House of the Dead

  • Developer: Sega
  • Genre: Handheld
  • Originally on: Saturn (1998)
  • Works on: PC, Windows
  • Editor Rating:
    House of the Dead Rating
  • User Rating: 7.0/10 - 12 votes
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House of the Dead 1
House of the Dead 2
House of the Dead 3
House of the Dead 4

Game Overview

The original House of the Dead was a massive hit when it hit arcades in the mid to late 90s. The game was eventually ported to the Sega Saturn and the PC and while it may not be as impressive as the games that would follow. I do feel that it is a very important game in video game history as this is a franchise that is still going to this day.

The Mad Scientist

Say what you will about the terrible voice acting and the campy plot of this series, but I freaking love it! The story of the game centers around two agents called, Thomas Rogan and G. They are sent to investigate the work of a crazy SOB scientist called, Dr. Curien who has been creating all kinds of monsters! The plot is a lot of fun and I love how in the early House of the Dead games they play it completely straight!

The Blocky Red Stuff

The original arcade game is not a bad looker to be fair, but when the game was ported to the Sega Saturn and then the PC, let’s just say that Sega did not have their A-team working on this. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure they let someone else develop this and it shows. I am sure the Sega Saturn could have run this game fine with the right team behind it. However, what we got is a game that is very hard to look at. House of the Dead has some very blocky and I mean blocky looking monsters, characters, and even the blood!

The game moves at a quick pace so to be fair it is not hugely noticeable. However, it can be distracting some times. The soundtrack though is pretty awesome with some stuff rearranged from what the arcade offered. The voice acting? Well, it is bad, but so bad I find it good.

Shoot Them In The Head!

I would wager that you the reader (yes, I am breaking the fourth wall here!) knows what the gameplay of House of the Dead is by this point. The game is a light gun shooter and a pretty solid one at that. Each level has you blowing away wave after wave of monsters. You also have moments where you can save people too. It is a very challenging game, but also a fun one too, and one that I think is great in small bursts.

There are different paths you can take through the game and different endings. So, while the core game is very short, it does have a lot of replay value. It is just very rough around the edges. There is also a boss rush mode that has been added, but I do feel that with the later games in the series, Sega got it right with adding in extra modes. If you play on PC, you use the mouse, but if you can track down the rare Sega Saturn version, you can play with a light gun.

I must admit that even if House of the Dead was a pixel-perfect arcade port that I still would probably rank it as the weakest in the series. This is not a “horrible” game, but the fact the home port looks so ugly is what really cements its place as the weakest in the home ports of this series. I do still feel it is worth checking out so that you can see where this series began and it is still a pretty fun time.


Final Score


  • I liked the campy story
  • Lots of monsters to kill
  • You can play with a light gun on the Sega Saturn
  • The voice acting is so bad it is awesome
  • You have a reason to play through the game multiple times


  • The game was clearly rushed through development
  • It is a very ugly game

Download Links

System Requirements

Processor: PC compatible, SystemP-200

OS: Win9xWindows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.

Game Features:House of the Dead supports single modeSingle game mode

House of the Dead Screenshots

Saturn Screenshots

House of the Dead 1
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