Spooks for days.
DEVELOPER: ICOM Simulations
RELEASE DATE: June 1991
Uninvited is the final entry in the Kemco adventure trilogy on the NES. It’s not as deep (or frustrating) as Shadowgate nor does it engross like Deja Vu, but for an 8-bit game, it delivers the spookies. Story goes that you crashed outside one “Master Crowley”‘s mansion. Your car explodes shortly after you leave it. Your sister is missing, presumably into the mansion. You see no other choice than to venture into the old place, come what may. And so, your journey begins.
Like the previous two entries, Uninvited is a point-and-click adventure game, full of puzzles to unravel, diaries to read, and death to avoid. There are an overwhelming amount of items to pick up and place on your person, and many of them do nothing at all. This was the case in Shadowgate and Deja Vu as well, but it never bothered me until Uninvited. Still, pick the items up, you must, as they will help you get through the mansion alive (avoid the ruby, though – all it does is kill you). Many of the puzzles involve magic, and thus are usually only solvable via information found in “Diaries” or “Notes” strewn about the mansion. If you haven’t played the other two, the potentially obscure puzzles might frustrate. For those who wanted to tear down Castle Shadowgate with their bare hands, Uninvited‘s puzzles aren’t as brain-wringing. Once again, the atmosphere is first-rate. You really believe you’re exploring a haunted house where anything could happen at any time; the first time you see a chibi demon do a jig across your screen, you won’t know whether to laugh or turn off the game. Kemco’s point-and-click formula was wearing thin by the time Uninvited arrived, but that’s not the game’s fault. Proto survival-horror at its creepiest.