|Developer(s)||ICOM Simulations, Kemco|
|System(s)||Apple IIGS, Mac OS, Atari ST, Commodore 64/128, Commodore Amiga, NES, DOS, Windows, Pocket PC|
Uninvited is a horror-themed point-and-click adventure game developed originally for the Macintosh by ICOM Simulations released in 1986 by Mindscape. The game uses the MacVenture engine that was introduced in ICOM's prior game, Deja Vu: a Nightmare Comes True. here are several versions of the game, the first of which being adapted to the Macintosh. As with most MacVenture games, it features no sound, instead guiding the player by narration only. Many ports followed, including a NES version published by Kemco and localized into Japanese.
The quest to rescue the player's sibling is mostly a matter of gaining access to the locked or guarded parts of the estate. As in the other MacVenture games, there is a time limit. But unlike a regular time limit that is based on seconds or minutes, the time limit in Uninvited is based on moves (a move is defined as speaking to a character, entering a room, observing an object, or using an item). If the player runs out of moves, the evil presence of the mansion takes control, and the player eventually ends 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 gameplay is very non-linear, the ending is somewhat abrupt.
The game starts the player in a car that has been recently crashed--and is about to explode. After regaining his senses and slowly realize that he in danger, the unnamed protagonist manages to escape the exploding car. After recovering from that shock, the hero realizes that his sibling is missing (a younger brother in the original Mac version, or an older sister in the NES port). After looking around, the player will notice an ominous mansion several steps away. The only option is to enter the mansion looking for the lost sibling. It is not long before the player is greeted by the first undead dweller.
The unnamed hero must find the way through an abandoned house in order to rescue a sibling. The quest involves magic and solving logic puzzles while discovering sinister secrets of the house's former inhabitants. 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 decor. No help is to be found, as there is not a single living person inhabiting the house.
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 cemetery maze. Several places are guarded by magical creatures, including apparitions, hellhounds, and zombies, as well as some more unconventional entities; one is a tiny demon that flies by periodically, holding a key.
There is also an art gallery room hidden in the house. To access the room, the player has to collect two lamps from a fireplace, and click on an odd dot on a painting in a study room. The player will then be teleported to a room containing paintings and sculptures. A door in the art gallery room brings the player to the hall of the observatory. Accessing the art gallery is possible in all versions of Uninvited except those on the Commodore 64 and NES.
As with the other MacVenture games, Uninvited, known in Japan as Akuma no Shōtaijō (悪魔の招待状? lit. "The Devil's Invitation"), added music, and elements of the written narration and storyline were altered, including:
- In the NES version, if the player uses the phonograph in the Game room (Rec room in original versions), a broken-record version of the main theme from Shadowgate, another NES-ported game in the MacVenture series,will play. (A similar gag appears in another point-and-click game, Maniac Mansion).
- The sibling trapped in the mansion is changed from a younger brother to an older sister in the NES version.
- The NES version has no time limit unless the player picks up the ruby in one of the bedrooms. Even then, the player can drop the ruby to terminate the time limit.
- 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, 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, Nintendo of America had stringent policy necessitating the removal of any remotely offensive material. 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).
- Beyond the game texts being simplified for the NES port, some of the death texts were edited or altered due to their rather graphic descriptions.
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