Posted: March 22
I am an adventure gamer. I remember this game coming out and bought it a year or so after that. I never finished it because I got stuck on a puzzle back then. I finally decided to finish it up...I love playing old school adventure games especially ones I played back in the day. I enjoy most of my replays of older games. This was not one of those games.
After completing the game, I have to say, I think with out a doubt, this game pushed the graphics envelope (in a game) but was really a technical demonstration or interactive story more than a game. The game mechanics and puzzles are so thin by todays measures it would be considered a very casual game. This doesn't mean puzzles are easy; some are definitely hard...but nearly all puzzles have NOTHING at all to do with anything and in some cases are very illogical/non-sense.
I really wanted to like this game seeing that after all these years, I did hold it in esteem (as others have)....but the game is just not fun. The general game design is horrendous.
-The icons to represent actions that can be performed are complete rubish and random. Why does a set of dentures/teeth represent an action to move to a new scene? Very bad design. There is no inventory. The icons used include: directional skeleton hand, eye ball, teeth, mask, and skull+brain. All those for a game that has one action: left click on hotspot.
-Scene Transitions.....are....so....slow. It is clear that they only existed to showcase the graphics. This was one element that Myst got right: quick transitions. At least 30-40% of my 5 hours playing this were transitions.
-Most Sound FX and music volumes were too loud to even hear the voice acting.
-Too many bad puns....over and over again.
-Story is weak and generally uninteresting.
-Menu design is crap. "Your game has been saved." Seriously, I need a voiceover to tell me that my game was saved? I don't think I've EVER seen something like this in any game. Very tedious and unneccesary.
-It can be near impossible to determine WHAT you should do next even by using the map.
+Some sound effects were not the best but overall the music was different.
+For the effort and the technology. Some of the video post effects, blending, and rasterization is pretty cool. Some of the pictures in the hallways have crazy "ooohhhh" effects to them when you examine them.
If I flash myself back to the early 90s, I had no concept of indie games. Today, I would classify this as a mediocre/promising indie interactive story. There are too many missing interactions to even call this an adventure game. In contrast similar game (like Myst), there is story and puzzles and there is some relationship between the two. Here there is not.....you just go around solving puzzles (except one where you need a map in another room to solve a maze). I cannot recommend this game as there is just too much tedium for no real reward. Instead, spend your time playing the Gabriel Knight or Tex Murphy series.