Manhunter: New York

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Evryware
Year: 1988
Platform: DOS; Amiga; Apple II

The most original idea Sierra picked up, Manhunter unfortunately fails to capitalize on its uniqueness.

Aliens landed in New York, circa 2002. It took them less than three days to destroy the city, and less than a year to end the human resistance. Or so they thought. You have been assigned by the alien “orbs” to be a man hunter. Since some of the aliens’ technology is not as compatible with human beings as they thought it would be, you (along with many others) need to help them. You have no choice. You must investigate humans who are not obedient and report them to the aliens.

You are given a tracking device in which you can watch the perpetrator commit the crime. They are then tagged, and you can continue to watch where they go until the signal is lost (usually when they go under ground or die). You can also manually tag other humans near the perpetrator, and watch where they go, as they may be linked with the crime. You can then travel wherever they did and do some research.

Manhunter: New York DOS Tracking a miscreant

Of course, you must help the resistance while you are supposedly helping the aliens. Since the resistance cannot be overt, you must pick up clues and look for symbolism which will give you tips on what you need to do. Other man hunters will help, if they trust you. But gaining their trust takes effort.

Most of the game is merely going to places, picking up items, and manipulating them (which is fairly easy). There are also several arcade sequences. Some are easy, some are asinine, but none of them are really exciting. The game needed some form of interaction, but the arcade games were not the solution. Also, several mazes permeate the adventure. One maze in a game is tolerable; any more than that is maddening.

Manhunter: New York DOS An eyeball wakes you up

There is almost no typing in the game. As this game was made before the mouse became popular, there is no mouse support. So what it amounts to is using the cursor until you land on something important. What makes this game worth your while is the keen eye one must have to catch all of the symbolism and apply it to the situation at hand, or one further down the road. Definitely not a game for those who like to rush.

For the time, the music is scary enough and the graphics are well done. A little gory at times, and creepy for sure! Despite its faults, I’d recommend playing this game if you are looking for something original. Also, if you ever plan on playing Man Hunter: San Francisco, you must play this game first. Otherwise, SF won’t make any sense.

Manhunter: New York DOS Unlucky human

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