February 1, 2015

A Quiet Week-end in Capri

Silvio & Gey Savarese, 2003

Have you ever been to an island? Hmm, think no more ''cause the moment you install and run "A Quite Week-end in Capri" you will find yourself aboard a ferry on it's way to Capri island, the most exotic island in Italy. Capri Island qualifies just fine if you draw a picture of an island in your mind and include all good features that a populated island must have. Well, Capri has much more than that with its restaurants serving Italian delicacies, exotic white beaches, enchanting panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Naples, extremely clean narrow streets and alleyways, and a very long ancient history.

This two CDROM interactive tour and Myst-Clone adventure game hybrid is an independent creation of Silvio and Gey Savarese, who have taken immense amount of effort and time to put together over 4500 images, original sound effects and audio files to generate this masterpiece. The interactive tour allows the viewer to take a thorough tour of all the attractive places of the island by strolling over to any desired place by viewing a point to point still image of every distance and angle he or she achieves. The best feature of this tour is that every screen entertains the viewer with original sound and noises of the surrounding, which includes barking dogs, chirping cricket, ocean roar, etc. A point-and-click interface allows the viewer to choose the direction he wants to walk. The still images are quite good in quality and provide a wide-angle view of the scene.

In the adventure game part, you play as a tourist who has just arrived on Capri Island with its streets, hotels and markets full of tourist come here from all over the world. But, while walking toward Hotel Quisisana, where you have booked a room, something strange happens and the surrounding that was full of tourist and so noisy a moment ago becomes deserted and quiet. The time has shifted, you are now  many years into the future and you are no longer a tourist but a local, who works at a grocery store as a delivery boy. Your inventory, which can be popped open by clicking the handbag icon in the lower part of the screen, contains all the items you receive or pick up. As for the story-line, your main quest in the game is to successfully accomplish all the errands given to you and finally assemble the time machine that will restore your identity and time. Well, easier said then done but if you use the help option given in the game, which brings a bordered square around the important objects, memorials and tablets, it will greatly help and you hardly miss the objects that need your extra attention.

Beside all the good features, the game does have few glitches and the worst is the postcard size images that covers only the middle area of the screen, leaving a big black frame around. These images could be seen bigger if only the game would use a bit lower resolution then the screen size. Secondly, the few icons used to control the game and the tour are located at a good distance from each other and make the player move the mouse a lot. Most of the talking is in Italian with English subtitles but this language issue doesn't mar the superb game-play. I highly recommend this game to every serious adventure gamer, especially if they love hard and challenging puzzles.