Are you still on the hunt for more 80’s horror-based video games? Then look no further than LJN’s Friday the 13th, released in February of 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. This game is considered to be one of the worst games ever made, but does it have any redeeming qualities?
8 Bit Horror?
This single-player side scroller horror game follows you — the protagonist — as you walk around Camp Crystal Lake saving other counselors from Jason Voorhees. As you walk around the camp you’ll encounter zombies and other creepy monsters, which you can defeat by throwing a useless rock, or a knife that actually does something. But stay alert, at any point in the game the Jason alarm will sound. If you don’t make it to Jason on time, you risk the lives of fellow camp counselors or the children in the camp.
The goal is to defeat Jason three times in order to save the camp. You square off against him in a classic knockout scenario. You also get the chance to fight his mom — a dismembered floating head. Mrs. Voorhees is actually fairly difficult to defeat, but it’s not impossible. Aside from the two big bads, your other contender is the confusing and disorienting buildings. You’ll likely spend most of the game trying to get out of a building.
The graphics in the game are pretty standard for the time. They’re not bad but they’re not great and there is little in the way of detail. The most unusual choice for the game is Jason’s purple tone color scheme. It’s absolutely delightful and makes the game stand out from its other 80’s counterparts. The music is repetitive and boring, but you will need to keep the volume turned up so you can hear the Jason alarm.
Is LJN’s Friday the 13th worth buying?
If you’re a fan of horror video games or a completionist, you’re in luck. Unlike A Nightmare on Elm Street for the NES, Friday the 13th is a reasonable buy. You can buy the cartridge by itself for under $20. A complete set with the box and instruction manual regular goes between $100-$120. You can also find graded versions of this game, which will command a much higher price.
If you’re looking to buy this as an investment piece, you may want to look elsewhere. While this certainly is a cool game to own, it’s not a rare piece. This game has had a slight impact on pop culture. You can find fan-made items based on this game at most conventions and NECA even released a 7″ action figure. The action figure is more dynamic than the game and features Jason’s purple tone color scheme.
In 2017 a new Friday the 13th game was released by IllFonic for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A Nintendo Switch version was recently released in 2019. This multiplayer game received mixed reviews but is still leaps and bounds better than the LJN game. Much like the A Nightmare on Elm Street LJN NES game, Friday the 13th is best left to the ballroom of our collective mind.