Developed by Junkyard and published for MS-DOS by Merit Studios in 1994, this adaptation of Mary Shelley‘s infamous horror story is a cartoon platform game where you have to collect pieces of The Monster’s body and put them back together again (ie. the same as in most video game adaptations of Frankenstein).
Frankenstein for MS-DOS features detailed, smooth-scrolling backdrops and Mario-style ‘bounce-on-the-heads-of-monsters’ gameplay, and is reasonably interesting to play – if a little naive in terms of presentation (the title screen text is awful). The in-game music is quite nice, though. As are the graphics, which are extremely well-drawn and very colourful, but definitely ‘of the time’.
You play as Egor – Professor Frankenstein‘s hunchback assistant – and must scour various locations looking for Monster parts. You can only carry two at once, though, so when you’re in possession of a couple of parts you must then head back to Frankenstein‘s castle, deliver them to the correct room, then go looking for more. So it’s basically a platform ‘fetch’ game. And it’s not too taxing, either. And feels quite nice, in terms of jumping mechanics. There’s even a fun Hunchback tribute, if you climb to the top of the castle’s battlements. There’s more to Junkyward‘s Frankenstein than at first meets the eye…
Frankenstein was released with little or no fanfare and quickly faded into obscurity. Which is a pity because it’s not a bad game at all and it reminds me of The Addams Family games from Ocean. Tip: go to the tall girl dressed in blue (in the village) to replenish your health if it’s low.
At the time of writing, Frankenstein doesn’t seem to be available anywhere to buy legally, although some abandonware sites do have it. Seemingly against current rights-owner Eutechnyx‘s wishes. If Eutechnyx actually cared about Frankenstein they would release it on GOG.com for pennies. At least then it’d be playable by people who’re interested, and they’d make some money in the process, rather than allowing it to remain unavailable. It would need new title screen text, though.
Although Frankenstein is not what I would call “a brilliant game”, I did have fun playing it for a number of hours recently and felt that it should be available to play legally, so that the game’s original developers didn’t have the time they spent making it completely wasted. There’s too much of that in the games industry and it’s definitely a bad thing.
More: Frankenstein on Moby Games
Frankenstein (1994) PC MS-DOS keys:
< (,) = Left
> (.) = Right
a = Enter door
Space = Jump
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