Personal Computer News's Review Of The Psychos for the Oric 48K - Everygamegoing

Hitchcock Hysteria | Objectives | In Play | Verdict | Rating

Hitchcock Hysteria

Fans of Hitchcock's famous movie, Psycho, and its current sequel, Psycho II, will be pleased to hear they can now play two adventures which star that less than lovable homicidal maniac, Norman Bates.

Objectives

Psycho II (The Adventure) has you searching Norman's old house for hidden jewellery. Unfortunately Norman has chosen this day to escape from the hospital where he has been incarcerated for the last fifteen years. Guess where he's headed?

In Psycho III (The Revenge), Norman has locked you in an apartment and wants to play a little game. You must escape from the locked room, find a hidden bullet and shoot Norman before he gets bored and decides to dice you.

In Play

The adventures are mostly text, with the addition of one or two pictures and some creepy sound effects (footsteps, dramatic chords, a chainsaw!). Input is by the usual method of verb and noun with some deviations e.g. OPEN GREEN DOOR, GO BACK. There are no help, save, score or inventory features and it will take a bit of experimenting to find an acceptable command in any given situation.

Some of the puzzles are quite hard and chances are you'll be killed off quite a few times before eventually succeeding.

In Psycho II, Norman pops up from all sorts of places and is always carrying something sharp - knife, meat cleaver, or the dreaded chainsaw. At least you soon get to know which doors, cupboards, shower curtains, etc not to open.

Psycho III is different in this respect. You know Norman is on another floor but he likes to keep in touch by suddenly appearing larger than life (and twice as nasty) on the TV screen to warn you he's getting somewhat impatient with your progress and so may terminate the fun.

The two adventures are not very broad in scope but what they lack in number of locations and flexibility, they doubly make up for in thrills. The textual descriptions are nicely atmospheric - when Norman gets you, the screen aptly turns red, the sound sends a chill up your spine and the text graphically depicts what Norman is about to do to you.

Verdict

Best played alone late at night to get the full impact. Although they are a bit inflexible, the games are hugely enjoyable. Some tough puzzles and chilling text - not for the squeamish.

Scores
Lasting Appeal 3
Playability 3
Use Of Machine 3
Overall 4