Hyaku Monogatari is based on a traditional Japanese parlour game in which a group of people would tell 100 spooky tales in one night, extinguishing a candle after each one. Once the final tale was told, it was rumoured that the spirits would appear and something pretty nasty might happen, which is why most players called it quits at 99. The PC Engine take on this is not a game, but a collection of stories. You are presented with a screen showing 100 candles and you can choose (in any order) whichever one you like. You are then shown a scary story which ends with the candle being blown out.
The stories are presented in similar ways, with limited interaction. Most are text over digitised images (with some animation here and there) and sinister music and sound effects. Others allow you to chose map or building locations and hear a relevant story or report. There are also a selection of tales read by Junji Inagawa - a Japanese actor and horror author.
Once the game is complete, you gain access to three mini 'games'; Candle blowing, Ouija board and Zener cards.
This is one of those titles that it is impossible to have a valid opinion of, unless you can understand Japanese. To the westerner, it's a curiosity and your mileage may vary. I was hoping to have more traditional tales of yokai (Japanese demons) than the contemporary stories we have here, but nevertheless, I still found it mildly interesting seeing all the pictures. Most of the stories are fairly short and have about enough visual stimuli so as not to bore you if you can't read the text. None of it is particularly frightening and there's a lot of shots of houses, corridors and the inside of cars. There isn't as much animation as I would have liked, with Hudson settling for lots of wibbly wobbly picture effects to create the mood. The mini games are also fairly useless so don't consider them an incentive to play. In conclusion, I'm not going to rate this title as it is entirely up to you - I got something out of it, maybe you will, maybe you wont. Who knows?