“I have the license to Frankie Goes to Hollywood!”
How exactly do you respond to that? Well, apparently by making a surreal adventure game.
- The game was created with a unique approach as it didn’t star the band’s members or have much to do with music. Instead, it was a somewhat psychedelic romp based off of the cover art for the band’s albums.
- FGTH’s protagonist is, quite literally, a shade of a man. Inspired by the band’s logo, the player takes on this persona and embarks on a quest to become a “real person.” Incidentally, this premise also served as a nice cover for the ZX Spectrum’s colour limitations.
- The game starts off with the player stumbling upon a murder, which — in a somewhat positive twist — actually gives the protagonist hope of becoming an interesting (i.e., real) individual. Being interesting is also the prerequisite for entering “The Pleasuredome,” the overall goal of the game.
- Much like Clue, solving the murder mystery involves gathering evidence and eliminating suspects. Making correct deductions increases one of the player’s main statistics: sex, war, love and religion. Each one of these is a reference to the band’s albums, and is used to indicate how interesting the shade has become.
- The four icons representing sex, war, love and religion are a pair of sperm, a missile, a heart and a cross. Each one is accompanied by a vertical bar on the right side of the screen.
- FGTH contains various surreal minigames — such as a game of Breakout where Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev spit projectiles at each other — that can be played to increase the shade’s interest-level.
- The highest possible score in the game is 99%, accentuating the fact that no one’s ever really perfect.