Uninvited is the third game in the unofficial MacVenture trilogy. Playing through Shadowgate remains one of my favorite experiences on the Nintendo. While Déjà Vu was a fun game, it was held back by the setting, so I was thrilled to see Uninvited return to the horror theme. Although this was released five years ago on the computer, this (like the other games in the series) have been given a modern overhaul, complete with music and full color.
Unlike Shadowgate, this takes place in present time (certainly unusual in horror and fantasy themed games). You begin the game awakening from a blackout from crashing your car. Your sister has vanished, and after the car explodes you retreat into the nearby eerie mansion for help.
Just like the prior two games, this a point and click adventure. If you are new to this genre, there is no real-time action in the game. You’ll need to explore each room or space via a cursor that you point and then click to interact with the environment and items. You enter and use commands like Take, Use, Speak, Hit, and Exam. You’ll acquire a large inventory of items, much of it ending up to be useless, but it’s probably best to take and look at everything to avoid unnecessary backtracking.
The entire game takes place inside the house and its grounds with the goal of locating your missing sibling. Although you won’t encounter any other people on the premises, you’ll run into plenty of unfriendly spirits, ghouls, and creatures. To defeat or distract them you’ll need to use the correct item or use a spell you’ve learned. Using the wrong thing will usually result in your demise. There are plenty of locked or blocked areas, which of course you’ll need keys or special items to progress. This game has a battery backup, and if you die, you’ll continue in the previous room.
Just like the other two MacVenture titles, this game was modernized from the Mac version and given colorization and music. There are no moving characters or settings, as each area is a still frame. I enjoyed the art design of some of the creatures and monsters. However, the lack of areas to explore is quite disappointing. By contrast, the house in Maniac Mansion is much larger and has so much more to see and do. Here in Uninvited, there are two floors and just a handful of rooms to go into, as well as an outdoor section. Doubling the content would have added a lot to the experience.
The music is good, but again due to the game’s limited settings there are not that many tracks. The music is composed by the same team as Shadowgate, but the quality doesn’t come near that game’s level.
The horror theme grabbed my attention right away. I liked this game, but it is a huge downgrade from Shadowgate. The game is much too small, full of useless items, has a few very obtuse puzzles, and needed more story to set the mood better. There are a few frightening moments though and it is always satisfying figuring out a puzzle and gaining access to a new room or area. Anyone who enjoys adventure games will surely want to give Uninvited a try and it’s definitely worth checking out, but renting is the way to go given its short playtime and limited replay value.
- Graphics - 6/106/10
- Sound - 6/106/10
- Gameplay - 6/106/10
- Lasting Appeal - 5/105/10
Final Thoughts: WORTH CONSIDERING
More than anything I’d love to see the team behind these MacVenture games acquire the rights to film series like Halloween, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, or Nightmare on Elm Street. Adventure games based on these films and set in places like Crystal Lake or Haddonfield could be incredibly fun (and terrifying) and I believe would sell really well. Hopefully we’ll see lots of new adventure titles come to the Super Nintendo!
Aaron got his NES in 1991 and has loved and collected video games ever since. In addition to gaming, he enjoys Stephen King novels, Twins Baseball, and his cats.