Crypt-ober: Game Over (Tales from the Cryptkeeper)

When it comes to horror hosts, the Cryptkeeper is probably one of the best known faces in all of television. However, did you know that Cryptie had two co-hosts back in the days where Tales from the Crypt was a comic? It’s true! They were called the Vaultkeeper and the Old Witch. However, when Tales made the leap from panels to screen, the only one they originally adapted was Cryptie. The good news is, for the cartoon show’s second season, they decided to dig up some old corpses to give our master of scare-emonies a bit of competition. There were even times where one of them would get to tell the story of the episode. (You can find out a bit more about them on this episode of Familiar Faces.) So, how did these two ghastly co-hosts do on their first night on the town in years? Let’s find out. This is Game Over.

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Buddy and Vince are two teenagers obsessed with video games. They’re so obsessed that they end up skipping school a lot in order to head to the arcade instead. One night, when they’re supposed to be studying, they find themselves attacked by all manner of monsters straight from their consoles. Can these two hack it as real monster killers or is it Game Over for them?

This episode’s story is pretty good, actually. At first, it seems like just another Monster Mash scenario just like the very first episode of this show. However, in my opinion, this story’s a lot more well done for two reasons. First of all, the monsters feel a lot more distinct from each other in how they act. Sure, they’re still just trying to chase and kill the kids. However, the way they move and the way they just try to nab the kids all feel very different from each other. Secondly, the show has a pretty good twist in the end, if you ask me. I won’t dare spoil it for you in case you want to check the episode out. Honestly, I didn’t really see it coming myself.

The animation for season 2 got a MAJOR upgrade. Everything looks a lot more sleek and dynamic. The colors and lines really seem to pop now and everything has a distinct and unique look. The designs for the monsters are also really cool. My personal favorite monster of the episode was the mace-wielding maniac the boys first encounter. Although, I would say that even ol’ Cryptie got an upgrade, too. Everything, including him, seems to move just more fluidly than season 1. And yet, everything still has that “straight from the comics” vibe, too. It makes the show a real treat for the eyes.

The Old Witch and Vaultkeeper do a fine job for their first outing. However, I would have to say that the Old Witch did a bit of a better job for me. For one, the Vaultkeeper doesn’t make an appearance until the end of the episode, so we get more time seeing and getting a feel for the Witch. For another, she just has a more fun personality. Her manic nature just makes for a good counterpoint for Cryptie’s usual deadpan pun humor. For yet another thing, I just find watching the Witch’s magic a lot more fun than seeing the Vaultkeeper’s many gizmos in action. Witchy just makes for a lot more of a fun time in my opinion.

Season 2 of this cartoon got off to a great start and I can’t wait to see more. What will tomorrow’s edition of Crypt-ober have in store for us? I guess you’ll just have to put in some more quarters to find out. Will you continue with me tomorrow or is it game over for you? Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ve stockpiled some lives… Let’s see what lies on the next level.

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