Evil, mad Indians and milkmen, it's...

Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus logo Gamer Gold

ACCOLADE * £34.99 * 1 Meg * Mouse * Out now

OK, everyone knows that our lass Elvira has got a large chest, but on the grounds of decency this review will be a breast-free zone. Plus I used up all my immature "chest" puns in last month's review of Elvira - The Arcade Game.
You may well remember Elvira's first computer appearance a year and a half ago - Elvira: Mistress of the Dark - and you might also remember that the computer press fell in love with her and the game.

I didn't actually play the first game, but I heard a lot about it. Dan and Darren have both played it and they assure me that it was "all right". Look at that, they're both fully-fledged games reviewers and they say it's "all right". They could have said: "Blimey, the first Elvira, that was a bit of a stonker, it oozed playability, it dribbled addiction, the gory graphics were that good I nearly wet myself."
Hmmm I don't know, you just can't get the staff these days.
Now we go straight to two bods at Accolade having an in-depth chat about Elvira and her, er, amazing adventure games.

"Blimey that first Elvira game was a bit smart."
"Yes it was, wasn't it? And it was heralded as Role-playing Game of the year."
"Was it?"
"Yes it was, you noggin."
"OK, tell you what - let's do another game featuring our busty chum."
"Hmm, but what can we do?"
"Well, perhaps we can do one where she runs around half-naked and you have to..."
"Just stop it right now. Anyway, we did that last time."

"This time you get a choice being a, er..."
"Computer programmer?"
"Yea, smart one, a computer programmer, and what else, ummm..."
"Stuntman, just like Lee Majors."
"Brill I don't know where you get these groovy ideas from!"
"What about a knife thrower - yes, my uncle's a knife thrower."
"Er, OK then."
"To top it all off, you can be a boring private eye."
"Oh no! Not a poncey priave eye like Magnum."
"Yes, sorry it's in the Software Trade Descriptions Act."

"What about a milkman or a..."
"Right, I think that's enough people for now."
"OK, where is it going to be set?"
"Hmm, that's a toughie."
"Let's say that Elvira now owns a Hammer Horror film studio."
"Yesss, what a cool idea!"
"And, and she gets kidnapped by, er..."
"Bob Holness?"
"Oh do behave!"
"You are forgiven. Hmm, now who can she get kidnapped by?"
"Can't we just use the spooky evil force again?"
"Hmm, it'll just to do. We haven't got much time."

"I've got a cool idea."
"Well, this spooky evil force can take over all the studio and the film sets and he can make all the props and spooky film stuff come alive and this can, like, scare people away and, like, if anyone comes after Elvira these scary props can kill anyone who sticks their nose in!"
"I'm lost for words, that is bloody brill."

"Yeah and an ideal opportunity for a smart graphical gorefest."
"And blood?"
"Yea, buckets and buckets of the stuff!"
"What about the control system?"
"Hmm, do we change it or what?"
"Well sort of, let's just position the controls everywhere and add a few extras like, err..."
"More spells?"
"Yep, more spells and loads of other twiddly bits."
"Now we both know that Elvira helps to sell the game, but how can we incorporate her into the game if she's been kidnapped?"
"Gosh, I didn't think about that. Right, OK, give me a minute..."

[A minute passes, and then another, and another...]

"Got it! Right, if whoever is playing the game is doing really badly, then Elvira can mystically pop up and give you some cryptic advice."
"Sounds good to me, and don't forget the jiggles."
"What jiggles?"
"You know!"
"Oh yes, those jiggles, sorted."
"Marvellous, how do we do it?"

"One other thing though - what are we going to call it?"
"Elvira 2?"
"No, it hasn't got enough, you know, enough ummmff."
"What about Elvira 2 - The Jaws of..."
"Nope, that's far too naff, how about a word that doesn't relate to the game but sounds dead good."
"Naaah, to unpronounceable. What about Cerber?"
"Hmm, I like it. Bit short though. Cerber, Cerber, Cerberus - yankee doodle candy, I've got it! Cerberus!"
"Yesss, let's tell the others and get on with the game."

So, that's how games are made. It obviously requires a lot of time and skill.
Elvira 2 is kinda like Elvira 1 but, it's got slightly better graphics. The control system is the same, but it's got loads more spells and a completely useless motion tracker that ells you where your enemies are. I couldn't make it out, but maybe that's because I wasn't that interested in the motion tracker.

