Jekyll & Hyde

5_1In this Resident Evil–style game, you play the famous Victorian physician and philanthropist Dr. Jekyll, whose little daughter, Laurie, has been kidnapped. To get her back, you must convert into the simian Mr. Hyde, and use your extra strength to… steal several artifacts. While I can understand Jekyll being forced into a visually nightmarish world that mirrors his fears, this gameworld is essentially a bad parody of a David Lynch production. Every scene is draped in “weirdness wallpaper.†It’s weird, all right, but not exactly engaging.

Disappointingly, the only real difference between your two personae is that Hyde’s stronger and can jump farther. Whenever you can, you grab “pure water†to add to your powdered potion, letting you change into Hyde for a few minutes. The storyline itself is relentlessly linear, even for a graphics adventure, meaning that you often have only one way to go, and that’s forward.

And as you progress through Jekyll & Hyde, you’ll find that many of its puzzles don’t make much sense in context. Consider: At one point, Hyde has to destroy a figure that shoots lightning bolts at him from the other end of a train. You dodge the bolts, run forward, and hit the figure — at which point, Hyde starts back at the other end of the train again, and has to repeat the gauntlet in this fashion until he’s scored six hits.

Odd design like this as well as a host of visual and gameplay bugs litter the game. In a rare moment of self-awareness, when click on the credits screen you will get the message “This game really blows”. You get one point for honesty, Dr Jekyll.

System Requirements: Pentium II 230 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win95

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