49: Hollywood Hijinx


Publisher:
Infocom
Developer: Infocom
Year:
1986
Platform:
DOS, Macintosh, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodoe 64

Review: One of just a few games on this countdown that are text only, Hollywood Hijinx is one of Infocom’s unsung gems.  Your rich aunt has just passed on, and you were the favorite nephew, chosen to inherit the large fortune. However, she needs to know if you are clever enough to be worthy of holding the family finances. She has given you twelve hours to explore her mansion and find the ten “treasures,” or leftover props from her husband’s popular B-movies.

Hijinx captures the flavor of the times and the B-movie industry wonderfully, and is funny throughout. Most of the puzzles are very easy, with only a few mind benders to plunge through. But if you’re just looking for a good time and a few good laughs, this game is great.

Contemporary RatingLow.  There’s a copyright protection puzzle, but thankfully it’s at the very beginning and the answer can be easily obtained on the internet.  But what the modern gamer really wouldn’t put up with is the 12 hour time limit.  When I played it, my first run through was gathering information, solving some puzzles, making a detailed map.  On my second playthrough, I knew everything I need to do in order to beat the time limit.

Cruelty Rating:  Nasty.  You can make the game unwinnable when messing with various props, though it should be obvious that you’ve done so.  Considering you know you’re going to have to start the game over from scratch at some point anyway, it’s not a huge deal.  The game isn’t terribly long once you know what to do.

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