No, I had other things troubling my mind, like big beasties trying to eat me alive. That's in the game, of course, not in real life - well maybe Dan could be described as a big beastie, but I doubt it he really is one.

Overall, Elvira 2 is well worth buying. It's not as if I'm a press officer for Accolade, but just check this out.
Graphically it's a dream - everything is drawn well and you can work out what all the things are. The control system becomes second nature after only a few short minutes, thus making the game enjoyable to play.

On the sound front, there are quite a few tunes and they change depending o where you are in the game - for example, when you ar in the graveyard there is a really spooky tune which adds buckets of atmosphere to the game. You can easily lose yourself in a game like this - I found myself wandering around exploring and you know what? It's bloody great fun.

Speaking of fun, there's plenty to be had in this so-called "adventure" game, especially when you find the make-up room, but I'll leave you to find that out for yourselves. Oh, and a hard drive is definitely recommended because Elvira 2 has a lovely six disks for you to swap and change.

I don't know what really attracted me to the game (ahem, we do - Ed), but once inside there is no escape - well, until it's time to leave the office and go home, anyway.
Overall Elvira 2 is "all right", ha ha ha arf arf arf. Oh dear, Dan put that mallet down. Daz, why are you carrying that Black and Decker power drill? Can't you guys take a joke...?

Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus logo

She of the tight black dress and the rotund appendages is back for another dose of spooky bad guy bashing. Welcome to the World of the Strange.

Of course, there's little doubt that one of the prime reasons for the sales of the first Elvira game was the Mistress of Dark herself. Stick a large pair of female mammary glands prominently onto the box of a game and you would be strangely surprised to see how many sales you can pick up. Include those same glands at opportune moments during the game itself and you're onto a sure-fire winner.

The plot to Elvira II is (like the lady herself) bizarre. You seem Elvira's been kidnapped by a huge three-headed dog called Cerberus. Unfortunately, we can't thank Fido and pet him for a job well done, because for some weird reason, the object of the game is to rescue her blackness from within her movie lot.

Essentially, this is Dungeon Master (Chaos Strikes Back, Eye of the Beholder) with a couple of twists. These twists aren't so utterly overwhelming that you lean back in your chair, agog at the monitor and exclaim how novel and original the whole Elvira II experience is, but at least it livens up what could be an exceptionally bad licence.

Have they been in the family long?
The game is played via the standard Dungeon Master screen display. At the bottom of the screen is an inventory of all you're holding, along with movement icons and a seismic activity detector. On the right of the screen are your control options: spell casting, speaking, fighting, scanning and examining, while on the screen is the action window; your view of Elvira's world.

To move around the movie lot, you can either click on the movement icons, or directly on the screen. While on your travels you'll encounter all manner of useful articles such as strong bleach, wire cutters, a girlie calendar, a mop, a rock and a piece of chewing gum. To pick these items up, you simply move the mouse pointer over it and drag it to the inventory window.

Once you've got an item in the inventory you can either examine it or use it. For example, right at the beginning of the game you've got to actually get into the movie lot. This involves picking up a rock and lobbing it through the door to the security guard lodge. However, whereas in Dungeon Master you'd literally drag the rock onto the door, in Elvira, you click on the item and then (cunning bit this), on the Throw icon.

During the opening sections of the game you'll do a lot of inane wandering and picking things up. There are loads of completely useless knick-knacks cluttering Elvira's office, and you'll end up asking yourself if you really are going to need eight cans of hair-spray and an ashtray to combat the demons and wraiths that have crossed the reality dimension.

Elvira II is both derivative and sensationalist, therefore it is likely to sell in the thousands. This isn't a problem as the game's a hell of a lot of fun.

Would sir care to see the exit?
The game proper moves surprisingly quickly, especially when you consider that it's on seven disks. Thankfully the programmers have applied a bit of logic to the order of the disk swapping, so it's entirely possible to play the game without the assistance of a large hard drive. So, after all the introductory mood setting and kit-finding sections you can delve deeper into the building.

The most crucial item in your inventory is Elvira's spell book. This has got 38 spells within it, some of which you can use as many times as you want, while others you will only get to use the once. All of these spells have to be created from household implements, but you're also restricted by your experience and power points. Thus, you won't be able to conjure up a really devastating spell until you've seen a little action.

