- Waxworks (1983 on ZX Spectrum, 1984 on Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit...)
Description official descriptions
As a child, you were never taught of your family's dark secret - a whole history of 'evil twins' doing Satan's work on Earth, and 'good twins' attempting to put this right. Your uncle informs you of this shortly before his death, and after travelling to his castle you find that you must travel through time to correct these wrongdoings. Through a range of murals at your uncle's house, various past scenes must be entered, with more becoming available as you complete them. In each you must find and kill your demented relative in time.
WaxWorks is a hybrid game that combines elements of role-playing and adventure. The player explores maze-like locations, manipulating objects and solving puzzles. Enemies appear from time to time and must be defeated using the various weapons found in the game. The player receives experience points and fathers equipment in a RPG fashion in each WaxWork; however, completing one negates these effects, and the protagonist becomes more defenseless in the next location. The game's controls are point and click, with the interface allowing the player to examine and collect items, select a weapon, and attack potential foes by striking at a particular part of their body.
Credits (DOS version)
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Average score: 68% (based on 17 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 32 ratings with 1 reviews)
Well as I mentioned in my "Jaws of Cerberus" review, the combination of horror and roleplaying makes me a happy gamer. I noticed that there was a nice warning label on the box concerning in-game violence. I wonder if Accolade came under any fire concerning gore in their previous games? I was quite...surprised by some the graphic violence and levels of blood in "Elvira" but it seems to have doubled in waxworks!
The carnage in this game makes soldier of fortune look tame in comparison. Such original demises include: Being beaten to death to having your throat slit, to being crushed into a pulp and probably the worst, having your intestines torn out. Delightful. Probably the greatest feature of this release, are the environments you explore, they're all unique. From the damp foggy backstreets of Whitechapel through to the cryptic tunnels of an egyptian pyramid. I just hope you have the stomach for it.
It's that darn maze thing again. I've never been a fan of step by step dungeon crawling, admittedly the tunnels are filled with interesting rooms which provide diversions before you feel like the walls are closing in, (almost a literal statement for one of the stages.) Also the sudden deaths can lead to you indulging in very colourful conversations with your moniter. The gore might hamper some of the more sensitive gamers, I see it as quite tounge in cheek, but others may not be so amused and finally I found it a bit short.
The Bottom Line
Another journey into terror from the masters of PC creepshows, Accolade. Brilliantly rendered visuals will haunt you long after your moniter has faded. If you enjoy blood in your horror and don't mind pace by pace roleplaying, give it a go. Just keep an open mind.
DOS · by Tiamat (18) · 2003
The game was heavily inspired by the 1988 movie Waxwork, set in a wax museum where visitors get sucked into horror-themed exhibits. Michael Woodroffe stated this in a 1992 pre-release interview (Zero, February 1992, page 55):
Waxworks, which we're doing with Accolade, is based on the film of the same name. Well, not 'based' so much, inspired really. It's inspired by the film.
Further reinforcing the movie connection, in the same interview Woodroffe stated that the game was going to include a swordfight with Marquis de Sade (something that didn't make it into the finished game). Such a scene appears in the 1988 film.
An official remake called Waxworks: Curse of the Ancestors was released on January 8th, 2020.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Will D.
Game added April 3rd, 2000. Last modified August 31st, 2023.