Hugo's House of Horrors
Hugo's House of Horrors is graphic adventure puzzle video game developed and published by David Gray and released for MS-DOS on 1990-01-01 and later ported to Windows. It uses a game engine similar to those used by Sierra On-Line years earlier. It is the first game in the Hugo series of games and followed up by Hugo II: Whodunit? The story is rather typical: the girlfriend of Hugo has been kidnapped and taken into a mansion. The game uses a haunted house theme with various Halloween and horror movie tropes.
I believe my mother got me this game at a shareware game swap. I played the game so much that I not only beat it, but made a hand-written full-score walk-though, complete game script, and documented various game bugs.
I do not own the game, but I have beaten the game with a full score, without hints.
Best Version: MS-DOS
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The game is trope-heavy, but that makes it rather charming.
- There is a decent variety of puzzles and none of them are unfair.
- I like the trivia section which includes references to The Hobbit, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- All of the puzzles are pretty straight-forward and there aren't really any alternate methods of defeating them.
- The developer used a silly excused for having the player drop the mask before entering the lab so it wouldn't cause problems with the animation. A much better solution would have been to lock the wardrobe and give the player the key only after they solved the puzzle in the lab.
- There are a couple bugs in the game that can be exploited, but they're minor.
- It's possible to put the game in an unwinnable state, but it's pretty obvious when you do.
- The story is lacking, the theme is tired, the game is too short, and the ending is unfulfilling.
- The graphic and sound fidelity was very dated (King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! came out only months later!). The art and music production is also clearly amateur with poorly drawn graphics with pixels often left uncolored and jumpy animation.
This is all of the shareware versions of the Hugo games I could find including Hugo's House of Horrors for DOS and Windows. You can still buy the game from the author.