Once a spell's created it appears in the inventory window and you can simply click on it to send it on its way. Of course, given the fact that there are so many spells you could well find yourself grinning empty handed at a large fire-spitting python monster, who wasn't impressed with your prestidigitation.

The times at which a particular spell is required are fairly self evident. For instance, if you're being attacked by a horrid ice monster, then your best bet is to unleash a Freezing Blade spell. If you're being attacked by hoards of undead dudes, then a Turn Undead spell up their nostrils will do the trick,

Should you actually manage to find the right ingredients and work up the necessary experience to try a gook, then you'll be treated to a rather nice graphic of Mr Ghouly melting into nothing. In fact there are some tasty, scary, animations scattered throughout the game. For instance, at the very beginning you open a cupboard and a security guard with his throat cut topples out with the brooms.

The eyes and tees have been dotted and crossed
Attention to detail within Elvira II is very obvious. The art designers have created a sumptuous detailed world where practically everything can be tampered with and it looks like it should. Enter a room and you'll find that most of the objects which are scattered about can be picked up, examined or used. For instance, should you stroll into the toilets (hey, even explorers and spook-busters have to take a leak occasionally) you'll discover that not only you can enter the individual stalls, but that the bog flushes and you can even put the lid down afterwards.

There's no noticeable speed drop-off when there's a lot happening in the game. For example, if five or six ghosts attack you at once you'll still have the opportunity to open up a few spells or try hacking them with a sword. Often in this kind of game you'd end up frustratedly hitting the Cast icon with little or no effect.

Sound in the game isn't. Instead of a few juicy samples, what you get is a particularly crap song which plays right the way through the game. The programmers probably decided to go without samples to give them plenty of room for the graphics and gameplay. This isn't a bad thing, after all, what else are volume controls for?

Elvira II is derivative and sensationalist, therefore it is likely to sell in the thousands. This isn't too big a problem as the game's actually a hell of a lot of fun. Instead of intricate spell casting involving all sorts of mysterious items, Elvira's spells run perfectly well off fire extinguishers and bleach. Her earthy sense of humour runs throughout the game, making it a kind of Bored With the Rings meets acid-house Dungeon Master. You'd better hope and prey that you make it safe back to your own world.

  1. Use a large pair of women's breasts prominently on the packaging and within the game; you are dealing with 14-year-old boys.
  2. Enclose a crisp 50 pound note in each box.
  3. Use an unfeasibly large pair of women's breasts on the packaging and within the game; you are dealing with sexually frustrated 14-year-old boys.
  4. Offer an expensive prize (i.e. more than £5) to the first person who correctly identifies their version of the game from the screen shots on the back of the box.
  5. Use an unfeasaibly large pair of women's breasts in 3D which wobble and quiver when held in the right light; you are dealing with sexually frustrated 14-year-old boys who think that all women have size 38D Sunday Sport comedy breasts.
  6. Produce a half decent game and then sell it on cartridge so that nobody can pirate it.
  7. Don't use a jaded, hackneyed, boring and insipid veteran computer journalist to endorse it. (Counts you out then. Ed.) Bloody cheers.

Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus logo Amiga Joker Hit

Die Turmuhr schlägt Mitternacht, Wolkenfetzen verhüllen den Mond, um im Kopf des jungen Helden rumort die immer gleiche, quälende Frage: Wo bleibt sie nur? Mein Freund, die Stunde der Erlösung ist da, es darf wieder gegruselt werden - Elvira ist zurückgekehrt!

Schade nur, daß unsere geschätzte Horror-Queen nicht persönlich mit uns Wiedersehen feiern kann - irgend so ein erbärmlicher Hund hat die Ärmste nämlich entführt! Ja, ja, grausam aber wahr: Elvira war gerade mitten in den Dreharbeiten für ihren neuen Film, da kommt dieser widerliche Cerberus an und verschleppt das Mädel einfach.

Eigentlich eine Unverschämtheit, aber wenn einer drei Köpfe hat und von der Größe her ungefähr fünf normalen Monstern entspricht?! Tja, in so einem Fall läßt man sich schon mal entführen, aber selbstverständlich nicht für alle Ewigkeit! Wozu gibt es schließlich Helden? Noch dazu, wo die Herrschaften sich schon ganz nervös an ihrer Maus rumfummeln, weil sie endlich weder jemand retten wollen! Na denn mal los und viel Spaß...

