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adventuretime2

Why am I clumping Hugo II and II together when Hugo I got its own article? Because I want to.

SPOILER ALERT!

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Hugo II: Whodunit or Hugo’s Mystery Adventure Is the second entry into the Hugo adventure game trilogy released in 1991. I’ll be playing the enhanced Windows version with a added mouse interface and midi music. Well Hugo II is the second game ive played in my Adventure Game Time series and I almost gave up at one point but luckly I endured and I did complete this one. First off on a technical level this game is very much like the first game in the series with no noticeable game play improvements. The art style is basically the same. One thing I will say is that this game is a little bit harder then the first game, though not for the right reasons, and it is longer with several more screens then the first game had.

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One of the first things to notice is that after playing a brief opening as Hugo your placed into the character of Penelope, Hugo’s girlfriend for the bulk of the rest of the game though they game would be no different if you played as Hugo himself except for maybe the groundskeeper wouldn’t hit on you. The plot is that after the events of the first game Hugo and Penelope are in England visiting uncle Horus when Hugo goes missing and Penelope witnesses uncle Horcus death and sets off to find Hugo and solve the murder mystery. The problem for me is the setting just feels a little pedestrian and boring compared to the haunted house theme of the original and I never really felt drawn in. The game takes place on the estate and the lavish grounds area complete with annoying hedge maze and underground caverns.

hugoii6I think this looks like a digitized image converted to EGA

The game started off easy enough and I found no real difficulties. Like the first game the logic and inventory puzzles are for the most part logical and with a little thought most can be easily overcome. The hedge maze isn’t all that difficult either and I found all the items needed within with just wondering and no real map making. I did quickly come across some sections that nearly ruined the game and something I tend to find infuriating in an adventure game and that is sections that require almost pixel perfect navigation to get through. Even worse is that it almost seems like the results of your navigating these sections is random and that following the same path will at times get you through and at other times end in your death and a restore. The collision detection is just terrible in these spots. The first section is a lawn filled with killer venus fly traps (it was a coincidence the day before I bought 2 fly traps for the apt.). Anyways you need to navigate them to retrieve a magnifying glass item but till almost the end of the game I thought you needed an item to get through since I failed to be able to navigate around the plants multipal times. I only finally made progress by complete luck and getting through these parts requires a lot of saving and restoring as you go. The second section like this is when your attempting to cross a bridge and if you touch the edge you drop your matches into the river and soak them, thus destroying a vital item. I’ll get to the third instance in a moment.

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There are some interesting parts such as running into that old man from the first game that asked all the trivia questions before you could proceed. I cringed when I encountered him but lucky a lesson was learned from the first game and Penelope simply bashes him over the head and knocks him out. Another section sees you entering a phone booth and transporting to another planet where you have to figure out how to kill a Dalek or “robot” as the game describes it. The Dr. then grants you a “Sonar Scewdriver” as a reward. The problem here is its easy enough to figure out how to kill the Dalek but if your not familiar with the Dr. Who series you have no idea when to use the screwdriver. As a nerd I had a general idea of Dr. Who but never watched the series so I was at a loss. I had to text my friend who was a fan (since my rules forbid googling) and asked what the screwdriver does on the show. Apparently  it does many things but chiefly among those things seems to be it opens doors which is what this one is used for later in the game.

hugoii11My first encounter didn’t turn out well

There’s also a path you must follow with a poisonous snake on it. You cant avoid the snake and you will get bitten. After this you have a limited amount of time to figure out how to treat the bite. I kept dying at first because I lacked the item needed but after going back I found it and its not hard to figure out. Again, that’s a good point about this game is the puzzles are mostly logical. Getting back to the third instance of bad pixel perfect movement. The part that almost led me to give up on this game is I had come to a point that I could not seem to proceed. I knew there was a door I had to get past and I knew I needed the Genie to help me. I knew he needed a moldy banana and I knew that the banana was on the other side of a chasm. The problem was I had no idea how to cross it.

hugoii16me crossing said chasm

Now after attempting to use every item in various ways I noticed an obscured lower section and I’ve seen this trick of the hidden way before so I attempted to cross, fell, and died. Tried again with the same effect. I also tried auto navigating by licking on the banana but Penelope just walked in a bee line to her death. I really rattled my brains here until again by accident I discovered there was a way where I suspected to cross. Why she didn’t make it the other times I first attempted this I have no idea but it almost cost me the completion. After this you make your way back into the house, solve a few more puzzles that lead to recovering evidence and then the police show up. I did enjoy that when all the suspects are gathered the snake from earlier as well as Dr. Who are there. in the end you find out that no one actually murdered uncle Horus and what you really witnessed was the practicing of a play. “What a Twist!” as Mr. Shyamalan might say.

