Beverly Hillbillies, The Download (1993 Adventure Game)

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A quasi-adventure based on the movie "The Beverly Hillbillies", which, in turn, was based on the popular US TV series from the 1960s and 70s. You take control of Jed Clampett after his unexpected discovery of oil, and help him build a new life in Beverly Hills, only to find out that two criminals targeted you as a blackmail victim...

I guess the clash of cultures has always been good material for comedies. One of the ultimate culture clashes that appeared on TV was probably when simple rural folks became rich and moved to a prestigious neighbourhood. That's right, I'm talking about The Beverly Hillbillies.

You've probably heard of the sitcom that was really popular some four decades ago, but this game is based on the movie which came out in the early 90s.

You play the role of Jed, who needs to get something for dinner. Well, as luck would have it, you strike oil. Next you drive to Beverly Hills, where people are just too eager to relieve you of all that money. If you watched the movie you'll understand what I mean.

Anyway, the graphics of this game are nice enough for 1993, and the music isn't too bad (but very repetitive). The controls could have been improved: You can use both the mouse and the keyboard (I suggest you move with the keys and click with the mouse). To exit the screen you need to find the place where the arrow turns into an intersection of four arrows (sometimes you'll have to bring Jed close enough with the keys).

The Beverly Hillbillies isn't your typical adventure game. It doesn't have a range of verbs you can click on. You only click on things you interact with - sometimes you won't know what those things are - or drag an object over Jed to use it. If you wish to talk to a person, that's not a problem (you simply click on the person), but for other objects there's no way of telling what you could click on, so you're basically on a pixel hunt. There are also quite a few sequences where you need to move around, like the maze of Beverly Hills, while looking for your house. Many times this reminds me more of a puzzle game, because you actually have puzzles to solve.

Here's the one that gave me quite some troubles, because there's no hint on how to solve it: driving to L.A. It's important to be in the right lane when you see the sign that mentions L.A. At the first sign ("It's a long way to L.A.") you need to be in the upper lane, at the second sign ("You will have to drive long to get to L.A." - or something like that) you need to be in the middle lane, at the third sign ("On the way to L.A.") you need to be in the middle lane and at the last sign ("Short way to L.A.") you need to be in the bottom lane. Do not change lanes in between. Start in the right lane and only change it when you come to the sign.

The game will seem quite tough at some points, and there's no walkthrough to be found. I've forgotten half the puzzles (a dozen years have passed since I last played it at a friend's place), so good luck to you.

Synergistic's last game before it was bought out by Sierra On-Line is a fun tongue-in-cheek adventure set in the wild west. Based on the campy TV sitcom of the same name, The Beverly Hillbillies the game's plot follows the first few episodes of the series. You play Jed Clampett, the good-natured old hillbilly who is contentedly living on his ranch, oblivious that his life was about to change forever. Soon after the game begins, we learn that two oil executives discover oil on Jed's land, making him an instant billionaire. It is then your job to help Jed, Granny, and the rest of his family move safely to Beverly Hills and start a new life.

The game interface is similar to Warriors of Legend, Synergistic's last RPG, except the "World Builder" engine was vastly simplified to handle a point-and-click style of adventure. Puzzles are logical but none too special-- most are of the typical find-item-X-for-Y type, although there is a few that will elicit chuckles now and then. The game's writing and plot are competent, although obviously the designer had much less sense of humor than Al Lowe, or any character in the TV show for that matter. Overall, The Beverly Hillbillies is a thoroughly average adventure that is good for a few laughs, but little else.

How to run this game on modern Windows PC?

This game has been set up to work on modern Windows (10/8/7/Vista/XP 64/32-bit) computers without problems. Please choose Download - Easy Setup (6.96 MB).


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