Doch haltet ein, edle Recken, und verweilt noch einen Augenblick. Denn bevor man hier seinen ersten Zombi zu sehen kriegt, muß man sich mal entscheiden, welche Sorte Held man überhaupt sein will. Richtig, das gab's vorher nicht, aber dafür diesmal gleich richtig: Man kann wahlweise als Stuntman, Programmierer, Messerwerfer oder Privatdetektiv in die Schlacht ziehen, wobei jeder Charakter etwas andere Eigenschaftswerte (Ausdauer, Kraft, Hirnschmalz) besitzt.

Der aktuelle Werte-Stand lässt sich jederzeit durch einen simplen Mausklick abfragen, weitere Infos über den Heldenzustand sind ständig am Screen sichtbar.

Neben bereits bekannten Dingen wie den bislang erworbenen Experience-Points sind das vor allem Angaben über den erreichten Erfahrungslevel (neu!) und die Anzahl an Hitpoints, die der Heldenkörper noch verkraftet (ganz neu!).

Außerdem findet man jetzt auch ein Schwert-Icon, mit dem sich die eigene Kampflust in vier Stufen von defensiv bis berserkerhaft einstellen läßt.

Davon hat man anfangs allerdings nicht allzuviel, denn die schaurigen Monster lachen einen höchstens aus, wenn man sie wie ein Berserker mit bloßen Händen angreifen will!

Als Grundausstattung befindet sich im Inventory zwar auch ein scharfes Messerchen, aber wenn die Gegenseite mit Feuerblitzen arbeitet, läuft ein vernunftbegabter Held doch besser davon... Es ist ja auch viel sinnvoller, erstmal nach den nötigen Gegenständen für die insgesamt 37 möglichen Zaubersprüche zu suchen, mit denen man es seinen Feinden dann so richtig besorgen kann.

Zur Herstellung der diversen Eispfeile, Feuerbälle, Angstmacher, Waffenverstärker etc. werden zum Teil recht abstruse Dinge (z.B. Aktenordner) verwendet - welche genau, steht in einem schlauen Büchlein, das man von Elvira überreicht bekommt. Mancher mag sich nun darüber wundern, wie Entführte hier mit Büchern rumschmeißen können, kehren wir also nochmals zum Anfang zurück:

Das Abenteuer beginnt vor den verschlossenen Toren von Elviras Filmstudio. Nach wenigen Sekunden taucht eine Geistererscheinung auf - Elvira! Sie lästert ein bißchen herum, rückt das Spellbook raus und verschwindet wieder. Anschließend sollte man ein Steinchen von der Straße aufklauben, damit ins Pförtnerhäuschen eindringen, die erste Leiche des Spiels besichtigen und den Code für das elektronisch gesicherte Tor eingeben. Dann geht's auf das Studiogelände bzw. Ins Studiogebäude.

Auf den ersten Blick wirkt die Anlage erstaunlich menschenleer, man kann in aller Seelenruhe umherwandern, hier eine Kleinigkeit aufsammeln und dort etwas herumschnüffeln.

Plötzlich und unerwartet stößt man dann doch auf Menschen, Monster und all ihre schönen Zwischenformen: Im Heizungskeller sitzt beispielsweise ein alter Indianer herum, der ein paar nicht uninteressante Stories zu erzählen hat. Je weiter man vordringt, umso spannender wird die Geschichte - nach und nach entdeckt man eine alte Villa, einen Friedhof und ein labyrinthisches Verlies.

Mit dem geruhsamen Umherschlendern ist's dann ebenfalls vorbei, dafür sorgen schon die riesigen Requisitenkammer: Skelette, Zombies, blutsaugende Insekten...

Die neuen Features verstärken natürlich den Rollenspiel-Charakter des Games, wenn auch nicht in dem Umfang, wie man es vielleicht erwarten würde. So unterscheiden sich die einzelnen Helden in der praktischen Bewährung nicht übermäßig voneinander, die neu eingeführten Erfahrungslevel lassen sich recht zügig erklimmen, und alles übrige dient sowieso eher der besseren Übersicht und Handhabung.

Auch die zweite Elvira ist also in erster Linie ein Action-Adventure, nur eben mit mehr Rollenspielelementen als vorher.

In punkto Grafik, Sound und (Maus/Icon-) Steuerung hat sich ebenfalls nichts Weltbewegendes getan, was den gruseligen Inhalt angeht - alles von gewohnter Güte, auf Elvira kann man sich einfach verlassen.

