Hocus Pocus (DOS)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39516)
Written on  :  May 09, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars
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Same gameplay as Clyde's Adventure

The Good

Once upon a time, there was an apprentice wizard called Hocus Pocus, who studied long and hard to become a powerful magician. When Hocus went up and spoke to the Council of Wizards, Terexin, the leader of the Council did not believe him and set aside four tasks that he must complete in order to become a member. Not only that, but if he becomes a member, he also gets to marry his beloved Popopa.

These tasks involve Hocus collecting magic crystals in order to reach the bosses that threaten the Land of Lattice, including the Mad Monks of MellenWah, the Tree Demons, the Gray Dragons of Higgendom, and finally, the evil wizard, Trolodon. During his journey, a small version of Terexin will appear and give him some words of wisdom on how to survive a level. On his way, Hocus can grab some weapons like extra firepower and laser shots to defeat enemies that Trolodon placed in the nine areas. Some enemies take a long time to be destroyed, so it is important for Hocus to find a potion that gives him rapid shots, which will be handy if he ends up defeating a boss, who takes quite a number of shots to defeat. If Hocus takes damage from an enemy, then he is able to grab a potion that will boost up his health.

He can collect treasures such as rubies, diamonds, goblets, and crowns. He can also collect another potion that will cause him to jump higher so that he can get to places that he can't reach, although the effect lasts only a few seconds. He can also get to other hard-to-reach places by using elevators. If Hocus finds a switch, he can flip it to make platforms appear in front of him so he doesn't land in hazards like spikes or fire. Some parts of the level are blocked off by walls and Hocus must collect a gold or silver key and insert it into a keyhole to make the walls disappear. Some blocks can be destroyed by shooting at them, and more often than not, Hocus will find a potion that will teleport him to another area that contain lots of treasures.

Hocus Pocus was developed by Apogee, in conjunction with Moonlite Software, who also gave us the stinker Clyde's Revenge (this game still runs way too fast on my computer), where the aim was similar to Hocus, in that you have to collect crystals and find the exit out of the level. Only with Hocus, once you collect all of the crystals, you are warped out of the level and into the next level.

There are also four episodes full of enemies: "Time Tripping", "Shattered World", "Warped and Weary", and "Destination Home" and there are nine levels in each one. In each level, the scenery is worth looking at. I enjoyed looking out the windows in each level just to gawk at the spectacular scenery that Hocus has to offer. It looks like each piece was hand-painted and then transferred onto the computer. The scenery changes every two levels, but in the seventh, eighth, and ninth levels, it stays the same. This probably means that each level is based on a specific theme, like the egyptian and ice levels in episode two.

Someone complained about Hocus having the same enemies throughout the game. Actually, each episode introduces new enemies like birds, dragons, penguins, and mummies. And each enemy only appears depending on the type of scenery. For example, the mummies will only appear in the egyptian levels, just as penguins will appear in the ice levels.

In terms of sound, Hocus Pocus features some nice music, and the sound effects sound quite "magical". The game supports popular sound cards, including Sound Blaster, Pro Audio Spectrum, General MIDI, Sound Canvas, and Gravis Ultrasound. General MIDI really brings the music to life.

The Bad

Some dialogue in the game is rather stupid. For example, at the end of episode one, you are told that after defeating the Mad Monks, Hocus sits down with the wizards celebrating victory with food and drink.

The Bottom Line

I think everyone will agree that Hocus Pocus is much better than Clyde's Adventure, in terms of graphics and sound. In fact, Hocus can be a subsitute for Clyde's Revenge. ***