Windows Version (and other version differences)

Home Forums Previous Months 62 – October 2021: Hugo’s House of Horrors Windows Version (and other version differences)

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  • TigerQuoll

    There are a surprising number of versions of these games (At least 13 for HHH), including a complete port for windows 3.1 and up (released in 1997 I think?).

    Since the games are so short I decided to replay them all a few times in different versions for comparison.
    In the end I played each game at least three times – once for the earliest shareware version I could find, once for the latest registered DOS version, and once for the Windows version.

    So here are my thoughts and findings:

    +++Earliest vs latest DOS versions+++
    The earliest version of HHH I could find was 1.1. Whodunit and Jungle were version 1.0. Latest versions were all 2.1

    The main difference from the Shareware is that Registered give you the option starting them in “automatic” mode where they just play themselves. I’m not sure if they differ in any other way.

    In terms of versions, the only differences I really noticed in whodunit and jungle was in later versions you could use ESC to exit rather than having to type QUIT.

    HHH, however, saw some pretty big changes between old and new.
    A number of text boxes are different. When looking at the pumpkin, for instance, the earliest version just tells you “it looks strange”. Later versions tell you there is something inside it.
    But the biggest difference in with the old man. I don’t think there is a way to beat the unregistered shareware version 1.1. In version 1.1 his final question is whether you registered. If you say yes he accuses you of lying. If you say no he says, whelp, can’t let you passed then!
    Version 1.2 onward changes this question to “Do you want to save Penelope?”, and you can pass it easily.
    Interestingly, I used a hex editor to get passed the old man in version 1.1 and the rest of the game is all there and beatable.

    +++Windows Version+++
    I know this is DOS game club, but it’s interesting to compare. Besides, Windows 3.x runs on top of DOS, so I guess it counts?
    Anyway, they use the Windows API and so have Windows buttons, text boxes, scroll bars etc. This looks OK in Windows 3.1, but the chunky EGA graphics really clash with later Windows decorations.

    There are also many improvements and changes. Firstly the games have several adlib tracks for background music. They’re nice, and kinda fun. They also have cheesy sound blaster sound effects, which are… OK I guess? Kinda stupid, but in fitting with the games.

    Gameplay-wise they are very different too, as you can use the mouse OR the keyboard. I think there are a few places where you have to use the parser, but most puzzles can be done – often much easier – with the mouse.
    Hovering over things also tells you what they are, which really helps if you are stuck for the right word.
    Clicking around the screen moves Hugo (or Penelope), and the path-finding is hilariously bad. In Hester’s Room, for example, I remember standing about two steps directly north of the exit. When I clicked on it, Penelope decided to do a detour right around the table on the other side of the room to get there!

    Overall I hate to admit it, but the Windows versions are a vast improvement over the originals, taking at least some of the frustration out of the games and sprucing them up just a little while they’re at it.

    So yeah… that’s my thoughts on the different versions. I’m not sure what my point is, or if anyone apart from myself finds this stuff interesting, but there ya go!

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Home Forums Previous Months 62 – October 2021: Hugo’s House of Horrors Windows Version (and other version differences)