Rocky Interactive Horror Show

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Rocky Interactive Horror Show
Windows Rocky Interactive Horror Show cover art.jpg
European cover art
Developer(s)On-Line Entertainment
Transylvania Interactive
Publisher(s)On-Line Entertainment
Producer(s)Andy Leighton
Michael Hodges
Peter Donebauer
Designer(s)Clement Chambers
Joe Fisher
Programmer(s)Jon Mullins
Marcus Hamilton
Sebastian Haig
Artist(s)Mark Khan
Wayne Kresil
Writer(s)Richard O'Brien
Composer(s)Andrew Hewson
Simon Kidman
SeriesThe Rocky Horror Show
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release
Genre(s)Adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Rocky Interactive Horror Show is a point-and-click adventure game developed by On-Line Entertainment in conjunction with Transylvania Interactive and published by On-Line exclusively for Microsoft Windows.[3] A spiritual successor to CRL Group's 1985 video game adaptation,[4] it is the second video game to be released and based upon Richard O'Brien's musical of the same name, who is also a member of the cast.[5] Following the plot from 20th Century Fox's 1975 musical horror comedy film of the same name, the player assume the role of either Brad Majors or Janet Weiss in order to rescue one of the two playable characters, who has been transformed into stone by Dr. Frank-N-Furter's Medusa Transducer, within a set time limit before the mansion becomes a spaceship and takes off to the planet Transsexual Transylvania.[1][6]

Taking over four years to create and developed as a joint production through Transylvania Interactive with On-Line,[3] Rocky Interactive Horror Show was originally announced in 1995 and began as a project intended for both the Atari Jaguar CD and PC, which were planned to be published by Atari Corporation and Atari Interactive respectively,[7][8][9][10] however due to the commercial failure of the Atari Jaguar platform in the market and the closure of the then-newly formed PC publishing division as a result of Atari Corp. merging with JT Storage in 1996,[11][12][13][14] left the Jaguar CD version unreleased and the PC version shelved until it was released by On-Line for Windows in 1999.[15] Series creator Richard O'Brien was heavily involved in its production, in addition of casting himself as one of the in-game characters.[6]

Upon its release, Rocky Interactive Horror Show garnered mixed reception from critics who gave praise to multiple aspects such as the humor, campiness and surreal nature, with many singling out the audio as the game's most strong point, but was criticized for the clumsy user interface, gameplay, presentation and outdated visuals. A PlayStation conversion was announced and planned to be published alongside the Windows version, but it never released for unknown reasons.[6][16]

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot.

As with the previously released 1985 title by CRL Group and following the plot from the 1975 film,[2][5] Rocky Interactive Horror Show is a is a graphic adventure game similar to LucasArts' 1987 Maniac Mansion, in which the player uses a point-and-click interface to guide characters through a two-dimensional game world, traversing through a series of rooms to solve and complete puzzles in order to rescue one of the two playable characters, depending on the choice from players at the beginning of the game (either Brad or Janet), who has been turned into stone by Dr. Frank-N-Furter's Medusa Transducer machine within a 30 minute time limit before the mansion where the game takes place transforms into a spaceship and takes off to the planet Transsexual Transylvania.[1][6] At certain points during the game, the players will be either greeted by the Narrator (played by Christopher Lee), who will offer help to the player or be mocked by the Game Devil (played by O'Brien).[1][6][17]

Development and release[edit]

Rocky Interactive Horror Show initially began and was announced as a project intended for the Atari Jaguar CD peripheral and later for PC in 1995, which was a joint-production between On-Line Entertainment and Transylvania Interactive.[7][8][18] Although the Jaguar CD version remained to be listed across multiple issues of online magazine Atari Explorer Online up until their last issue published in January 1996,[19][20][21] in addition of internal documents from Atari Corp. listing the project as in development on December 1995 and with the then-recently formed Atari Interactive announcing their plans to publish the PC version,[9][22] Atari would ultimately start cancelling upcoming titles for the Jaguar in February 1996 and closing their PC publishing division before merging with JT Storage in a reverse takeover on April of the same year,[11][12][13][14][23] which left the Jaguar CD version unreleased and the PC version shelved as a result.[15] In a 2018 interview, former Atari designer and producer Dan McNamee revealed that he became an associate producer of the project to work alongside series creator Richard O'Brien on the project at the United Kingdom prior to the layoffs.[10]

