Hollywood Monsters

Moby ID: 3696
Windows Specs

Description official description

This is an old school-type graphic adventure, right down to the verb-selecting SCUMM-ish interface. Every year the "Hollywood Monsters awards ceremony" is organized to recognize the acting monsters. You play a reporter from "The Quill" who gets the assigned to cover the show (celebrated at the apropiatedly gloomy Hannover mansion, owned by the president of MKO pictures). However things go bad and both your character and Frankenstein dissapear. You'll then procede through the game alternating between Sue (the first character) and Ron, who was sent to find out what happened. All this in a world populated with wacky versions of popular horror movie monsters (the werewolf appears as a gigolo, the mummy is whipped by his wife, etc...).

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Credits (Windows version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 66% (based on 8 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 24 ratings with 2 reviews)

Runaway wasn't Pendulo's first adventure...

The Good
It's a great surprise, a fresh plot, nice comic-style graphics and nice music to add atmosphere. Hollywood Monsters is one of the best games from the Spanish developers Pendulo Studios (they also made Igor: Objective Uikokahonia and more recently Runaway). The main theme is singed by the spanish pop band 'La Unión'. That game will keep you entertained a lot of time, it's kind of hard, maybe some people find that an annoyance but i really found it a real good point, i was sick of bloody easy adventures that you could finish in two days.

The Bad
Well, the spanish voice acting could have been better in my opinion and some of the music sometimes seems out of place. Also the dificulty could be annoying to you, but hey, for me that was a good point, the puzzles were real logic, but i supose people could get frustrated trying to solve some of them.

The Bottom Line
If you like adventure point & click games Hollywood Monsters is a must, it is really similar to that old Lucas Arts adventures (especially for it's dificulty), and well, if you like Igor: Objective Uikokahonia or Runaway (Hollywood Monsters is from the same company) you will have a good time with that game.

Windows · by Depth Lord (934) · 2004

Spanish-made adventure goodness.

The Good
Hollywood Monsters could be called the first truly "professional" game developed by Péndulo Studios, and it was the first major hit from the developers that enabled them to play with the big boys on their next adventure: Runaway, a Road Adventure. Unlike Runaway, HM didn't have a major international release so it remains in obscurity to those that don't reside in the few spanish speaking countries it got released on. A shame really, since it would surely win accolades from adventure fans anywhere should they be able to get their hands on it.

The game works in the same way as a previous Péndulo title: Igor, Objective Uikokahonia, meaning that it's a humorous adventure using a point-n-click interface as a revival of sorts of the classic LucasArts adventure games. Unlike Igor however, HM can be called a fully-developed, commercially-viable product, and not just a fan-made nostalgic demo as the previous title seemed to be. In fact, the production values would be pretty much on the same league as any LucasArts game, featuring hundreds of lovingly detailed backgrounds and characters, drawn using a crisp, sprite-based engine that allows for smooth scrolling and overlapping special effects bringing each of the unique hand-drawn characters to vivid, cartoony life with the aid of superb sound effects, top-notch voice acting (really surprising in it's quality) and an extremely good soundtrack that fits the game like a glove and seems to include hundreds of tunes for each location.

The story is appropriately retro-styled and follows the adventures of Sue and Ron, a pair of daring reporters that get the assignment to cover the "Hollywood Monsters" awards ceremony in the Hannover Mansion. In the game's universe (a cartoony 30s-40s USA), the monsters from such classic movies as Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Dracula, etc. are actually stars that play themselves in the movies, and live their own (and quite ironic) lives outside of the screens. As one would expect it, a sinister plot is uncovered and the pair of reporters (mainly Ron but also Sue in a couple of parts) have to unravel it with the aid of the many monsters that seem to be connected to the plot in one way or the other. Thus you go around the world solving different inventory/deduction puzzles as in a classical adventure game using a pop-up SCUMM-like Menu from which you manage your inventory and perform individual actions.

The story itself isn't exactly groundbreaking but sets the stage for each monster to do his/her own thing and it's the interaction with them and the sideplots they provide where the meat of the game lies. Each character is lovingly characterized and helps build up one of the most memorable ensemble casts in any adventure game ever. Setting up some really amusing setpieces and making use of great scripting, the game keeps the comedy level high, and the puzzles for once are well integrated into the game and include both serious challenges for hard-boiled veterans as well as simple exercises used mainly for comedy/scripting purposes.

And just in case you get stuck on any of them, the game includes a great walkthrough help-file that works in a similar way as the UHS system, providing progressively spoiling tiers of hints to help you get the most out of the game without spoiling it for you. How cool is that?

The Bad
The animations strike me as kinda slow, there are some interface nuisances reminiscent of early SCUMM games (you have to always select the verb properly and then click on the destination), and there's the nasty decision to place the loading menu in the initial title screen, meaning you have to restart the game if you want to re-load something.

There's also the ever-present collection of pixel hunts, but they could be far worse than they are here.

The Bottom Line
Completely solid point-n-click adventure game that stands it's ground as one of the best examples in the genre, and which didn't come out of LucasArts or Sierra!!!

Provided you can find it, Hollywood Monsters is a sure investment and a top-notch addition to any adventure gamer's library, providing both an original and classic experience in the same package.

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2004

Discussion

Subject By Date
"English version" or "Feel free to translate it!" A.P.$lasH Apr 13, 2008

Trivia

Version differences

The second release of the game includes the opening theme song, Enigmas by La Union, as an audio track playable on any CD player. After the bankruptcy of Dinamic Multimedia, the following versions provided by FxInteractive removed again Enigmas as theme song.

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  • MobyGames ID: 3696
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Zovni.

iPad, iPhone added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Gonchi, Patrick Bregger, Agoraht.

Game added April 4, 2001. Last modified May 8, 2024.