The House of the Dead 4 is a horror-themed shoot 'em up arcade game and the fourth instalment of the 'House of the Dead' series of video games developed by gaming giant Sega. The game takes place between the events of 'The House of the Dead 2' and 'The House of the Dead 3', and introduced several new gameplay concepts. Players can control characters James Taylor on the left side or Kate Green, a new character to the series, on the right side.
The game features branching paths and most of these lead to the same point in the game's story. As with The House of the Dead III, there is an end-of-stage bonus where players can receive extra lives depending on headshot level combo, accuracy, and score. Another returning feature is the presence of the "Cancel" bar.
The House of the Dead 4 runs on a critical shots counter where the player is encouraged to go for headshots rather than spraying ammo at the enemy. It starts off as Good, Excellent, Amazing and then Perfect. Players can reload the gun by shaking it, or by just pointing it away from the screen. The game also features grenades that the player can throw to destroy large numbers of enemies whilst additional grenades can be earned by completing certain tasks or by shooting crates. At some points in the game, players are required to shake the gun vigorously in order to escape certain situations.
The most common enemies have three attacks. A "normal attack", a "grab," and a "push". The foremost inflicts one point of damage, while the second forces a shaking sequence that, if successful, pushes back attackers for easier disposal but if unsuccessful, will result in the player being bitten or the player's character being knocked down and vulnerable. Multiple zombies may also pile on top of both players in an attempt to stomp on them or kick them while they're down.
There are also a number of secrets in the game. Different hidden treasures, such as coins and golden shapes, which increase the player's score, as well as "lives", etc. can be found by interacting with the game's environments. The bonus-life system departs from the previous games, where life is gained by saving hostages.
There are also 'treasure rooms' that can be accessed using different techniques such as shooting at a certain spot or throwing a grenade in a certain area, and these rooms contain multiple items that can be obtained immediately if you work fast.
The House of the Dead 4 is the first game to run on the Sega Lindbergh arcade system board and was extremely well received on its release. Industry pundits described it as 'the most visually impressive arcade game ever made', noting the greatly improved lighting and environmental details. They also praised the gameplay, including the increased number of zombies on screen, the intensity of the experience, the use of machine guns and the lightweight gun's new shaking detection feature.
This particular game is in superb condition having been used mainly in a private residence rather than an arcade, and has has a thorough electro-mechanical overhaul by our team.
We at the Games Room Company have always had a great appreciation for video games, ever since the first commercial video game (Computer Space) was released back in 1971. We were one of the first companies to bring over TAITO’s Space Invaders to the UK, quickly going on to supply pubs all over the country. Our founder, Reginald Waldersmith, was a particularly avid fan of Atari’s Pong, describing it as being “quite as fun as real tennis, and not nearly as exhausting”. We have proudly continued his fondness for retro video games, and much of our inventory includes games we’ve manufactured ourselves.