Rocky Interactive Horror Show for PC would be set to be released during the Christmas season of 1998,[24] before being eventually published by On-Line in Europe on March 1, 1999 and later in North America on November 2000.[1][2] A PlayStation conversion was also announced and planned to be published alongside the Windows version around the same time, but it was never released for unknown reasons.[6][16] The game was narrated by Christopher Lee and versions of the title also came bundled with a walkthrough of how to complete it.[17][25] The game's CD-ROM itself also doubles as a music CD.[5] In 2004, a non-playable demo of Rocky Interactive Horror Show on Jaguar CD was released by the defunct Jaguar Sector II website under a CD compilation titled Jaguar Extremist Pack #2.[15][26][27][28]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
IGN5.3 / 10[1]
AllGame3/5 stars[29]
Bonusweb4 / 10[30][31]
Just AdventureB-[32]
Metzomagic3.5/5 stars[33][34]
Muzik8 / 10[35]
PC Joker38%[36]

Muzik noted the title offered audiovisual delights that may surprise the player.[35] David Freeman of Rocky Horror fansite TimeWarp felt it would appeal to Rocky fans but wouldn't convert anyone to the franchise,[37] and praised the title's graphics.[38] Bonusweb praised the musical motifs for adding to the game's comic atmosphere.[30][31] Meztomagic deemed the game a novelty with a lot of charm.[33][34] IGN felt the game had merit on a kitsch level, but that it wasn't particular impressive at an adventure game.[1] PC Gamer felt that while the game was very strange, it was beaten in its strangeness by other On-Line games such as Psycho Killer and The Town With No Name.[39] Topless Robot felt it was an improvement over the preceding Rocky Horror video game from 1985.[40] Sarah Wilson (YouTube vlogger Pushing Up Roses) felt the gameplay was "stupid".[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Steinberg, Scott (November 14, 2000). "Rocky Interactive Horror Show - Just like the movie - campy, outdated, and bursting at the seams with offbeat humor". IGN. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "The Rocky Interactive Horror Show Game - Press Kit". IGDB.com. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  3. ^ a b Jeanne. "On-Line Entertainment Ltd". MobyGames. Archived from the original on 2018-06-24. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  4. ^ Warden, Frank (Summer 2012). "Virtual Fear: A History Of Horror Video Games". Shadowland. Vol. 1 no. 5. Andrew Parietti. p. 16.
  5. ^ a b c McHorse, Shawn. "Rocky Interactive Horror Show CD-ROM". rockymusic.org. Archived from the original on 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "TimeWarp - The Rocky Interactive Horror Show Game". timewarp.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2016-11-16. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  7. ^ a b "Jaguar Tackboard - AEO Development List 2.06 - Titles in Development". Atari Explorer Online. Vol. 4 no. 5. Subspace Publishers. July 20, 1995. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  8. ^ a b Vendel, Curt (August 26, 1995). "Payment Schedule for Jaguar games to Developers" (PDF). atarimuseum.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-12-11. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  9. ^ a b Dragon, Lost (July 5, 2017). "The Ultimate Jaguar Unreleased/Beta/Source/Dev Master List! - Page 5". atari.io. Archived from the original on 4 November 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  10. ^ a b Wallet, Adrian (February 2, 2018). "Dan McNamee (Atari) - Interview". arcadeattack.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2018-03-16. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  11. ^ a b "Atari and JT Storage Reorganisation Plan". One Cle. Archived from the original on December 9, 2006. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  12. ^ a b "ATARI CORP Annual Report (Regulation S-K, item 405) (10-K405) ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS". Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  13. ^ a b "Adios, Atari". GamePro. No. 92. IDG. May 1996. p. 20. ...the recently formed PC division, Atari Interactive, has been completely liquidated.
