It's the year 2004 (yeah, this game was done a LONG time ago) and all of the sudden orbs have taken over the earth. They've implanted chips into all the humans to keep track of them and monitor them so that they won't conspire to try and take over all of Orbkind. But still, people still have a little hope and try and fight back against the Orbs. Due to this issue, they've started making select humans Manhunters so they can hunt down the people responsible for rebelling against the orbs.
This game holds a dear place in my heart. Mainly because my mother bought it for me when I was 9 and it had lots of dead bodies in it (which is one reason there aren't any pictures in this review). Your investigations brings you around what's left of New York. Due to the Orbs, New York has be left looking unkempt and filthridden. There aren't many places where people socialize due to problems that people get into if they converse with fellow humans (because all Orbs suffer from paranoia).
Your only tool is a MAD (Manhunter Assignment Device). It's used as a tracker to find out where the wrongdoers went so that you can investigate those places. Also, it allows you to look up information about people you discover along the way so you can look in their homes. If you get any data cards along the way, you can plug it into the MAD for extra information.
This game is hard for a few reasons. You have to pay attention to everything, because you could miss an obvious clue without knowing it (which is why you'll never get out of Day 1 unless you do so). Also, some of the puzzles are downright evil. There's one where you have to punch in a code based on the picture you're looking at and it's not obvious what it could possibly be. Add the fact that there are four of those pictures and it's a pain. Oh, I forgot to mention that if you get the code wrong, you die.
Oh, but don't worry about dying. You'll die plenty in this game, but the game always allows you start back to before you died to replay the are, so you basically have infinite lives. It's also highly suggested that you do die sometimes, just to see the multiple deaths of your manhunter (yes, it's cruel, but the programmers worked hard on those animations, why not watch them?).
It's fun once you get into it (and get past Day 1). There are multiple mini-games you get to play during the game (you can even play a carnival game) that distract from the adventure focus of the game. I've caught myself playing the Kewpie Doll game a few times just for fun.
Although it's difficult, I still find this incredibly fun to play. I give it a very personal 8.2/10.
General Adventure questions:
1. Will you die?: Many, many times.
2. Is there violence?: You get to punch people and visit lots of corpses.
3. Is it hard?: Yes and no. There are a couple puzzles with no given direction that'll cause you to die. For the amount of times that you'll die, visit question 1.
4. Are there timing issues with puzzles?: No. The only real time issue is on the final mini-game, but that's because you're being chased and you don't want to die.
5. Will you need a pen and paper?: It's not necessary, but you do might want to write down names so that you can remember which corpse is whose and any info you want to remember to enhance the adventure experience.
6. Is this game for everyone?: I'd say teens and up. I don't know what my parents were thinking.