Was die technische Seite betrifft, sollte man die Empfehlung des Herstellers, eine Harddisk zu benützen, sehr ernst nehmen. Das Game läßt sich zwar auch von Disks spielen, aber in diesem Fall wird man mit unserer Handhabungsnote kaum einverstanden sein. Und da auch die zahlreichen Rätsel des Grusicals wieder in etwa den Knackligkeitsgrad des ersten Teils aufweisen, ist man auf zusätzliche (technische) Probleme ja wirklich nicht angewesen. (od)

Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus logo

Great to watch (hem, Hem), but does it stack up as a game?

Thirty-five quid!" was my first reaction to Elvira, "Seven disks!" was my second. Both exclamations were made in a squeaky big girl's voice. And speaking of big girls... that Elvira bird is not short of a handful, is she? Me, I think she should dish some out to those less fortunate than herself.

You know all about her, of course. Elvira is a superstar. She is big in the States and big over here... Hell, she is big everywhere. Phwooooaaaaar, eh? That is it. No more remarks about the size of Elvira's chest (but you cannot deny it is not big).

The fact remains that all but the most hormonally imbalanced men would dearly love to get on Elvira's prized assets, but - would you not know it? - some jammy sod already has! In the game, that is - it is a role playing jobbie, complete with "blood, gore, mayhem, death, blood, paranormal phenomena, battle with Goons from the Great Beyond, blood, plunder, carnage..." and just everything you could hope for, really.

What has happened is that Elvira has been kidnapped by a three-headed monster called Cerberus, who has jaws (hence the title, I guess) and it is your job to rescue her. She is being held in her Black Widow Productions studio, and it is outside here that your adventure begins (with a piece of whole inappropriate music resembling a Casio VL Tone demonstration in Dixons, incidently).

Here you get to choose a character to play - be it a Stuntman, Private Eye, Computer Programmer or Knife Thrower - each with his own attributes, while a digitised picture of Elvira appears to explain her plight. Seems like she has got something to get off her chest, herm hem. That is the gameplay basically - enter the studio, explore the sets, find some objects, fight some monsters, meet some people with whom you can converse to a (very) limited degree, talk to Elvira a bit and even - and this is the good bit - cast a fair few spells (provided you have found the necessary ingredients).

Most of the controls are accessed through the mouse, which you use both to move and to select appropriate action icons when the need arises. The problem is, the interface is nowhere near as much fun to handle as Elvira, and the view feels claustrophobic, even when out in the open.

In fact, you are completely in the program's hands, and it feels like it. That is the real problem with this game, as with so many graphic adventures - the story is ludicrously linear. You cannot move from (or turn to) the left or right in certain locations - even though logically you should be able to - simply because the necessary scene is not there.

So, a disappointment then. Should you choose to tackle Elvira you will find your hands full. The mountain to climb is high and the sluggish interface, lack of any atmosphere, shortage of interesting and varied puzzles or worthwhile substance makes your route to her chamber long and hard.

Which brings me to a sorry but inevitable conclusion: Elvira II is horrible. It will make you scream with frustration. The only frightening thing about it is that so many people wasted their time putting it together. Oh dear.

Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus logo

Television celebrity, film star, chat show personality, media figure and merchandiser's dream come true. Elvira is all of these and the only avenue her hourglass figure hasn't explored, is that of pop star supreme. Still, Americans take their music a lot more seriously than we do these days, so perhaps that isn't a viable option. The Mistress of the Dark is back, however, and has found another niche.

Elvira's drifter days are over and she's launched her very own Hollywood film studio. Unfortunately, Elvira has been kidnapped by Cerberus, a 60ft tall three-headed demon out for our damsel's blood. Your task is to follow the beast's trail and rescue the dame before the world loses one of its greatest assets.

You control one of four characters in the game: a stuntman, a knife thrower, a private eye or a computer programmer. Each has their own stats which are divided into primary and secondary sections. The first are major league and keep an account of the skill level you've attained in the game. These, in turn, affect the power of the spells you can cast and the damage they inflict. It also affects hand-to-hand combat and dictates whether you're a Mike Tyson or a Larry Grayson. Other major stats include experience points - the amount of damage you can take before joining that adventure play-ground in the sky.

