VIDEO: Manhunter: New York (1988)

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Cecil begins a spin-off called Good Bad Games where he highlights lesser known games, forgotten series, or games that are unfairly rated.

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  • Huh. When I bought Space Quest 3 (I was 10 I think?), it came with a lengthy Sierra catalog. Manhunter was one of the games in it. I thought it looked and sounded like an interesting game concept, but I never saw it on a shelf in any store. The catalog also showed off Sierra’s tie-in game for Disney’s The Black Cauldron…

    I mostly loved the countless hours I spent completing SQ3, though. Sometimes it was frustrating, but the puzzles and solutions generally made more sense than the ones I saw in your review. As long as the player stuck to the usual rules. Always save progress, always attempt to pick up and hoard everything on every game screen, and always attempt to travel in every direction.

    Yep, those are the sort of graphics and music I remember. CGI display and no sound card.

  • Cameron Vale

    What’s your impression of Infocom?

  • This setting sounds fantastic. I want a movie of this starring Karl Urban and directed by Peter Jackson.

  • Thomas Stockel

    Sometimes I wonder why I never became a gamer. Then I see games like this and I remember.

  • Muthsarah

    Wait….looking at the guy’s face kills you? Even though you’re supposed to be investigating something important, so presumably everything would be worth at least a cursory glance. But, going by everything else, this is one of those old-school games that are supposed to be frustrating first and winnable maybe. I can’t imagine maintaining the level of patience necessary to die hundreds of times, half the time not knowing why, yet continuing to push through, when there are lots of other games you could be playing.

    One of the first games I remember playing was an adventure game called Deja Vu. It was difficult, it was creepy, it was atmospheric, but it made sense. Compared to this, it’s probably a child’s game. It doesn’t have the depth, the length, the creativity or the technical sophistication (yeah, think about that one) of this game, but it made for a fun mystery, right out of an old detective story. There are no real-time elements either, it always gave you all the time you needed to think things out. You’re still gonna get stuck over and over, but once you figure out how to get past something, you kick yourself for not noticing how simple it was all along, rather than think “How the hell was I supposed to figure that out on my own!” And it was pretty damn scary for a kid, even if it’s PG compared to this. So I can understand what makes this genre so fun, especially if the puzzles are well thought-out and not just random, but based on this game’s difficulty, I’m probably happy I avoided it.

    What about some games that have the originality of this one, but are playable and logical? I really don’t know much about the genre. I’ve never even played Monkey Island.

    • Doc Skippy

      “I can’t imagine maintaining the level of patience necessary to die hundreds of times, half the time not knowing why, yet continuing to push through, when there are lots of other games you could be playing.”
      Yeah, but back when Manhunter came out, there really weren’t a lot of other games I could be playing. I distinctly remember enjoying Manhunter (and its sequel, set in San Fran) quite a bit, at least in part because it was such a departure from the style of adventure games Sierra was known for (King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest).
      Also, dying was part of the charm of these games. There were some GOOD deaths in Sierra adventure games (damn that cat in King’s Quest III!).

  • Sofie Liv

    Well that’s… urhm.. interesting.

    I guess there are good things about being just to young to remember these sort of games, the first consol I ever got to try was the Supernintendo, and I also do remember when the first playstation and the nintendo 64 was the hot stuff out there!
    I must have been around twelve or thirteen at that time.. My childhood consol was the 64, and now I have the good fortune of being able to play all my favourite 64 games on a handheld DS, with just as good graphics!
    Christ Video gaming has moved a lot through time! I sincerely would not have the patience for this game, i’m afraid I would be turning all angry video game nerd on it!

    But I really enjoyed this video, it was very interesting and entertaining to gain a glimpse into this.. special game.

    • Muthsarah

      Prepare to have your mind blown:

      There was a time when adventure games…didn’t even have graphics. Nothing but text. Spoooooooooooky…… 😮

      • danbreunig

        I barely remember seeing those, but it’s true. Back in the old days when gaming meant writing on MUDs and MOOs through dial-up.

        Which may explain why I didn’t take to gaming so much–and because I didn’t find much joy in explore-fight-die-respawn-repeat-indefinitely to make 2% more progress in the whole game. Most games I’d try and only go the first three or four levels and just stop.

        • Sofie Liv

          Well, you can always enjoy a good game of ping-pong!

          The first actual computer game ever made. Woohoo for Ping-pong!

          • No ping pong, just pong. So minimal that half of the name of the sport it was referencing was cut out! Where it all began!

          • danbreunig

            Yay, the first mass electronic video game ever…that still leaves me feeling the same way when I try it!

    • Egil Hellá

      My childhood consol was a 8 bit SEGA Master System II

  • Animikean

    I was sure this was going to be a movie tie in game from the name of it,
    I was happily surprised 🙂

    Next time Josh mentions Manhunter you should bring this one up 😉