|Publisher(s)||Ocean Software Amsoft|
|System(s)||Arcade, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, C64, MS-DOS, Dragon 32/64, MSX, Oric, VIC-20, ZX Spectrum|
|Followed by||Hunchback II: Quasimodo's Revenge|
|YouTube Gaming||Hunchback Channel|
Hunchback is a platform game that was developed by Ocean Software and published by Century Electronics to the arcades in 1983. Ports were made for most home computer systems of the time by Ocean Software in 1984. It was their first arcade port. The exceptions to this are the Amstrad CPC version which was developed by Amsoft, the BBC Micro version (which had already been released by Superior Software), and a later port for the MSX in 1985. There is a 1989 fan remake for MS-DOS by Robert Schmidt, based on the BBC version. Hunchback continues to inspire developers and gamers. The game-play mechanics of Hunchback were the inspiration for iOS game The Rescue.
You play as Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame (the famous character from the 1831 Victor Hugo novel that takes place in Paris, France), and you must help the beautiful Esmeralda who is held prisoner in the highest tower of the cathedral. Many spearmen, archers, and knights will try to get in your way, but Quasimodo is agile and can jump around with the help of the ropes used to ring the bells! The game is set on a castle wall. The player must cross the screen from left to right avoiding obstacles in order to ring the church bell at the far right. Obstacles include pits, which must be swung over on a long rope, ramparts which must be jumped over (some of which contain knights with spears), and flying fireballs and arrows (to be ducked under or jumped over). Eventually, after completing a number of screens, the player must rescue Esmeralda. If this final screen is completed, the game begins again at a faster speed.
The hunchback character was originally to be Robin Hood. Hence the green costume and the game stages with arrows. The artist who drew the Robin Hood character left the company before the decision to change the theme to Hunchback. By the time a new artist was taken on, the green costume had become accepted and no-one questioned it (someone commented that the Robin Hood character, as drawn, looked like a hunchback).