Voyeur (video game)
|Developer(s)||Philips POV Entertainment|
|Publisher(s)||Philips Interactive (CD-i)|
|Platform(s)||CD-i, MS-DOS, Macintosh|
Voyeur is an interactive movie video game released in 1993 for the Philips CD-i. MS-DOS and Macintosh computer ports were later released. A major selling point for the game was the "mature" content of the full motion video sequences, with a number of simulated sex scenes.
The player takes on the role of a private investigator hired by a member of the wealthy Hawke family in order to gain enough evidence to bring down the corrupt Reed Hawke (played by Robert Culp), CEO of Hawke Industries. Hawke has gathered his family together for the weekend to prepare for his announcement that he will be running for President of the United States. The player controls a video camera located in a building opposite to spy on the Hawke family home in an effort to gather enough evidence to destroy Reed Hawke's career. The player character's client is randomly selected each time a new game is started, and the storyline also changes according to the player's actions.
The design of Voyeur was inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock film “Rear Window” starring Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr. In the film, Jimmy Steward looks into the rear windows of a building across the interior courtyard from his apartment. He is able to see only some of what is going on in the apartments. He has to imagine the rest. He eventually thinks a murder has been committed in one of the apartments. In his effort to get evidence on the murderer he puts himself and Grace Kelly in mortal danger.
This dramatic device was the basis for the design of Voyeur. The player can only see partial scenes playing in the windows of the Reed Hawke mansion at any point in time in the narrative. They must decide what is happening and what they want to do about it based on this partial information. The design also makes use of a ticking clock. Scenes appear in the windows of the Hawke mansion only for a brief period of time. If the player misses any of them or chooses to look at something else, their sense of what is going on could be incomplete. The player has the weekend to stop the nomination of Reed Hawke for president. If they guess wrong about which member of the family is betraying Hawke, the player is killed by an assassin.
Reviewing the Macintosh version, a Next Generation critic remarked derisively on the limited interactivity of full motion video based games, but said that Voyeur is a superior game by the standards of its genre due to the solid acting. He gave it two out of five stars.
Next Generation reviewed the CD-i version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Although it won't appeal to action fans, this title has enough depth and replay value to be a valuable addition to any CD-i library."
- Southwell, Ben (September 1994). "Voyeur". CDi Magazine. No. 1. Haymarket Magazines Ltd. pp. 10–12 – via Internet Archive.
- "Voyeur II for DOS (1996) - MobyGames". MobyGames. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
- "Voyeur". Next Generation. No. 13. Imagine Media. January 1996. p. 168.
- "Finals". Next Generation. No. 1. Imagine Media. January 1995. p. 94.