The strategy game, which is based on haunted houses and spooky creatures, is a departure from the studio's previous work, forgoing futuristic troopers and historic figures for cherubic ghosts, cartoonish vampires, scruffy werewolves and Frankenstein-like zombies.
In a demo of the game shown to Polygon, players take charge of a haunted house with an aim to expand their mansion and dominate the town. A rival haunted house — controlled by an NPC in single-player mode or a real person in multiplayer mode — resides on the other side of the town and tries to accomplish the same goals.
In the turn-based strategy game, players can use each turn to build a new room in their mansion, which allows them to spawn a new kind of ghost or monster. In another turn, these creatures can be sent into the town. In a third turn, the creatures can perform "scares" to capture the houses and place them under the player's control. These same creatures can also perform attacks to take down the opponent's ghosts and vampires, which stops the opponent from dominating the town.
The game is a kind of tug-of-war between the two players, with each side sending out their spooky mobs to capture houses, re-capture what's been lost to the enemy and battle each other's creatures. As an additional challenge, angry mobs within the town emerge to burn down haunted houses and attack the player's freaky monsters, so not only do players have to avoid these mobs, they have to try to take them down before they burn down all the houses the player has captured.
From what Polygon was shown, Haunted Hollow retains the trademark in-depth strategy of Firaxis's titles, but plays with a much more accessible and fantasy-based theme.
Haunted Hollow is coming to iOS devices this Spring. It will be a free-to-play title where players will be able to spend money to unlock additional monsters. Polygon will be speaking to the developers at GDC next week.