Personal Computer News28th July 1983
Published in Personal Computer News #021
Hot off the presses we have Hummer House of Horror - a part, we are told, of a "sensational collection of mind warping games" from Captain Lasersound. It's an adventure game set in a haunted house, and your objective is to race against the clock to rescue... well a maiden, of course.
Getting the thing loaded in the first place was something of an adventure. Enter LOAD"", say the instructions, and the process is entirely automatic from there on. This will puzzle many an unfortunate novice, as the automatic process involves you stopping the tape halfway through to collect your instructions.
Once you've actually got it loaded, experienced the lengthy and rather nifty commercial for Lasersound - the best graphic in the game - and cooled your heels while the computer tells you, "Please wait", you can then start your quest.
You are in one of a series of rooms - round about sixty on four floors. In these rooms you'll encounter objects and creates which are alleged to help you in your search.
But hold on there, you may say - the cassette wrapping says "superb 3D graphics". What you actually see before you is a line-drawing representation of a room in 3D, a label at the top telling you who else is there - the Wild Woman, the Witch, etc, and if you're lucky, a small graphic representing an object. You don't see the creatures, and the objects are so small they're easily missed.
You move around by the usual method, although picking up objects is tiresome, as you must, for example, specify "Get Fido's din dins" - I kid you not - down to the last apostrophe!
The next problem is that "for the unwary are traps". This actually means for the unlucky, there are traps. There are various occasions when you blunder into something and get trapped/killed, but as these seem to be at random rather than at fixed locations, it's impossible to learn from your mistakes.
The problem with this game is that it's very difficult to proceed in the way you normally do in an adventure. It isn't an ongoing learning process, as you're generally knocked out of it by random hazards rather than avoidable ones.
Theoretically I suppose it could be cracked, but it's more a question of probability than skill, and I have given up after several fruitless and not very entertaining hours.