Thursday, January 26, 2023


Thy Flesh Consumed

I enjoy adventures but MacVentures are something I had yet to experience. I believe there are four and this caught my eye because of its horror theme. Seeing as I had a bucket load of fun with Ooze and Curse Of Rabenstein, I booted this up to see what it was all about. Initially, it appeared very good albeit with many agonising deaths! But, fun nonetheless.

Hold your horses, what's a MacVenture? That's the name given to the engine powering the point-and-click Mac adventure by Icom Simulations. This is just one game from a series of adventures, all of which have been ported to the Atari ST Shadowgate, Déjà Vu and Déjà Vu II - Lost in Las Vegas. We call them AtariVentures, which is much better!

The story starts with my brother and me experiencing firsthand what a nasty car crash looks like. I wake to find he's missing and the car is about to explode! This is the first puzzle - figuring out a way to open the car's door and scarper before it's too late. Afterwards, you find yourself outside a creepy old house and there is a sinister storm approaching. Thunder is booming and we have our brother to find. Dare we risk entering the scary-looking house to search for him?

Okey-dokey, let's take a peek at the road traffic accident where nobody rushed to our assistance...

Update: I've posted a new article for Uninvited. It's (not) a walkthrough! :)

Of course, we were gonna crash because somebody put the steering wheel on the wrong side...

Oh oh, looks like the crash happened right outside an intimidating haunted house. Let's go inside!

User Interface

The Uninvited uses GEM albeit with a few minor changes to its look and feel. Windows are resizable and used to display command options, what we're carrying, descriptions and also the current room as we view it. All commands are limited to eight options but these are direct and precise - examine, open, close, speak, operate, go, hit and consume.

For example, to inspect an object you would click it and then choose the examine button. Dead easy. The game employs this simple method of instruction throughout, but more "complex" actions like walking through a closed door require multiple commands: ie first opening it before attempting to walk through a closed door. Duh, obvious right?

Items you find can easily be carried in your inventory by drag & drop plus their contents can be sorted in order. The other window is for Exits - all of the possible ways to leave the current location. Being GEM'ish means we easily begin playing thanks to a functional and intuitive design but that efficiency comes at a price, ie I'm glad my ST has a Blitter!

Additionally, you can double-click on most things for a default option. Like the closed doors: double-click once to open it and again to walk through. The same goes for the Exits window, double-clicking in that is nifty.

The more observant may have noticed the "Self" button? Well, that's rarely used if I'm honest, but it may involve something that you need to do - such as drink a potion. Additionally, this is also another way in which the game shows its good sense of humour, try using the axe on yourself (save first). I love this freedom and the potential to be daft!!

Wanting to escape the oncoming storm, we head into the mansion for shelter. Oh, and two more screenshots...

The first room is a little weird, especially with that giant pentagram on the floor!

This is the room just off to the right (see previous image). Not much to see... Ahem, right?

Let's play!

As with any adventure, the Uninvited is all about exploration, study, investigation, and lots of trial and error. Well, with Uninvited, the trial and error parts are paramount with the earlier stages presenting a steep learning curve. This game takes no prisoners. Yes, I'm talking about you Scarlet O'Hara and that vicious temper of yours!

She is the lady lurking on the ground floor hallway and, no matter what you do, she will turn around and eat your face! Over and over I died. Too many times to count! The only way to safely pass her is via the stairwell to the first floor - but you need to come back downstairs at some point. Perhaps there is something up there we can use against her?

More or less everything that you see can be picked up and examined (it's now that I'm starting to realise there are a gazillion possible objects to inspect). Take a look upstairs; have a poke about and inspect each room for anything that might kill this Scarlet monster. It really is an obvious puzzle that you have probably overlooked several times.

Killing Scarlet is a big deal and opens up the game completely. I feel quite victorious and it's now the adventure really does begin as there is much work to do with many, many more rooms to plunder for anything that might help me find my brother. Oh, there are walkthroughs on the net which I won't be linking to as they'll only spoil the fun (although the maze section contradicts me entirely). Just play the game and enjoy everything that's on offer for the avid explorer.

