completion and Bones of Halloween is no different regrettably. The achievement list has only eleven achievements which only require you to complete basic challenges, easy and normal difficulty, and get somewhat low scores in four of the five modes (why not all five?) I tried to survive each round for as long as possible but as there isn’t much that changes within the gameplay, the game lacks content and replayability factor for me.
- Graphically disappointing | Admittedly, going into Bones of Halloween, I wasn’t expecting cutting-edge graphics of any kind but I also wasn’t expecting the quality to be as poor as it appeared either. The colour that does show is all washed out, it’s extremely dull and gloomy (not even in a scary way), and the quality is beyond dissatisfying. I don’t think I have even one positive thing to say about the appearance. A horrible mess that I think could have easily been given more attention to detail without much hassle.
- Dull audio | I played Bones of Halloween using my headset as I was excited to hear if there were any creepy sound effects or background music to boost the scariness factor. Much to my surprise, the only background sound is rain, the grass rustling under my feet, birds chirping away, and cricket noises which were all pretty typical of the nighttime theme; nothing special. In addition, the sound effects for the skeletons sounded boring and the guns didn’t pack much of a punch either.
- No score tracking | There is some kind of scoring system in place which works out your score and presents itself once you’ve died. What I found strange was there is no way to tell what the score is made up of and you also have no score indicator included in the UI. When I play anything that gives me a score, I want to know what is being taken into account – whether it’s enemies killed, money earned, or time spent alive – or a combination of different factors. Also, I would like to keep track of my score as I play in order to know how close or far I am from beating my high score.
- Game crashes | One issue I came across was my game randomly crashing on multiple occasions throughout my playtime and sending me directly back to my home screen. It only seemed to occur after being approximately one minute into the gameplay but obviously, this is never something you want to suffer from or fear in any game. It goes without saying that I have no idea what causes this to happen but it certainly wasn’t the horror I was wanting to experience.
How long to beat the story | No story mode available
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately under 1 Hour
Please consider supporting us!
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!