If you’re like me you love Goosebumps: Escape from Horrorland. It’s a fun, tongue-in-cheek FMV adventure game from the golden age of adventure games in the mid-90’s.
I grew up with it, and the whole Goosebumps franchise. So, naturally, as an adult, it’s fun to go back and play the game you used to. However, it’s not always possible as a game from 1996 was designed to run on Windows 95 and not Windows 10. Well, I screwed around with it for ages and finally got it running on Windows 10 and here’s a step by step of how to do it.
Before you start please be aware you’re going to need Windows 98 or XP running in a virtual machine for this method to work so just bear that in mind.
Alright, here we go:
First download and mount the Escape from Horrorland CD image or insert the CD in your PC’s drive if you have it.
Attempting to run the setup file will give you this prompt. However, don’t fret, we’re not screwed yet.
Now, what we’re going to do is essentially copy the files from an install on a virtual machine. If you have something like Windows 98 or XP on a virtual machine then just run the installer from there and it works fine. I would highly recommend running the game from a Windows 98 virtual machine, or XP if you’re desperate. However, if you’re dead set on running this game on Windows 10 keep reading. As far as I know only XP supports dragging and dropping from Guest to Host and vice versa from software like VirtualBox so you’ll need to install from Windows XP if you’re going to want to run this on Windows 10.
So, grab the Dreamworks Interactive folder from XP and drag it into your host Windows 10 Program Files (x86) folder.
You want the path to look like the above. Next go into your DreamWorks Interactive folder and find this file.
Right click it, select “Properties” and then “Compatibility” as above. Check the boxes I have checked. It is absolutely essential that you tick “Run this program as an administrator” as if you don’t do this any changes you make to gboption will reset as soon as you close the window.
Run gboption and this will appear. Uncheck both boxes and then click “OK”
Next find the file gb in the same folder. Do the same to get back to Compatibility and then check the boxes so they match the screenshot above. Hit “OK”
Run setup95 from the same folder. If you don’t have it look in the Dropbox link above and download it. Now click “Install”
Don’t mess with anything here when this pops up and hit “OK” – you will get some errors, but don’t worry the game will still run after one more step. Double click on setup95 again and hit “Install” again. I am not sure why but this is neccessary for the software to run. Don’t restart, it isn’t neccessary.
Now when you double click on setup95 “Play” will be clickable and you should be able to run the software.
As I mentioned before. You want to run this from a Windows 98 virtual machine and I will tell you why.
The game will run fine until you exit Werewolf Village and find yourself in Horrorland Plaza. Attempt to click on anything and the game will crash. I cannot figure out why this happens and nothing I have done has been able to remedy this. As I mentioned before, this game is from 1996 and so without some serious debugging expertise it isn’t likely going to be runnable on Windows 10 without some heavy modification.
When I attempted to run the game in Windows XP it installed and ran fine with only minor compatibility options needing to be checked. However, my virtual machine also ran the game at such a poor video frame rate that the video was essentially unwatchable.
So I tried it in a Windows 98 virtual machine and it installed quickly and ran perfectly with no frame rate problems.
So, what do I do to play the game?
Luckily everything you need to run Horrorland is available for free on the internet. Here is what you’ll need:
- Go here and download Windows 98 Second Edition (OEM Full) using the serials provided at the top of the window when prompted in your VM.
- Go here and download VMWare Player and install Windows 98 on it.
- When you’re ready to install Goosebumps click on “Player” – “Manage” and VM Settings and then make sure your VM settings look like this. Make sure your CD Drive is “connected” and select whatever ISO image you’ve got to mount to install the game and install as you normally would. When you need to change discs hit CTRL+ALT and then do the same thing. Also make sure VMWare Tools is installed or everything will look terrible.
That’s it. You should now be able to play Goosebumps: Escape from Horrorland on your computer. If you have any questions leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading and good luck!
EDIT: THIS IS IMPORTANT
This game is designed to run at 640×480 so to make it full screen you’ll need to run both your VM resolution at that and also your computer resolution at that to make it so you’re not playing in a tiny screen on your monitor that is barely readable. It takes 2 seconds to change your resolution so it’s not a big deal. Change it back when you’re done.