Home / Uncategorized / Propnight is a new multiplayer horror that crosses Dead by Daylight with goosebumps

Propnight is a new multiplayer horror that crosses Dead by Daylight with goosebumps

The beloved horror author RL Stine is best known for two long-standing book series; Fear of the street and goosebumps. Where Fear Street can be gruesome and bloody, Goosebumps tames and reinvents horror tropes for a younger audience. When Dead by Daylight is Fear Street, Propnight gives goose bumps. Its skeleton is identical to the Twitch favorite, but it wears an entirely different, much livelier skin suit. And beneath that skin is a new collection of viscera and organs freshly transplanted from the shape-shifting game of hide-and-seek, Prop Hunt.

Developed by FNTASTIC, the developer of the upcoming zombie MMO The Day Before, Propnight is an asymmetrical multiplayer PC game in which four teenage survivors must escape a nightmare while being chased by a player-controlled killer. To break free from this terrifying realm, five “Propmachines” must be repaired before the time runs out, with each new repaired device further delaying an unsuccessful end to the game. Successfully repairing all five without getting killed opens a series of doors through which anyone can escape to victory. I’ve played a dozen or so matches and I can safely say that if you’re familiar with Dead by Daylight, you can take a lot of Propnight for granted. The repair of the machines even has the same brilliantly tense Quicktime events that, if they fail, cause the gears to stutter and explode, alerting the killer to your location.

Propnight isn’t just a direct doppelganger of the streamer favorite, however. It combines the concept with another cult multiplayer favorite: prop hunting. Originally popularized by a mode for Garry’s Mod, prop hunts allow players to transform into items to hide from enemies. In Propnight, all survivors have this ability. Do you hear a killer walking towards you? They can disappear by turning into a box and stacking on a shelf; run into the cornfields and imitate a scarecrow; or even become a head of cabbage and roll to safety. As long as it’s within your reach, you can become a clone of pretty much any item you can see.

This small change has a huge impact on Pronight’s game compared to its apparent inspiration. While Dead by Daylight is an exciting game of cat and mouse, Propnight is a panic game of hide and seek. As a survivor, the learning curve requires you to master how to effectively disguise yourself in the world, but the urgency that a game’s time limit offers means you can’t just hide yourself forever. You are also forced to return to your human form in order to fix the machines, a process that is excruciatingly long and tense.

While survivors have their weaknesses, my first impression is that their ability to turn into props is an outrageously powerful tool. You currently feel you have a clear advantage over the killer thanks to the large number of very small props. At least on the only map I could play (a classic American farm with corn fields and dusty barns) there are stones, soda bottles, and hammers, all of which are top notch as they can be easily hidden in boxes or under shelves. Reducing the number of these props would reduce the fun, however, and so I would love to see FNTASTIC experiment with card design to find ways to make up for the near-invisibility that comes with being turned into stone. Better lines of sight on the map, be it through elevated geography or windows and gaps, could both help the killer and add to the pace and excitement of the game.

To combat the prop system, each of the four playable killers has something in their ability to aid in finding survivors. For example, the Key Master may temporarily place spooky eyes that highlight nearby teenagers. In the meantime, the imposter can not only disguise himself as a prop – which no other killer can do – but also as other survivors, so that the wolf can hide between the sheep. These tools help keep track of survivors’ activities, but it seems that skill alone is not enough to get a killer through a match. Map knowledge and learning the proper placement of any item in the world will almost certainly have significant tactical value – seeing too high a stack of boxes becomes a tell-tale indicator that a survivor is trying to hide from you. But even without understanding how each corner of the card is decorated, I quickly learned to become suspicious of oddly placed objects and to listen to the gentle clink of a lemonade bottle rolling through the room.

Propnight screenshots

All of that is in bonus points for Pronight Yes, really funny; Seeing a killer hitting everything in a room while you sit behind them dressed as a pumpkin is a punch line that has endured through my numerous fights. This is supported by an appealing visual style; The four different killers all look like they have just stepped off the Buffy The Vampire Slayer set while survivors include a Billie Eilish doppelganger who Epic Games could wholesalers if they ever host a Fortnite concert would. It’s a style that wipes away the usual filth of horror but retains a distinct character; There’s still one last girl, a confident athlete, and a nun-like banshee ready to scream until your eardrum bursts.

What I’ve seen from Propnight so far is already a solid proof of concept. With just one map and four killers, it’s already proven to be a fun and humorous alternative to other, more gruesome multiplayer horror games. And while knocking your beloved ancestor off your rack at this point is probably impossible, Dead by Daylight should probably sleep with an extra knife under the pillow.

Propnight is running an open PC beta on Steam between October 15th and 18th.

Matt Purslow is the UK news and entertainment writer for IGN.

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