To best describe the vibes of Hyde's Haunt & Seek, I want to take you back to a well-loved but under-performed console: the Wii U. If you happened to have owned a Wii U before the Nintendo Switch dominated the market, you may remember the Luigi's Mansion minigame in Nintendoland. One player controls the ghost on the Game Pad, while the others run around and attempt to drain its life force with their flashlights. It was incredibly fun, and something that was sadly never iterated on.
I preface with Nintendoland because if you loved that Luigi's Mansion minigame, you're going to have a blast with Hyde's Haunt & Seek: a fully realized multiplayer experience that gives players the chance to both spook and be spooked. Read on to get our full thoughts on the Hyde's Haunt & Seek gameplay during our PAX West 2022 preview.
Hyde's Haunt & Seek is simple enough on the surface: it supports up to three players with one playing in first-person mode as the Seeker, and the other two getting a top-down perspective of Hyde Manor as the Spirits. At the start of each round, the Seeker is locked in a room while the Spirits hide an object that the Seeker must find.
Once the object is hidden, the Seeker is free to explore and the mystical game of hide and seek begins! During my hands-on Hyde's Haunt & Seek gameplay demo at PAX West 2022, I played as the Seeker. Using a flashlight with limited battery capacity, I had to go from room to room to try and locate the object. This is an investigative period where you're both trying to seek out the object's location and also locate the spirits. The ghosts are mostly invisible, but you can reveal signs of them with the nightstick's black light mode. You can also use your Exorcism Beam to extract spirits from possessed furniture, and even hit ghosts with your nightstick like a baton.
As the poltergeists, your movement is limited far less than the Seeker. You can fly through walls to quickly pass between rooms and hide inside furniture. You can also levitate objects using a psychokinetic power. "Scaring" the Seeker will fill a Team Spirit meter, allowing you to eventually attack and win the Haunt. When I was playing as the Seeker, my two opponents enjoyed stacking tables, chairs, and sofas around my character while I was exploring, effectively boxing me in.
Fortunately, at least for the Hyde's Haunt & Seek PAX West demo, I was able to hold down a button while looking at an object to make it disappear, freeing myself from the temporary prison built around me. It was fun trying to outwit the players controlling the specters while they were working together to impede my progress. Hyde's Haunt & Seek has the potential to be a go-to party game with future cross-platform support.
Hyde's Haunt & Seek Preview: Final Thoughts
Like the Luigi's Mansion minigame mentioned at the beginning of this article, Hyde's Haunt & Seek is a fun and spooky mini adventure that balances fun gameplay with atmospheric storytelling. The game is still in a very early build, but when I talked with the developer she said they're looking to expand the game immensely and eventually make the entire manor fully explorable.
Smol Games is currently in search of partnering with a publisher, so it's unknown when the official Hyde's Haunt & Seek release date will arrive, but it's definitely a game that's worth keeping an eye out for; it certainly caught our attention at PAX West.
TechRaptor's Hyde's Haunt & Seek preview was conducted on PC at a demo booth at PAX West 2022.