- Uninvited (game)
Infobox VG| title = Uninvited
caption = "Uninvited" box art for the MS-DOS version.
developer = ICOM Simulations, Inc.
released = 1986 (Mac) 1991 (NES) 1993 (Windows)
Apple IIGS Commodore Amiga Atari ST Commodore 64 Apple MacintoshNES Famicom PC PocketPC
input = Mouse Keyboard
"Uninvited" is a
haunted house"point-and-click" adventure video gameoriginally for the Macintosh, released in 1986 by ICOM Simulations. The unnamed hero must find the way through an abandoned house in order to rescue a sibling. The quest involves magic and solving logical puzzles while discovering sinister secrets of the house's former inhabitants.
The game uses the
MacVentureengine that was introduced in ICOM's previous game, "". It is notable as the only MacVenture that takes place in the present day.
History of releases
A number of ports were made, including a version for the
Nintendo Entertainment Systemin 1991. Two years later, a complete rewrite for Microsoft Windowswas released. For some time it was claimed that there would be a sequel on the NES, but it never materialized. Employees at Infinite Ventures(maintainers of the MacVenture game series) indicate that no such game was ever planned.
etting and gameplay
The player regains consciousness from a car crash in front of a large, old
mansion. The player's sibling (a younger brother in the computer version but an older sister in the NES version) is gone, and the car is soon lost, as it bursts into flames. The only option is to enter the house looking for said sibling – and for help.
The main house consists of two floors (and a tower), most parts being in early 20th century style. Some rooms (e.g. the servant's bedroom) have newer decoration, suggesting that a younger person lived in that particular place. No help is to be found, as there is not a single living soul inhabiting the house. It isn't long before the player is greeted by the first
It gradually becomes evident that the house once belonged to a sorcerer with a number of apprentices. Dracan, the most talented apprentice, became corrupt and killed the other inhabitants with his magic, resulting in the house becoming haunted.
Aside from the house, there are three backyard buildings to explore: the
observatory, where some of the final events take place; the greenhouse, which is not as infertile as it first seems; and the chapel, which leads into a cemeterymaze. Several places are guarded by magical creatures, including apparitions, hellhounds, and zombies, as well as some more unconventional entities; one is a tiny demonthat flies by periodically, holding a key.
The quest to rescue the player's sibling is mostly a matter of gaining access to the locked-up or guarded parts of the estate. As in the other
MacVenturegames, there is a time limit; in this case, the evilpresence of the mansion gradually takes control, and the player may eventually end up as a zombie. This element is partially absent from the NES version, as it is instead caused by a useless item that may be avoided. Since the story largely revolves around magic, many of the game's puzzles seem illogical. Hints for these and bits of the background story are unraveled in the various diaries and scrolls found within the grounds. Still, because the gameplayis very non-linear, the ending is somewhat abrupt.
* The address on the envelope that contains the amulet indicates that the house is in
Loch Ness, Scotland. However, a domestic car would have its steering wheel on the side opposite from what is shown in the game.
* Self-reference: Examining the photograph in the hallway gives the following text: "It looks like a still reproduced from F.W. Murnau's film, "
Nosferatu." There seems to be a familiar face in the background. On closer examination, it appears to be Dave Feldman, whose wit and insight was a valuable asset in the creation of "Uninvited."
* In the original version, the record player in the Rec room plays a digitized excerpt of "Winchester Cathedral" (allegedly performed by
Rudy Vallée), a song by The New Vaudeville Band, referencing the early 20th century theme of the game's environment. This is an anachronism, however, as that song is in a 1920s style but was recorded in 1966. The record is also mentioned to have a "MacNifty label", which is a reference to the audio recorder SoundCapmarketed by MacNifty, which was used to put the song sample in the game.
* The peculiar (but common to
adventure games) absence of toilets is noted in Dracan's bathroom: "This bathroom is cold and dark. There is no toilet. Whoever lived here really did have a mysterious way of doing things."
* In the maze behind the estate, one of the tombstones belongs to "Ace Harding", the hero of "". Another tombstone belongs to Talimar, the Warlock Lord, from
Shadowgate. If you select HIT on the tombstones, a zombie will appear. When you talk to them, they will describe themselves as the characters of the previous games.
* On the star map there is a tiny black hole, which can be used to enter a hidden room full of statues.
As with the other NES MacVenture games, "Uninvited" has now music and had elements of the written
narrationand storyline altered, including these:
* In the NES version, if you use the
phonographin the Game room (Rec room in original versions), you'll hear a broken-record version of the main theme from " Shadowgate", another NES-ported game in the MacVentureseries. (A similar gag appears in another point-and-click game, " Maniac Mansion".)
* As mentioned above, the sibling trapped in the mansion is changed from a younger brother to an older sister in the NES version.
* As with the other NES ports, the game texts were severely simplified, in some cases also adding hints or elucidations for the gameplay. As an example, a hallway picture reads as follows in the NES version: "It's a small, (sic) painting of a young fellow."
* In the original game, the address was, "Master Crowley, 666 Blackwell Road, Loch Ness, Scotland". However, at the time the game was released,
Nintendohad stringent policy necessitating the removal of any remotely offensive material. [cite web
last = Crockford
first = Douglas
authorlink = Douglas Crockford
url = http://crockford.com/wrrrld/maniac.html
title = The Expurgation of Maniac Mansion
accessmonthday = June 5
accessyear = 2006
curly =] [ [http://www.filibustercartoons.com/Nintendo.php Nintendo's Era of Censorship] ] Rather than create a new address, it was simply shortened to "Master Crowley". This is likely a reference to
occultist Aleister Crowley, but Nintendo (perhaps unknowingly) allowed the name to remain in the game. Other changes that may relate to censorship issues, are pentagrams turned into stars (or, in one case, a ruby) and a cross into a chalice (while another cross that only served as decoration was removed altogether).
German magazine "
Data Welt" praised the Amiga version's user-friendliness, good graphics and particularly the atmospheric sound, calling the game (translated:) "excellent" and "even better than "Deja Vu". (No score was given.) [Citation | last = Tai | first = Th. | title = Uninvited | newspaper = Data Welt| pages = 174–175 | date = July/August 1987 issue] " Computer Gaming World" found the game to be enjoyable and innovative, praising the game's use of graphics and almost exclusive use of the mouse as a way of eliminating frustration. As such, the game was described as "much easier to work with than pure text or text and graphic adventure games."citation | date = Aug-Sept 1987 | last = Wagner | first = Roy | periodical = Computer Gaming World| title = Uninvited | year = 1987 | pages = 40-41]
* [http://www.infiniteventures.com/uninvited.shtml Infinite Ventures' "Uninvited" site]
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