As young Hamlet, you must avenge the death of your father and become the new King of Denmark. You enter the court of Elsinore Palace to find clues about the mastermind that is behind the corruption in Denmark. Your task is to kill the murderer but to prevent the deaths of innocents. That provides an interesting take on original play giving the ability to change the course of events and save some important characters. That includes actually killing rats instead of Polonius and saving Ophelia from madness and ultimate death.
The game is narrated by Renaissance Man who serves also as a guide to the game outlining your objectives. In order to revenge your father's death you should gain ten wits. Wits are certain aspects of man's nature, as believed by people of Renaissance era. They include five inner and five outer wits. Inner wits deal with man's senses: Hearing, Sight, Taste, Touch and Smell. Outer wits comprises the man's psyche: Judgment, Invention, Memory, Instinct and Imagination.
Each wit has a specific puzzle connected to it. In order to attain a certain wit, a corresponding puzzle must be completed. The order in which wits are gained and puzzle solved is set. More so, player cannot move freely around the castle or the forest. One can only take a predetermined route that will lead him either to the next puzzle or to the video clip.
Most of the puzzles are closely connected as to the play so as to the wit that puzzle is responsible for. For example, in order to acquire a Wit of Imagination player must correctly reconstruct the course of events based on a poem versed in Middle English, or seeing a man behind the curtain in Gertrude's bedroom will award player a Wit of Sight and helping Ophelia choose flowers (that also play a prominent role in the play) brings player a Wit Of Smell. Once every wit is acquired the player will be ready to face Cladius and in role of Hamlet serve the justice.
The game includes 40 minutes of full-screen film clips from the Kenneth Branagh film version of Hamlet. The game has a few mild arcade scenes, such as the duel scene at the end. You can play the game "to be" or "not to be". If you choose "not to be", you access the complete and unabridged text of the original Hamlet play including the commentary showed next to the play itself, linked to fifteen Books of Lore that give insights into the Renaissance world and clues to some of the puzzles of the game. You can switch between the two options at any time you like.
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This entry to the MobyGames database was contributed by game nostalgia (5512)
on Apr 11, 2006.