Saturday, February 4, 2012

Shareware Saturday: The Hugo Series

At the time, these games were the staple of family-friendly gaming, and to this day, everybody knows of them. We're talking Hugo and his stupid little house of horrors, which had four games altogether; Hugo's House of Horrors, Hugo 2: Whodunit?, Hugo III: Jungle of Doom, and the ever-fabled Nitemare 3D. The first three are graphical text adventures, you walk around typing stuff like "open door" or "take candle". It's not exactly that easy, though, as the games force you to do stuff like "give steak to dog" or whatever. Nitemare though, it's in a whole different element, in the exact same story line. It's a first-person shooter/puzzle sort of thing similar to Wolfenstein 3D or Ken's Labyrinth. Let's get down to business. 

Hugo's House of Horrors
This game features Hugo, but it's not really his house. You see, his girlfriend got jacked, so he's going to inspect every freaking corner of this haunted-ass house to find her. While inside, he gets experimented on by a mad scientist with a retarded monster assistant, interrupts a dinner between vampires, mummies, and werewolves, and steals everything in sight. The puzzles in this game are pretty stiff and sometimes random, so a walkthrough is essential, unless you like grinding your gearbox brain sitting at 256 colors with some beeps emitting from your PC every now and then. Hugo has a tendency to walk in the same direction, so you have to get used to that. You can't always rely on the graphics to tell you what to do, you'll have to use "look around" quite often to discover clues. The game itself is fairly small, which means you'll end up in the same area often, trying to figure out what in the hell you're supposed to be doing. That's the game. Never got very far.

Hugo II: Whodunit?
In this one, Hugo and his girlfriend are staying at a relatives house, whereupon Hugo discovers a secret door and disappears. Then, Penelope (Hugo's woman) sees her uncle get murdered. You control Penelope, since Hugo got his dumb ass stolen, and you have to wander around this place and figure stuff out. It's basically the same thing as the first game, only more frustrating, because it's more spread out. Some of the best parts of these games are getting instantly killed, a lot. You're forced to really do things right, or else it's going to have some dire consequences. Nobody wants to have to restart the game, so make sure you're saving before you do practically everything. There's some pretty good graphical scenes in this game, and some others that look like a child drew them. Either or, it didn't spark my attention enough, so I gave the hell up.

Hugo III: Jungle of Doom
While Penelope and Hugo were flying over a jungle, they crashed their plane and somehow avoided dying, even though everything else in the world kills them. When they go look for assistance, Penelope gets bitten by a poisonous spider, which causes her to be paralyzed until Hugo can get some antidote. Commence Hugo's adventure in the Jungle of Doom. Seemingly crawling through the jungle, Hugo meets a ghost, an elephant, and a bunch of black people that probably want to cook and eat his ass.
This game seems to have more death traps than the others, making it both fun and extremely frustrating. On top of that, everything is boards apart, and Hugo's got a lot of trecking to do. This game has nice graphics and everything is pretty easy to understand, just avoid this dickass witch doctor, he's going to lock you up in a cage and experiment on you. I know, it seems to be some strange fantasies within the creator of this game, but lets not get in to that. David P. Gray also released a first person shooter version of these games.

Nitemare 3-D
First person shooters can be a blast, if they're done right. When they're done wrong, however, you wind up grinding your teeth for an hour as you try to redeye your way through a game like this. Nitemare 3-D is indeed, a nightmare of a game. First thing you do is grab a gun and wander your way through what looks like a movie theater, only funeral tunes are playing. Mummies and zombies and shit will grunt at you from around corners, or skeletons and bats will come and take you out. Oh, wait, what's the backstory to this game? After going in to the menu to answer my own question, I discovered that Penelope was jacked and Hugo needs to save her. Again. I think Hugo needs to get a new woman that's going to stop running around on him, giving him a bad groove and shit. This game was entirely too tedious for me and I stopped playing within 10 minutes. There's lots of secret areas I found out, but what I didn't discover is what anything did, or where the hell I was going.

What is boils down to is this; These games are still shareware, meaning you're going to need to pay for the full versions. The final game was released in 1994, and it's still being sold to this moment by the author, Dave Gray. After all of the wonderful free games I've posted, the ones with the least sentimental value and charm continue to be the absolute worst games on the list. David P. Gray, you should consider going freeware so everyone can experience the magic that is Hugo. Let's not forget to mention that he calls these games "for the whole family", and the second one features Uncle getting killed. Thanks. It's also going to cost you $22 if you want to play the full version of these games. Not like it matters, nobody is going to play it if it's free or not.


  1. I've never played this series. Thanks for the thorough rundown!

  2. Heard of those before, gotta try them. I just love those old ass games :D

  3. I will never play either of those games. Not sure why I'm commenting... : /

  4. Yep completed the trial of Nightmare 3D, had a giggle when I stumbled on this, all those wasted hours during my youth. Thanks for the flash back and gary your not getting my 22 bucks