Hugo II: Whodunit?
Hugo II: Whodunit? is graphic adventure puzzle video game developed and published by David Gray and released for MS-DOS on 1991-02-10 and later ported to Windows. It is the second game in the Hugo series, the sequel to Hugo's House of Horrors and followed later by Hugo III: Jungle of Doom! In this game, the player primarily controls Hugo's girlfriend Penelope who is trying to solve a murder mystery.
I believe I first played this game on a shareware compilation disk around 1994. I had already beaten the first game, and I got nearly to the end of this game, but I had unknowingly put the game into an unwinnable state which prevented me from beating it. Years later I decided to try again, and, after learning how the game could be made unwinnable and bypassing it, I was able to beat the game on 2018-06-24.
I do not own the game, but I have beaten it with 349/350 points with minor hints.
Best Version: MS-DOS
— This section contains spoilers! —
- It's always nice to have a female lead character since it happens so rarely.
- A couple puzzles have atypical solutions, like the chasm and the maid.
- The game engine has been slightly improved to handle archived data files.
- There are a couple mysterious moments with some of the game's characters.
- The music and sound effects are extremely dated. They would be passable (though unimpressive) for a late 1980s game, but they were unacceptable in 1991.
- Despite being billed as a mystery game, there is no real mystery to solve. I took notes throughout the game about possible murder weapons and tried to establish motives, but none of them amounted to anything. Everything ended up just as the crossword puzzle suggests: a red herring.
- The map geometry in several areas doesn't make sense, like out in the street and by the back door.
- There are a couple guess-the-verb type problems where I knew what I wanted to do, but I had to word the command in a specific way to do it.
- Dexterity puzzles, like the Venus fly traps, the bridge, and the dynamite no longer amuse me.
- There are some minor bugs in the game engine that allow you to sometimes get stuck in the walls.
- There are several commands that have a universal effect, but in error. For example, you can look at a plant or picture in every room, regardless if one exists. When you're playing as Penelope, and type "LOOK SELF" you get the response, "It's the handsome Hugo!" You can give catnip in every room even without a cat. There are several others.
- The ending is kind of lame.
- The hand-drawn EGA graphics are just awful for 1991; Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge came out the same year. Some of the photos turned into backgrounds could have been decent, but they're poorly colored and the style clashes with the hand-drawn backgrounds. Also, lot of graphics are reused from the first game. The gardener, genie, dog, switch panel, old man, etc. As the game is a "graphic" adventure, this is one of the most important areas of focus. If the game came out five years earlier, it would be a decent title, but so many other superior games were made by 1991 it just looks shoddy.
- There are a couple ways to put the game in an unwinnable state, and one is not readily apparent.
This is all of the shareware versions of the Hugo games I could find including Hugo II: Whodunit? for DOS and Windows. You can still buy the game from the author.