UNINVITED is an adventure game that was initially released (in 1986) for the
Macintosh computer. The 1993 version, reviewed here, was ported from the Mac
to an IBM/compatible, Microsoft Windows, SVGA environment. If you've played
the Mac version of UNINVITED, you'll find it has been faithfully reproduced
for the PC.
At the start of this game -- a horror story -- you've been in a car crash.
While out for an evening drive with your little brother, something made you
swerve into a tree. When you regain consciousness, you realize your brother
is missing. Exiting the car, you're confronted with a haunted-looking house.
In an effort to locate your brother, you enter the house. There you proceed
to discover the story of its residents, collect some useful items to use
later, and fight off ghouls and ghosts (by non-combative means).
Naturally, the interface is mouse-driven. But unlike other Windows products,
this interface isn't flexible, i.e., customizable. Several windows must be
onscreen at one time: the Main Window, a picture of the room you're in, as
seen by you as you entered the room; the Inventory Window where all the items
you pick up should be stored (there's a limit to the amount you can carry);
the Text Window, where events and scenes are described to you in English; the
Exits Window, which depicts the positions of various exits; the Command
Window; and an Icon Window representing yourself.
The picture may be displayed in two sizes: small and medium. The medium-
sized picture covers up some of the other windows. I tried to manipulate the
windows to achieve a compromise between the larger-sized picture and the
other windows, but failed. In the end, I stuck with the default settings. The
graphical interface is somewhat reminiscent of Legend's ERIC THE UNREADY or
GATEWAY II, but isn't as elegant.
Accomplishing the actions required isn't easy. Many items have to be
operated on other items in your inventory or situated in the room you're in.
Selecting the items is a rather hit-or-miss business, partly because some are
very small and partly because selecting items simply isn't reliable.
Very little keyboard entry is required. On occasion, you must converse with
characters in the game. You must decide what to say to them, and then type
There's no combat here. UNINVITED is a pure exploration, puzzle-solving game
complete with a maze that must be mapped. However, there are plenty of evil
nasties out to get you (if you don't get them first!), so it's imperative to
save often. You'll be killed many times until you find objects that will help
you defeat your enemies or find a way of avoiding them. For the most part,
the puzzles are logical (e.g., what would _you_ do with a bottle of "No
Ghost"?!). However, most puzzles aren't obvious, so even experienced
adventurers should find some challenges in UNINVITED.
The game's graphics are pretty basic. None of the modern technology is
incorporated; everything looked hand-drawn and cartoon-like. However, sound
effects are put to good use to introduce some drama and realism. There's no
Game saving and game restoring are very straightforward using the Windows
save, save as, and open commands. The program even displays what the current
name of your save file is. Every save file not only contains your current
status but all the text that was displayed while that save file was open,
i.e., it acts as an automatic detective's notebook.
The game takes only a few hours to play straight through. But given the
number of deaths and puzzles you encounter, it's a game that could keep you
entertained for several evenings.
UNINVITED requires Microsoft Windows 3.1, DOS 3.3 or higher, a 286 machine,
at least 4M of RAM, 8M of free hard-disk space, Super VGA, and a mouse. Any
Windows compatible sound card is recommended. UNINVITED is supplied on three
3.5" floppy disks (5.25" disks are also available). The package includes a
small booklet describing how to use the game interface. There's no copy
I used Windows 3.1, SVGA, DOS 5.0 on a 386/33MHz machine with 8M of RAM, and
a Sound Blaster. Game installation was quite straightforward. I had a
peculiar problem with one of the disks (which is significant as I had the
same problem with another recent ICOM game). The disk drive was unable to
move the metal cover that protects the floppy surface as it was too tight a
fit. Hence the disk was unreadable. I had to physically release the metal
cover and slide it back and forth to ease it. This corrected the problem (in
The program appeared to be essentially bug-free, although there's some
rather irritating flashing from the various items in windows and the windows
themselves as you try (and fail) to perform an operation. For players
otherwise uninformed, UNINVITED's Macintosh antecedents become evident at
endgame when you print out a certificate of achievement with the label "The
The experience of playing UNINVITED most resembled playing a shareware
adventure game (for example, part of the HUGO trilogy). Despite the package's
claim that UNINVITED is from the "Award Winning Series," I didn't enjoy it.
Perhaps players with more of a penchant for the horror genre will appreciate
this game. At about $35 retail, it could prove a bargain.
Note: Players who become frustrated by the puzzles can order a hint book
from ICOM for $5. Alternatively, a walkthru is available on CompuServe in the
TEG Archives. The walkthru was originally written for the Mac version, but
works almost perfectly with the Windows version. _Do not_ read any further if
you don't want any of the solutions to the game puzzles revealed to you. I
found the following differences between the TEG walkthru and actually playing
1. The chair in the entrance hall didn't complain when I first sat down on
it. It didn't respond until I actually went back to the entrance hall with
the axe in my inventory.
2. The walkthru specifically mentions the Dinsdale grave. The grave in
question wasn't marked with any name at all.
3. In the bathroom, you must operate the taps, not the faucet.