Hell Cab was created by the legendary Pepe Moreno known for his beautifully drawn and written comics and graphic novels with a very striking style that is easily recognizable to his fans. It is a bit of a stretch to call this an adventure game but it does have some adventure elements. The game is point and click in the slideshow format. The cursor changes to indicate change of direction or options for interaction. There is an inventory and in one case you don't just click the item to use it but rather drag it to its required.
Hell Cab has some striking backgrounds and must have been a visual feast in 1993-very similar in appearance to The Journeyman Project Turbo. It was one of the very first games to take advantage of the then-new CD-ROM technology. Some backgrounds are digitized from photographs of actual places. The few characters you interact with feature moving mouths similar to those in Dust or Titanic: Adventure out of Time. For those adventure game historians and trivia buffs, some of the QuickTime movies are from The Residents' Freak Show (which is more eye candy than game). This is probably because the late Jim Ludtke of The Residents had a hand in some of the graphics in the game.
Music is crystal clear and helps sets the scene quite well, but if I never hear the elevator music again, I will be a happy man. Acting is generally poor, especially the voiceover at the beginning. The cab driver, Raul, was an exception, and suited the game adequately.
All in all, the game can be completed in about thirty minutes once you know what you are doing. The adventuring elements are far outweighed by the mad clicking to a point that I felt I was playing a primitive action game. This too made me very frustrated. The backgrounds certainly aspire to being an adventure game, but at best, it has adventure game elements.
In Hell Cab the player controls a traveler who was about to board a plane in the JFK airport when an announcement came that the plane was delayed. The man decides to take a cab ride through New York. Unfortunately, his driver turns out to be the minion of Satan himself. Since the traveler has no money to pay the cab fare, the driver makes a deal with him: he has to travel to various time periods if he wants his soul back.
Hell Cab is essentially a collection of action sequences tied together by cutscenes. The plot takes the protagonist to ancient Rome, Jurassic era, and other locations and epochs. The action sequences involve sword-fighting, shooting, racing, and other types of mini-games.
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