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Halloween Hijinks Reviews
Author: David Whyld
Date: 2002

Reviewed by Radhagrrl

Nicely Comical, But... 

I've liked many of DavidW's games in the past, and there are many things to like about this one. It has a nice comic tone, the insane neighbors are well-done, and I like the idea of a couple of kids forced to trick-or-treat on Murder Drive (although they seem a bit young). 

But the phonetic dialogue gets irritating quickly. And, worst of all, there is a point where simple grammar and sloppy programming leads to not being able to win the game, a moment when you must "give sweets to Lisa" instead of "give Lisa sweets". The first is absolutely necessary for advancing in the game; the second won't work and leads to putting the game in an unwinnable state, which is infuriating, to say the least. Be warned!

Reviewed by Robert Rafgon

"Halloween Hijinks" is another comedy game by David Whyld. It is Halloween themed where you and your sister have to go trick or treating on the ominously named Murder Drive. The history and residents (who haven't yet disappeared) of the road, make the name seem appropriate. The aim of the game is to collect as many treats as possible. None of the residents make it easy to get into their houses, or if they do, then they seem to want you to carry out a favour first. I didn't know that trick or treating could have so many puzzles. I always thought it was a simpler process. 

The main NPC is your little sister, who is aged six compared to your eight, and she accompanies you for most of this game. She is a lot more aggressive and braver, although in this neighbourhood that is not the same as smarter. Your little sister does not speak in clear English, instead using phonetically similar nonsense words, and sometimes it does take work to figure out what she is actually saying. She adds a good contrast to your more cautious character, and this adds more humour. She is necessary to solve a few puzzles, but I felt that she could have played a greater role in the game. The other NPCs are a mix of unpleasant and crazy people, who really do not get into the spirit of giving out treats. 

"Halloween Hijinks" is not a long game to play, although the puzzles are at times difficult, and I struggled a little in trying to figure out how I was supposed to achieve my goals. I eventually succeeded with a bit of help from the walkthrough. I felt that some of the actions required were a little illogical and didn't have much motivation until at the end you suddenly received some treats. There is a fair amount of violence in this game, with both the actions of other characters and occasionally some of your own efforts doing the road's name proud. Comic violence isn't that offensive though. 

This game for some reason does appear to have a few problems with doors, and seeing as the majority of puzzles are how to get past these doors, it could be improved. An example is "Open door" at Gubbins' house telling me that the door is open, when it clearly isn't. Another strange response was from "X door" at Barney Bloggs' house, which accidentally explains how the puzzle is solved (although it is difficult to figure out how to achieve this). 

Overall "Halloween Hijinks" is another entertaining game by David Whyld, with an interesting and unusual premise. Just remind me never to live on a road called Murder Drive. 

SCORE - 6/10 

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