Noctropolis is an old DOS game that now works on DOSBOX.
The game was developed by a company called Flashpoint Productions and was released in 1994 by Electronic Arts. I cannot seem to find the company on the internet now. I'm very curious what happened to the entire design team and the developer company. The Project Manager was Brent Erickson. The manual had a list of the development team members and said that Brent had "51 titles to his credit", so with his success he could still be involved in the gaming industry.
Noctropolis is quite similar in design to ACCESS's older games like Martian Memorandum (a Tex Murphy game before UAKM). You right click to bring up a mini console of possible actions that your character can do, such as "get", "use", "goto", etc.
You control the character of Peter Grey, a man who is pulled into a comics book world. He takes over the role of a superhero, Darksheer, teams up with his beautiful and sexy former sidekick, Stiletto, and battles against six twisted arch-villains.
The game is designed for mature audiences because there are some subplots that deal with sexual misconduct, demonic possession, torture and mutilation. The game is sexist as a few of the female characters are protrayed as sex objects. The sexist elements may not be to the taste of same players, and may be viewed as gratuitous. In one scene Stiletto actually bares her assets.
The story is not bad and could have been inspired by popular superheroes like Batman and The Shadow. The various characters you interact with and their personalities bring the city of night to life. Peter, as the hero, leaves most of the fighting to Stiletto, and defeats his foes using his wits instead. For a superhero story, some players may feel that there is no enough physical action. However, the interesting villains and their plots will keep you entertained.
The game has high production values. The artwork in the game is gorgeous, on par with games like Martian Memorandum and some old Sierra titles like Rise of the Dragon (Dynamix). You will get to flip through two full-screen comic books, complete with background music and classic B movie sound effects of bullets and "hits". When you converse with the numerous characters in the game, a small FMV window pops up to show the character, and dialogue options appear (just like Martian Memorandum.) The developers recruited quite a number of people to play these characters. Some of their lines are actually quite witty, but some of the characters are rather unlikeable. As a bonus, after the game ends you will be treated to a somewhat interesting series of FMV bloopers involving the actors and actresses.
The soundtrack is quite nice and comes as another bonus on 11 CD tracks. You will get to listen to the music or hear sound effects in every scene. However, you need to configure the sound and music devices correctly or you will get a watered down Midi version of the soundtrack when you play the game.
The game features inventory puzzles, dialogue trees and one logic puzzle. For the dialogue trees, you have to choose a sequence of correct responses so that you get what you want from the character that Peter is interacting with. For some parts of the game you are given a time limit to get your character out of a location to go back to the base and heal him. The time limit is quite generous, but you could always restore your game if you cannot figure out what to do before the time runs out. There are several instant death situations in the game. Your character may actually be killed if you choose incorrect dialogue options.
Some people may feel that the game is not long enough, or do not have enough plot or action or puzzles. Overall, I enjoyed the game. I find that it is quite unique and should make a fine addition to your collection of classic point and click adventure games.