From the twisted minds of those who gave us Sanitarium, Veil of Darkness and Menzoberranzan comes this sweet little Disney game. DreamForge Intertainment had an illustrious career all through the 90s. While their RPGs based on the Dungeons & Dragons rule set did well, their adventure gaming output were arguably some of the greatest of their time. Sanitarium still sits among the top of my list.
Out of their strong line up, there's one game that stands out like a cat in a doghouse - 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor. Released in 1997, this game was commissioned to coincide with the live-action movie starring Glenn Close, but the designs are more akin to the original 1961 movie or the animated television series which aired later that same year.
The plot takes place half-way through the classic story when the Dalmatian puppies have been kidnapped and kept at Cruella DeVil's run-down mansion. Two pups named Patches and Wizzer escape their confines determined to get outta there. What follows is an incredibly short adventure that may be aimed at 6-year-olds, but there's also a lot to like for us grown ups too.
First and foremost is the graphics. Each location is stunningly realised with detailed pre-rendered backdrops and a quality of animation that befits a Disney game. I would even go and say that it outshines any of the Animated Storybooks from the same period. The downside is that it's perhaps a bit too dark making some interactions hard to see. The backdrops are all from the height of the puppies, which makes tables, beds and suits of armour daunting behemoths to behold. In a bizarre choice of marketing spiel, the developers promoted this artistic choice as "puppyvision". I guess kids get a kick out of it.
There are apparently multiple ways to escape the mansion, allowing for some replayability, but most will probably be satisfied with their first playthrough. It certainly left me wanting more, but I'd rather have a meatier game than multiple endings. I very much doubt I'd revisit it to find all of the different possibilities. Nevertheless, this is sure to while away an hour or two quite nicely. More so if your six.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 299 Mb. Install Size: 422 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor is © Disney Interactive
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me