Video Game / Hollywood Hijinx
is an Infocom text-based game
from 1987, written by Bob Anderson and Liz Cyr-Jones, which places the player in the Hollywood mansion and grounds of his or her recently deceased aunt and uncle who were big movie insiders. You have one night to complete a Scavenger Hunt
for old movie props in the house to prove you're worthy to be their heir
This comedy-adventure is typically Infocom snarky and has some easy and some tough puzzles.
Contains examples of:
- Already Undone for You: Directly, in that the equipment necessary for each use of the elevator is scattered all over the place but the game's only other characters are already on a floor only the elevator can reach. Also arises in the Fridge Logic that you're only the first heir to get a crack at the Scavenger Hunt. Who resets (and in some cases rebuilds) all the puzzles for the second heir if you fail?
- B-Movie: The primary theme of the game, as your Uncle Buddy was an infamous producer of them.
- Brown Note: The cause of Uncle Buddy's fatal Hollywood Heart Attack — and, if you're not careful, your own.
- Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: Aunt Hildegarde is tied to a moving conveyor belt that leads to a buzz saw, and it will be curtains for her if you're not quick enough.
- Copy Protection: You're not getting into the house without the documentation.
- Damsel in Distress: Your Aunt Hildegarde, who is long thought recently deceased, is captured by your Cousin Herman, and only you can free her from his grasp.
- Enter Solution Here: The combination of a safe and a secret phone number.
- Faking the Dead: Aunt Hildegarde had written her own will because she knew that whoever inherited the estate and the studio would be clever enough to handle it, and that the only way she could be sure that the stipulations in her will would be carried out would be to oversee it herself. She, however, felt certain that she and you were being watched... by Cousin Herman, no doubt.
- Featureless Protagonist: The game is careful never to refer to you by gender.
- Feelies: An autographed photo of your uncle, your aunt's will, and a palm-tree swizzle stick.
- The Many Deaths of You: Not as frequent as in many Interactive Fiction titles, but when you do find one, it's a doozy.
- The Maze: A particularly obnoxious one, though at least you're given a map in game.
- Metal Detector Puzzle: Combined with The Maze, below.
- Scavenger Hunt: The entire game is one, gathering props from Uncle Buddy's films.
- Scoring Points: As per usual in Infocom games.
- Set Piece Puzzle: A scale model of a city complete with remote-control attacking Atomic Chihuahua.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Cousin Herman, for most of the game, though only in Flashback. The game's climax shows that he was actually fully as horrible as you'd thought he was all these days.
- Solve the Soup Cans: There's a lot of this, only partially justified in that Uncle Buddy is testing you. Most of the time, though, anything complex you see has to be messed with because that's what complex things are for.
- Songs in the Key of Lock: Randomized every game.
- Unexpected Inheritance: You were always the favorite, though that won't stop them from testing your cleverness.
- Unstoppable Mailman: Buck Palace, Uncle Buddy's most famous character.
- Unwinnable by Design: Primarily Nasty, and more so than most Infocom titles. Accidentally destroying the treasures is very, very easy. The beach can be reached early in the game, but go there too early and you're trapped.
- Videogame Objectives: Collect all treasures. Just having picked them up once (and thus scored the points) is enough.
- A Winner is You: The Prop Vault scene at the end of the game comes completely out of left field, and the ending resolves that scene but not the overall plot of the game.