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And that’s basically it. There’s a brief section at the end before the big reveal where you have to figure out how to escape a laundry room that Hugo had accidentally trapped himself in the whole time that was fun. The whole game is also filled with Red Herring jokes that can invoke a smile. So did I enjoy this adventure? not really. This game was a challenge at points but it was a challenge for the wrong reasons. The sections requiring the pixel perfect movement were infuriating. The game is longer then the first game but not by much and I completed it in a few hours. It would of been probably an hour less then that if it wasn’t for the stupid chasm section. Even though the first game was much shorter and less of a challenge I enjoyed it more and also the theme and atmosphere of the first game appealed to me more.

on scales from 1-5

difficulty – 2 (for the wrong reasons)

Plot – 2

Playability –  3

Characters – 2

Graphics – 2

Sound – 1 (2 for the windows version)

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And now for the final Hugo III or Hugo’s Amazon Adventure.

hugoiii1Someone needs to tell Mr. Gray either that there are no elephants in South America or that the there is no Amazon in Africa.

Hugo III takes place after the events of Hugo II with Hugo and Penelope flying home when their airplane crashes in the Amazon. Soon after the crash Penelope is bitten by a rare spider and your tasked with finding and retrieving water from the magical spring, the only the thing that can cure the spider venom. First off the scenery and mostly outdoors areas is a welcome change of pace and the jungel setting is rendered fairly well. Its mostly on the same level as the other two games but at least Hugo is wearing a nice safari outfit now instead of his bizarrely colored wardrobe from his other games.

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If you experienced Hugo I and II then the third game is mostly the same experience. I don’t have very much to say about this game since despite the setting its very similar to the previous games. This game though is very very short and would take an average person and hour or perhaps two to get through. Its roughly the same length as the first game but it actually felt a little shorter to me but then the old mans riddles section made the first game feel longer to me then it actually was. Also as the previous games the puzzles are all pretty logical and relatively easy to figure out. The only section that stumped me for awhile (meaning roughly 30 minutes was figuring out that there was a witch doctors hut in town. Once I figured this out by going east once in the native village I was captured by the witch doctor and stuck in a cage. figuring out how to escape I think was probably the most challenge puzzle in Hugo III and I could see how someone may not figure it out. It involves making a voodoo doll of the doctor out of molding clay that you had in your plane. I spend a good 20 minutes trying to figure something out when I decided on a strange impulse to say “make mask of doctor with clay” which triggered Hugo making an effigy of the doctor instead. From this I figured out the rest and soon after he was incapacitated.

hugoii8ew-E ew-ah-ah ting tang watta watta bing bang

Other then the witch doctor section it was all rather simple deducing. Thankfully the mistakes of the past two games were not repeated and Hugo III lacked both trivia questions and sections that force you to make pixel perfect navigation. There were no hidden passages behind rocks either for once. The old man does make an appearance though at the very end but really he only serves as a means to make sure you have the magic water before you can return to Penelope.

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 Even though I preferred the theme and setting of the first Hugo I would say that technically this is the best game of the trilogy. The puzzles for the most part make since and it lacks the annoyances of the previous games such as the trivia questions, hidden passages and difficult navigation sections. The game is though awfully short which is a shame as it would of been nice to see this on be a little longer. One thing to note is there is actually a little side quest involving obtaining the old mans crystal ball that was dropped behind a boulder. You don’t need to do it but if you want the maximum points you need to.

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on scales from 1-5

difficulty – 2

Plot – 2

Playability –  3

Characters – 2

Graphics – 2

Sound – 1 (2 for the windows version)

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5 Comments

  1. Yet another good review. The part about texting your dr who friend made me laugh, and is a great alternative to googling.

    • Thanks, pretending to live in a pre internet world can be pretty daunting sometimes but think its adds a level of difficulty to these kind of games that makes completion so much more satisfying.

  2. The game looks as if it was made with MS Paint! 😀

    • its really crude at times but it gets the job done. I would say what can you expect from a game done chiefly by one guy but then look at “Out of the Wold, I believe that game was also the work of mainly one individual (I could be mistaken though).

      • It sure looks like that. I made a few games with Click & Play who looked similar to this, only less advanced. I tried to make a Terminator 2 game which was so-so… and it didn’t look any better than this.


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