Here are two more screenshots of the hallways that (embarrassingly) took me aeons to suss out...

Scarlet seems to be guarding each of the four doors. So why don't we sneak upstairs?

It's much safer upstairs and you can freely explore each room... for an item to combat Scarlet!

I love big tips!

* Go slow and don't rush as you will only miss what is obvious.
* Learn the user interface properly, it's dead easy but can be finicky.
* Just escaped the impending death of a car wreck? Snoop before entering the house...
* Inspect absolutely everything, even the smallest thing can get you out of trouble.
* Read the object descriptions carefully, subtle hints are usually given.
* Don't be a vandal, not until the time is right later...
* 90% of the items are useless so remember their locations rather than carrying everything.
* Make a map. I know, I know, but this is the time for pen and paper!!
* Install to hard drive - the experience is miles better with audio on cue.
* This next one is obvious but never more so for a game like this - save regularly!

Every so often, a little critter whisks across the screen! He's a little cookie he is!

A spider freely walks by, and then a winged eyeball appears. What is going on?!!


The artwork is really good with each room well detailed to represent each scene nicely. Okay, it's not exactly The Pawn but I admire what they were trying to do and I thought it worked very well much of the time. The horror aspect is feeble, to say the least, but Scarlet is a babe and Romero would love to cast her I'm sure of it. The guy with the severed head is brilliantly drawn but what's even better is the glimpse we're given. That timing works really well for maximum effect.

As you progress, you'll realise just how many different monsters there are. Not to mention the different ways to die! Some of these monsters are really cool, I especially liked the zombies in the maze. However, some are rather lame - like the one that looks like a giant tomato. Yeah, the results are mixed but generally favourable with a comical twist.

I know some will disagree, but GEM works well for our version of AtariVenture. I think it's made great use of the windows, especially with the ease of issuing commands and the use of Exits and Inventory. But this also means it's slower than other similar games but a Blitter helps, as did my 16Mhz Mega STe.

As for audio, there is no music which is fine as that would have ruined the atmosphere, plus the sound effects are perfectly apt. Thankfully, these are made using crunchy samples and include everything from creaking doors to horrific screams. Amazing sound effects and, if I was playing this back in 1987, it would have blown my socks off!!

Death comes thick and fast throughout your entire adventure. I hate Scarlet so much!

Stuff that, I'm heading back downstairs! (probably the scariest moment in this 'horror' game)

The CryptO'pinion?

I found the Uninvited to be a challenging and intense adventure and one that I thoroughly enjoyed, especially considering this is my first frolic into the world of MacVentures, erm I mean AtariVentures. Like any of its ilk, you have to take your time and study all aspects of each and every location. That's the only way you're going to get anywhere.

However, it's not perfect with certain puzzles not making any sense whatsoever and therefore impossible to figure out without sneaking a glance at a walkthrough. Not only that, but I've never known any adventure with so many red herrings - either the many pointless items or dead ends (that often lead to your brutal demise!). That might sound fair in some respects but it's not when you're secretly restricted to a finite number of actions within the game at large.

Having said that, please believe me that I have thoroughly enjoyed playing Uninvited. Whilst certain parts of it made little sense, the Uninvited offers a richly rewarding experience and, if you fancy a different kind of adventure, then this is definitely it. Demanding, interesting, infuriating, and blummin' good fun for anyone looking for a challenge.

You can download the floppies but Uninvited is a dream when running off a hard drive / UltraSatan!

I love Uninvited. So I looked on eBay and there it was, going cheap as chips too. Excellent!!


  1. I just got Shadowgated! I loved this game, and it was difficult. If i only had a walktrough at the time

    1. I saw Shadowgate (great condition) for sale a few years ago.. didn’t have the spare cash :/ Shame but I prefer a horror theme. Have a walkthrough at hand to reference when needed but don’t use it anymore !

    2. Try Mortville Manor from Lankhor

  2. Maybe in a few years… if I’m still here lol