  14. ^ a b Biggs, Brooke Shelby (July 19, 1996). "'Success' killed Pac-Man creator Atari". bizjournals.com. San Jose Business Journal. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c Reutter, Hans (January 12, 2001). "Unreleased Or Unfinished Jaguar Games - The Interactive Rocky Horror Show". cyberroach.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Obejas, Achy (April 8, 1999). "ROCKY XXI". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c PushingUpRoses (August 24, 2014). The Rocky INTERACTIVE Horror Show. YouTube. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  18. ^ "Jaguar Tackboard - AEO Development List 2.07 - Titles in Development". Atari Explorer Online. Vol. 4 no. 6. Subspace Publishers. August 21, 1995. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  19. ^ "Jaguar Tackboard - AEO Development List 2.08 - Titles in Development". Atari Explorer Online. Vol. 4 no. 7. Subspace Publishers. September 15, 1995. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  20. ^ "Jaguar Tackboard - AEO Development List 2.09 - Titles in Development". Atari Explorer Online. Vol. 4 no. 8. Subspace Publishers. October 10, 1995. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  21. ^ "Jaguar Tackboard - AEO Development List 2.10 - Titles in Development". Atari Explorer Online. Vol. 4 no. 9. Subspace Publishers. January 1, 1996. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  22. ^ "Atari Broadens its Platform Base". compkarori.com. Business Wire. January 2, 1996. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  23. ^ "ProNews: Atari Axes New Games". GamePro. No. 89. IDG. February 1996. p. 17. Archived from the original on 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  24. ^ "WORLD ROCKY HORROR NEWS 99". rockyhorror.jp (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  25. ^ Morgan, Mike (June 15, 2015). "Christopher Lee's 10 Most Memorable Sci-Fi And Fantasy Roles". whatculture.com. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  26. ^ jaysmith2000 (February 27, 2004). "Atari Jaguar Extremist Pack #2 now ON SALE!". AtariAge. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  27. ^ Smith, Jason. "Atari Jaguar Timeline". jaguarsector.com. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  28. ^ Smith, Jason. "Jaguar Sector II Atari Jaguar Software Price and Rarity Guide". jaysmith2000.com. Archived from the original on 2019-02-28. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  29. ^ Woods, Nick. "Rocky Interactive Horror Show - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-17. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  30. ^ a b Ticháček, Petr (May 7, 1999). "Rocky Interactive Horror Show" (in Czech). Bonusweb.cz. Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  31. ^ a b Ticháček, Petr (May 7, 1999). "Rocky Interactive Horror Show". Bonusweb.cz (in Czech). Archived from the original on April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  32. ^ Sluganski, Randy (February 2001). "Review: The Rocky Interactive Horror Show". Just Adventure. Archived from the original on 2001-07-26. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  33. ^ a b Young, Rosemary (May 1999). "Metzomagic Review - The Rocky Interactive Horror Show". metzomagic.com. Archived from the original on 2018-12-15. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  34. ^ a b Young, Rosemary (May 1999). "Quandary Review - The Rocky Interactive Horror Show". quandaryland.com. Archived from the original on 2004-06-22. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  35. ^ a b Bush, Calvin; McEwan, Matt (May 1998). "Scanners - Armchair Entertainment - The Playpen". Muzik. No. 36. IPC Media. p. 117.
  36. ^ "Kurztest - Rocky Horror Interactive Show". PC Joker (in German). No. 69. Joker-Verlag. November 1998. p. 108. Archived from the original on 2019-02-12. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
  37. ^ Freeman, David (March 6, 1999). "TimeWarp - The Rocky Interactive Horror Show Game - First Look Review". timewarp.org.uk. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  38. ^ Freeman, David (March 13, 1999). "TimeWarp - The Rocky Interactive Horror Show Game - Second Review". timewarp.org.uk. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  39. ^ Cobbett, Richard (July 7, 2012). "Saturday Crapshoot: The Rocky Horror Show". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  40. ^ Stacy, Greg (March 4, 2014). "The 10 Most Unlikely Video Games Based on Movies and TV Shows". Topless Robot. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2019.

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