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Voyeur – CD-i

Voyeur – CD-i

VoyeurPlatform:  Philips CD-i

Release Date (NA):  1993

Developer:  Philips POV Entertainment

Publisher: Interplay / Philips Interactive

Genre:  FMV Game

Rating:  7.5 out of 10

Stuck at the beginning of this game needing a code?  3333 is the default.

Voyeur was envisioned as the flagship game for the Philips CD-i, but since the CD-i never really made much of a public splash the claim is dubious.  At a time when the video game industry as a whole was under scrutiny for violent and suggestive themes, a whole slew of FMV games with adult themes were hitting the market and Philips in fact intended for the CD-i to be a console dedicated to more mature audiences.  To give the CD-i some credit, it was able to produce some FMV games before the craze hit full force.  Voyeur still stands as an example of FMV used well instead of the superfluous feature it would soon become.

VoyeurThe player stars as a private investigator hired by a member of a wealthy family.  Who the client is changes each time is played.  The objective is to discover evidence of a corrupt CEO before he announces his intention to run for president.  The player, as the PI, has exactly one weekend.  There are cameras hidden in locations around the large house with the ability to see and hear what’s going on, sometimes only able to hear.  As the player, you must put together enough information proving some sort of illegal activity to report to the police before the CEO’s presidential announcement press conference.

There are a number of ever-changing variables in Voyeur that make putting together any kind of walkthrough virtually impossible.  Different interactions and activities can be seen or heard at different times during the weekend.  Subsequent activities are sometimes dependent on what has already been caught on camera or microphone, and of course much of the information only makes sense from the perspective of one of the clients.  This all makes for unique situations each time the came is played culmination in near perfect replayability value.

VoyeurVoyeur’s difficulty factor is extremely high.  Some of it is based on luck (what room one happens to be investigating at a certain time) and much of it also revolves around competent deduction skills and sniffing out proof of one’s suspicions.  Unlike similar games that may result in one “good” ending and several “failed” endings, Voyeur includes a number of “good” and “bad” outcomes as well as quite a few falling into the gray area between “winning” and “losing.”  In many circumstances the information acquired is either useless or intended as a red herring, forcing the player to really put some thought into the investigation.

Gameplay is very simplistic, presumably to allow the player to focus on the necessary detective skills to solve the case.  Most of it consists of pointing and clicking at windows, discovering what if any information lies within.  The FMV sequences themselves are a nice touch and add an appropriate sense of realism.  Very adult subject matter is discussed, even acted upon, dealing heavily with infidelity and embezzlement, with references to lesbianism, rape, and incest to boot.  Some may interpret Voyeur as sleezy, but I happen to think it’s a well done reflection of the corruption of the upper class with a dash of dramaticism thrown in, not too dissimilar from daytime soap operas.

VoyeurFor many people Voyeur won’t be fun, as a video game, in the traditional sense, but it’s hard to deny how inventive this title really is.  Gameplay accomplishes exactly what it needs to and the twisted story broken into fragments and then strewn across the mansion over a weekend is a respectable achievement on its own.  Regretfully there never has been much of a market for games with such risque content and its disappointing that the ideas in Voyeur have not been fully expanded on or experimented with.  A very unique experience with few equals, many games with this level of innovation have failed to polish and develop their ideas enough for a smooth affair.  Voyeur is a rare occurrence where both concept and execution combine to form a fresh, engaging, and replayable ordeal.

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist


Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

Email me anytime, about anything: thecubist@nerdbacon.com

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  1. Pingback: Rise of the Dragon – Sega CD

  2. Pingback: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective – Turbografx CD, Sega CD

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