Format reviewed: Amiga 1200
Developer: ICOM Simulations
Submitted by: Graham Pierrepoint
Ever accidentally locked yourself in a cage in your attic with no way of getting out? Ever been torn to shreds by Scarlett O’Hara’s living corpse? Ever tried to rid your hedge maze of evil levitating spacehoppers by tempting them away with a cat? If your answers are ‘no’, then clearly you’ve never played Uninvited.
Released in 1986 on various formats (the Amiga and NES versions being perhaps best known), Uninvited is a point-and-click adventure that puts you in the shoes of a concerned sibling, out to rescue your younger brother from the clutches of a supposedly haunted house. The ‘supposedly’ soon becomes ‘literally’ as the game takes you through a veritable fairground waltzer of dodgy demons, satanic symbolism, and of course, ruddy taxing puzzles.
The game is much in the same league as Shadowgate and Deja Vu, putting you in the third person, and requiring you to interact with the items and rooms that greet you along your way, in the hope that you may succeed in your quest. Much of the puzzles that you need to beat in order to pass certain obstacles are often cryptic and trial-and-error, and some are downright stupid.
This doesn’t make the game any less playable. Uninvited is notable for its grisly death sequences – see picture for reference for the most infamous death sequence in the game, where merely looking at what appears to be Scarlett O’Hara in the hallway of the mansion will result in you being torn into itty bitty chunks. Of course, as interactive fiction, you get a picture and some text – but as many of you here appreciate, the old ways are often the most effective.
A rarely-known game these days, there are a couple of YouTube Let’s Plays which elude to the sheer scale of this labyrinth game, but outside of these it’s probably pretty unlikely we’ll see a reprise on Xbox Live or anything of the like. You’d probably get an achievement for waiting in the car for too long at the start of the game, though. This, naturally, kills you.