Hugo II: Whodunit?
Hugo II: Whodunit? is an adventure puzzle 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.
- Overall: 2/10
- Best Version: DOS
— This section contains spoilers! —
- It's always nice to have a female lead character since it happens so rarely.
- A couple puzzles have an interesting 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 hand-drawn graphics are awful for 1991; Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge came out the same year. Some of the photos turned into backgrounds are decent, but they're poorly colored and the style clashes with the hand-drawn backgrounds.
- A lot of graphics are reused from the first game. The gardener, genie, dog, switch panel, old man, etc. Kind of cheap.
- The music and sound effects are very dated, and not that great even for the 80s, let alone 1991.
- The maze is pretty annoying. There isn't any creativity to it, it's just a maze that must be mapped out entirely to make sure you find everything.
- There are a couple ways to put the game in an unwinnable state, and one is not readily apparent.
- Despite being billed as a mystery game, there is no real mystery to solve. I took notes throughout the game, but none of them amounted to anything, and everything is just as the crossword puzzle indicates, 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.
- When you're playing as Penelope, and type "LOOK SELF" you get the response, "It's the handsome Hugo!"
- There are several commands that have a universal effect. You can look at a plant or picture in every room, regardless if one exists. You can give catnip in every room even without a cat, etc.
- The ending is kind of lame.
- While the game has no real serious flaws, over all it's not that great. If it came out in 1984, I'd be impressed, but not 1991.
- youtube.com/watch?v=EiXsaSsJHaE - Longplay.
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.