Retro bytes: “Hudson Hawk”


Something i’ve always wanted to do (but always been too busy) is to occasionally do a blog post of any particular games of interest during my retro gaming travels to share with others.  Quick and short blog posts just to quickly highlight the game with a brief background/overview and then allow others to go off and check it out for themselves (Hopefully on more obscure titles).   Now I have a bit more time, here’s hopefully the first of many starting with Ocean’s “Hudson Hawk”…

Box art (various)
Box art (various)

Hudson Hawk” was considered a bit of a flop on its movie release back in 1991, but Ocean Software had at the time decided that there was a decent game to be created from it.  It was found out recently from Ocean’s supremo Gary Bracey that the actual film script he was sent depicted something far better than what eventually surfaced, with a script which was described as fantastic.

The Vatican level (C64)
The Vatican level (C64)

Unfortuntaely things were tweaked and the film bombed badly; as a result the game went under the radar a little – although it is quite a superb little game created by the ‘Special FX’ team.

Summarizing in brief, the game is a platform/puzzler affair where you must avoid tripping up alarms and steal particular artefacts from the likes of Rutherfords and the Vatican.  Enemies range from guard dogs, to guys on pogo sticks – all very bizzare and comical throughout (Throwing a ball will send one of the  guard dogs running after it and swiftly jumping off the roof after it).  It is a sort of a mix of Bruce Lee (C64) and Addams Family (SNES) , with that typical NES platformer feel to it (Which is ironic considering it was released on the NES).

Of course, my version of choice is the C64 conversion which is very well done – but notable versions include the Amiga and NES versions (Though all platforms of the time are well covered).  One other version that I have been playing a lot is the Gameboy version that was picked up from a charity box.

Gameboy version (Level 1)
Gameboy version (Level 1)

Although its been dumbed down a little (with some of the puzzle elements from the first level removed compared to the C64 version),  it’s an enjoyable conversion of the game and some people will find it less frustrating compared to the C64 version (which isn’t very forgiving at the best of times.)

Now I have an urge to watch the film just to see if its as bad as people have made out…

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