Whereas these statistics are the same for everyone at the beginning, the secondary stats vary with each character, but reference to the manual will sort the swish from the fish. Every avenue has been taken into account from weapon skills and accuracy to will power and resistance to poison, so choose carefully.

Elvira's studio is split into four stages. The first is a general runaround the complex to get used to the controls. Nothing really happens in these initial levels and, as you wander around the different canteens, make-up departments, typing pools and costume departments, it's simply a question of collecting up anything that's not genetically spliced to its adjoining surface.

This is one of the drawbacks with the system. The characters are severely limited in what they can carry and, after a few rooms, you're loaded to the gills with all kinds of junk. This forces you to create piles of garbage all over the complex which you'll have to return for when they're required. Additionally, not everything has an obvious purpose, though, which aggravates the problem, and you might discard an old bit of chewing-gum only to find that it's the last vital ingredient to a thermonuclear meltdown spell.

The simple point 'n' click interface will be recognised by fans of the first game, although a few changes have been implemented. There's a comprehensive health screen depicted by a manikin to keep your body's holding up. Each of your limbs can sustain an allocated number of hits. Exceed this and your performance will suffer. Lose a leg and you'll walk slower, an arm and your ability to carry objects will wane. A pulsating heart gives an overall idea of your health and welfare.

The other three sections take place over the studio's sound stages. Elvira is being held on one of these, but to free her all three will have to be explored. Walking onto a set is very realistic as it's populated with lights, cameras and other such trappings. It's a pity the jaunty music kills the mood. Hiding behind the three doors are The Haunted House, The Graveyard and The Catacombs. Giant spiders, zombies, Frankenstein's Monster, and a host of other mutants await you before the night is out. You won't get far without spells so make sure you have enough of the vital ingredients to make them.

As RPGs go, Elvira 2 is rather tame. There's so little to do, you'll soon be screeching out for a three-tentacles gargoyle to practice your dark arts on. Even the novel ideas, including a huge library where you can swot up on different monsters and how to defeat them, is dull.

Who wants to thumb through endless books to get a few clues? The control method, where everything must be collected before it can be examined, slows things down further, and even the rare bouts of combat are boring.

The first Elvira RPG combat system was accompanied by chilling sound effects and on-screen torso slashes. Most of the beasts in this game are just happy to slide off the bottom of the screen when defeated.

Elvira 2 covers seven disks, but swapping is thankfully kept to a minimum. Your movement is restricted to about five or six frames per load, but considering the number of objects in each room, the update is fast. The graphics are suitably dark and gruesome in parts, with some very detailed screens, but these usually cover up the fact that there's little to do in some sections.

For my money, however, I like a bit more excitement and a lot less expense. Elvira might be one of the most desirable women on the planet, but she'll just have to live wihout me this time.

EXTRAS - READ ALL ABOUT 'EM One new addition to Elvira 2 is the Seismic Activity Sensor. This handy gadget indicates any movement in the immediate vicinity of your character. However, it doesn't like movement and is useless when being shaken or tilted. Another advantage over the original is the ability to have more than one spell running at once. Thus, it's a good idea to get Lucky, Protection and Armour spells going when all that's between you and death is a rusty old pen knife.

Elvira 2: The Jaws of Cerberus logo

Accolade/£34.99/Out now

Amiga reviewMartin: "Cerberus - who he?" you might ask. Well, he's a huge and hairy, three-headed demon who's holding horror-flick starlet Elvira prisoner somewhere in her own film studios. Your task is to rescue the stupendously well-stacked Gothic lovely before she's sacrificed at midnight.

The game is basically a mouse-driven role-playing adventure with fighting, spellcasting, exploring and lots of puzzle solving. There are bundles of objects to be found, though most are sneaky old red herrings. There are also lots of great distractions, such as in the costume department where you can try on a load of false noses and chortle at the results in a mirror.

On the down side, controlling movement is a bit of a palaver, and some of the rooms contain a sudden unavoidable death (which can be a tad depressing). However, the game boasts a marvellous, creepy atmosphere reinforced by a sprinkling of grisly artwork.

For instance, your character can come to all sorts of sticky ends, each one illustrated by a yucky graphic of his face horribly disfigured in accordance with the manner of his demise. And, of course, every so often Elvira herself appears, complete with huge beehive hairdo and a cleavage like the Avon Gorge, to pass caustic comment on your progress or offer some timely advice.