Hugo II: Whodunit?
Hugo II: Whodunit? is graphical 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.
- 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.
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.