Sunday 5 November 2023

Beverly Hillbillies - The Final Rating

By Ilmari
That’s $74.44 in today’s money. The image here is the courtesy of our old friend Trickster, who has been slowly collecting ads, previews, reviews and other stuff of adventure games from his considerable collection of game magazines of the time. You can find all the material here
Despite the low expectations, I’ve had surprisingly enjoyable time with Beverly Hillbillies. The game has had its low points, which I will penalise accordingly, but on the whole it was not as painful an experience as I had imagined. Let’s see how far that will go with ratings.

Puzzles and Solvability

Judging only the adventure gamish parts of the game (which still form the majority of the gameplay), the puzzles are amazingly solvable. True, they are not very original, most of them being very ordinary fetch quests. Still, there was really no chance to get stuck, since the NPCs helpfully give enough hints for solving the puzzles. If there’s something I’d like to criticise, it’s the need to do a lot of pixel hunting, as the objects that can be manipulated or picked up stand in no way out of the detailed backgrounds.
Bottles, towels, plants... all completely irrelevant
Score: 4.

Interface and Inventory

This is clearly the Achilles heel of the game, even if I ignore the bug with the saving, which might have something to do with DOSBox not agreeing with the game code. I mean, it must be an achievement to make the easiest sort of mouse interface, where one click does it all, feel extremely clunky. Even the simple act of walking could be a tortuous affair, when my character managed to get caught with chairs and other furniture and just danced around like a drunkard, trying fruitlessly to find an exit from his predicament.
Just passing that bench requires careful manuevering
Score: 2.

Story and Setting

Considering that the game is an adaptation of a movie remake of an old TV series, the plot hangs strikingly well together. Judging by the Wikipedia entry of the movie, the game doesn’t try to recreate the plot of the movie faithfully, leaving out major sections, like Jed Clampett being tricked into a marriage by the movie antagonist. Instead, the game concentrated on a fairly minor detail, that of the granny being kidnapped, and the result is a coherent story arc. I will take some points away because of an imbalance in the structure: the kidnapping is introduced well over the halfway point of the game, after which the end is pretty near.

Score: 4.
Here’s another opinion on the game

Sounds and Graphics

You cannot really go wrong starting your game with Rossini’s Call to cows. After that, the music goes downhill, the rest of the game being filled with a couple of irritating and endlessly repeating digital compositions. I am also not a particular fan of the graphics, and especially the character sprites have a bit of a smudgy feeling to them.
 An example of the graphics
Score: 3.

Entertainment and Atmosphere

Considering that the game is an adaptation of a movie remake of an old TV series, you can’t fail to get an impression of twice heated leftovers. I wasn’t that excited about the episodes of the series and the movie bits I saw, and transferring the story into a completely new medium hasn’t done any favours to the experience. Especially the physical comedy of the originals has not been conveyed that well to the computer monitor, since there’s nothing to laugh about in stiffly standing and walking sprites. I’ll give a few points for the effort.

Score: 4.

Dialogue and Acting

Do you have that slightly demented uncle who tries to tell funny stories, but manages to drown the very obviously underlined punchlines under a load of empty chatter? And do you still feel compelled to fake laughing just to not make the old man embarrassed? This is what reading the game dialogue feels like.
Ha ha, you are killing me
Score: 3

4 + 2 + 4 + 3 + 4 + 3 = 20/.6 = 33. I still haven’t addressed the elephant in the room, that is, the intolerably aggravating driving section. I feel that it deserves two minus points, making the final score 31.
Looking at the score guesses, most of you were rather sceptical and thought the game would get a score in 20s - luckily it wasn't that bad. The closest guess was made by ShaddamIVth. Congratulations!

CAP Distribution

100 CAPs to Ilmari
  • Blogger Award - 100 CAPs - for playing through Beverly Hillbillies for everyone's enjoyment
100 CAPs to Morpheus Kitami
  • Classic Blogger Award - 50 CAPs - for blogging through The Last Half of Darkness II for everyone's enjoyment
  • Even More Classic Blogger Award - 50 CAPs - for blogging through Dismal Passages for everyone's enjoyment
10 CAPs to ShaddamIVth
  • Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - for being the closest guesser to the Beverly Hillbillies PISSED rating
8 CAPs to ATMachine
  • Historian Award - 8 CAPs - for providing interesting historical context for the TV show Beverly Hillbillies
8 CAPs to Corey Cole
  • IRS Award - 8 CAPs - for explaining how to use tax receipts to get rich


  1. I'm pleasantly surprised. Even though I had guessed lower, after your playthrough, I would have given it a couple more points. And had I been a fan of the TV show, I suspect I would have enjoyed it.

    But since my favorite TV show from that era is probably Adam-12, it makes sense that I like the video game reenactment of it, even if it was a Jim Walls endeavor.

  2. Sounds about right, as it's clearly not a total disaster of a game while still falling short in most areas. I'm certainly in no rush to play it myself! Thanks for getting through it for us.

    I never saw the 1993 movie, but I do remember it being released and promoted - mostly because Erika Eleniak was of great interest back then to someone just entering his teens.

  3. Thanks for the link to Trickster's magazine archive too - no need for me to keep scouring my old issues of PC Format!


Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of the reviewer requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game...unless they really obviously need the help...or they specifically request assistance.

If this is a game introduction post: This is your opportunity for readers to bet 10 CAPs (only if they already have them) that the reviewer won't be able to solve a puzzle without putting in an official Request for Assistance: remember to use ROT13 for betting. If you get it right, you will be rewarded with 50 CAPs in return.
It's also your chance to predict what the final rating will be for the game. Voters can predict whatever score they want, regardless of whether someone else has already chosen it. All score votes and puzzle bets must be placed before the next gameplay post appears. The winner will be awarded 10 CAPs.