Hood: Episode One
A small town in the middle of nowhere claims to suffer a witch, and a lone rider with some special kills and a whole lot of facial hair has been called in to deal with it, but is everything as it seems? Hood: Episode One, the first installment in a new point-and-click adventure series by Alice is Dead co-creator Hyptosis. Just click on the red arrows to navigate your way around the town and speak to people to discover where their "witch" has gone. (Don't expect everyone to be thrilled to see you.) Items you pick up appear in your inventory and some can also be combined, and since the cursor doesn't change you'll want to be nosy and click everywhere.
Hood has Hyptosis' signature style all over it, from the imaginative artwork and atmospheric film grain effect to the penchant for eerie, slightly-off-kilter musical tracks. There are a few minor issues that feel like they hold the game back from really reaching its full potential; the writing is a bit stiff, navigating dialogue can get repetitive since the game doesn't remember your choices, having to manually close narrative windows is a little annoying, and some items you need to pick up are small and nondescript enough (or just not even visible onscreen) that pixel-hunting can be an issue. As a re-telling of the classic tale, however, it definitely gets your intention; the game does a great job about suggesting a bigger, stranger world with its own complex mythos in just a few snippets of text. Unfortunately, the game is quite short, but fortunately Hyptosis has stated he plans to release sequels very quickly, so with any luck you won't have to wait long to get more answers to the big fat cliffhanger at the end of this installment. Despite its flaws, Hood: Episode One is intriguing, creepy, and satisfyingly weird in all the right ways, and fans of Hyptosis and creepy fairytales in general will want to give this one a peek.