Jack Fremont is an ordinary guy with just one unique talent: his knowledge of TV shows. Otherwise, his life isn't going too well, and he is about to be evicted from his place. However, one day, bragging about his encyclopedic abilities, Jack is confronted by two CIA agents who tell him that a powerful terrorist is about to destroy Los Angeles. Apparently, the terrorist was uncredited in some TV shows and resorted to violence in protest. Now it's up to Jack to stop him and save the city.
Fox Hunt is a spy comedy that heavily relies on live-action full-motion video to advance the plot. The gameplay is restricted to interludes between the movies, and features both adventure and action elements. In some places the player has to explore rooms and find items, while others are built like action sequences. There is a time limit in many of these episodes, and a few branching story arcs.
Fox Hunt comes intriguingly close to being an interactive movie - while illustrating that neo-genre's pitfalls. The first thing you notice is that there's no fancy-pants graphic interface: This puppy is all full-motion video. The second thing you notice is that plot and dialogue are actually funny, thanks to a script by Matt Pyken, whose 1994 National Lampoon's Blind Date CD-ROM was the only NatLamp product in years to contain a shimmer of wit. The game's hero is Jack Fremont (Andrew Bowen), a likable Jim Carrey sort who's drafted by the CIA to stop a renegade KGB agent named The Fox from nuking L.A. Sounds like every other adventure CD-ROM, right? Get this alternative-world plotline: The Fox was originally sent to Hollywood in the '70s to undermine American pop culture, but the TV shows he created - daft garbage like Fantasy Isthmus and Fung U, clips of which are shown - became massive U.S. hits and so entranced the Russian populace that they inadvertently caused the fall of communism. Now The Fox is steamed: He wants his residuals.
And that's just the back story. As the game plays out, Jack gets sent from L.A. to Aspen to Vegas, slowly mutating from a slacker goofball to a suave international spook. Fox Hunt alternates large chunks of slickly shot location footage with interactive segments during which you use a mouse to help Jack hunt clues, outshoot the bad guys, or escape from a hospital in a rocket-powered wheelchair.
The catch: The movie and the game make an awkward fit. The filmed scenes are surprisingly engaging, considering that full-motion video on your computer still looks like bad reception on your TV, but the game set pieces stop the story dead. Gameheads, on the other hand, will probably wish they could cut directly to the chase. If they did, however, they'd miss Bottoms as a hammy, mitten-wearing professional killer, Lazenby in an Elvis suit, and - delightfully - Lowe as Edison Pettibone, a psychotic king of infomercials with surgically altered minions and an alarming resemblance to Ted Turner. Appearing on a CD-ROM may not bode well for these actors' careers, but it certainly does for Fox Hunt.
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