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Sega Goes To Hollywood With The Corey Haim Game Double Switch [Exclusive] | Retro-Specs

In this week’s Retro-Specs, we venture back to 1993.  Sega revolutionized the gaming industry when Hollywood and game developers worked together to create the Sega CD game, Double Switch, starring Corey Haim!

Many great things happened in 1993. MTV played P.M. Dawn in heavy rotation. Jurassic Park grossed almost a billion dollars at the box office. Chevy Chase hosted his own television show on Fox. 1993 also saw the release of the second Sega CD system model and the interactive video game, Double Switch, starring the late, great actor Corey Haim.

Console Wars

In the early ’90s a console war broke out between Sega and Nintendo. Each company battled for top sales and surpassed each other by developing its brand with the best-advanced hardware in the world. Although Nintendo won the battle in the long run, Sega took home the gold when they released their revolutionary laser lens Sega CD system, an add-on to the Genesis console. Sega CD came with a larger memory and storage capacity thanks to its CD-ROM. These groundbreaking advances meant your video game machine could play your new Spin Doctors CD, and more importantly, digitized video. Sega’s innovations led to the concept of full-motion video and a new generation of cutting-edge gaming technology emerged.

Taking It To The Next Level

One of the most notable Sega CD games to come from this era was Double Switch: The Cinematic Mystery. The American company, Digital Pictures, created the game while spearheading the full-motion video movement. With Double Switch the motion picture industry and the gaming word collided. This game blurred the lines between gaming and a Hollywood production; it contained over an hour of full-motion movie entertainment.


Double Switch used real actors, a real production crew, and filmed in a professional Hollywood studio. The distinguished cast consisted of 1980’s teen idol Corey Haim (The Lost Boys), singer Debbie Harry of Blondie, R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket), David Packer (V: The Final Battle), Irwin Keys (The Jeffersons), Taylor Negron (Fast Times At Ridgemont High), Camille Cooper (Shocker), and my favorite vampire in The Lost Boys, the late Brooke McCarter. (Fun fact: The 2 Lost Boys cast members were roommates at the time of filming). Famous director, Mary Lambert, known for her work on Pet Semetary and many popular music videos directed the game and Hollywood industry veteran, James Riley, wrote the game’s storyline. Not to mention Grammy-nominated new wave pop musician, Thomas Dolby, composed the game’s eerie score.

Award-winning cinematographer, Sandi Sissel, responded to my e-mail and reminisced about her time working on Double Switch.

“I certainly remember working with Mary Lambert on Double Switch but of course it is almost 30 years ago at this point”, she told LRM Online. “I had worked previously with Mary on commercials and films and this fit into the exact same category and style of shooting. The production designer had built an amazing set on stage and my gaffer, key grip and I lit the sets exactly the same way that we did on a film. Being the first time I had worked on a video game I was most dependent on Mary and the script supervisor to explain each scene to the fullest.”

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“I had worked with R. Lee Ermey and Debbie Harry before and they portrayed their characters as any actor might do so in a narrative setting. The largest character in the game was portrayed by Corey Haim and he worked very closely with Mary. As far as production went we shot on 35mm film and used steadicam, crane and dolly shots as needed.”

(H)aim To Please

This interactive mystery movie game takes place in an Egyptian themed apartment building called the Edward Arms. Eddie (Corey Haim) is stuck in the basement. He wants to escape but needs your help to free him. It’s your responsibility to protect the tenants from intruders snooping around the building looking for treasure hidden inside. The rooms come equipped with surveillance cameras and the player must trap villains using Eddie’s state-of-the-art security system. Every time you click on a room a surveillance video shows the people inside and you learn more about the story. If you mess up, Eddie scolds you, so follow his orders or he’ll cut your feed from the security cameras, and the game restarts. It’s a fun game where the player controls the movie and watches the story unfold.

Game Over

A common complaint about the Sega CD full-motion video games had to do with its limited replay value. Double Switch was constructed to watch videos in order to know what’s going on, but if you watch the video in full you miss something in another room, resulting in a game over. This encouraged the player to learn the mechanics of the game by continuously starting over to watch all the videos in full in order to win the game. The style of the game was cool for a movie but it became confusing and repetitive. As the mid ’90s approached and new technologies arrived, full-motion video became outdated and replaced by 3-D games. This was the end of an era, or so we thought…

Photo Courtesy Of Limited Run Games

Extra Life

After a solid four-year run Sega CD was officially discontinued in 1996. The full-motion video technology faded but some Sega CD games recently found new life. The video game preservation company and publisher, Limited Run Games, rereleased a 25thanniversary edition of Double Switch on Playstation4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.   This impressive special edition includes a poster, production photos, and even the soundtrack on cassette. We know there’s a demand for retro gaming because all formats sold out during the pre-sale. I’m a loyal Corey Haim fan so Double Switch has been in my game collection for over two decades, although I never even owned a Sega CD machine! I’m glad all the video and deleted scenes from this full-motion game can now be found on YouTube for us Haimster and gamer fans to enjoy.

Sadly, many people in this game have passed away but I tracked down rockstar guitarist, Jon E. Love, and conducted an 8-bit Zoom interview.  One of the rooms we look into in Double Switch shows the band, SCREAM, auditioning for a talent scout (Taylor Negron). Love talked about how he got this role in Double Switch and his experience working on a full-motion video game. He also spoke about his guitar influences and recalled some fun behind the scenes antics with Corey Haim and Brooke McCarter. Last but not least, he talked about his rock band, Love/Hate, and the chances of a reunion.

Did you ever own the Sega CD system and play a full-motion video game?  Anyone purchase the Double Switch 25th Anniversary release?  Some of the re-released came with the original SAG production sheets with Corey Haim’s signature on it. If you scored one, hit me up, I’m buyin’!

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