February 3, 2015

Amber: Journeys Beyond

Hue Forest Entertainment, 1996

Amber: Journey Beyond is a nice, but little creepy adventure game that I kept for almost a year in my closet until a dear friend of mine recommended it to me. In the game, you play as an avid adventurer and researcher of paranormal. Roxy, an old colleague of yours has bought a house in North Carolina to do some research on paranormal. The house is reputed to be an active place of paranormal activities and during one of her researches Roxy accidentally loses control and goes in a mysterious unconscious state. This is where you enter the game and reach the house to help her.

You enter the house and after a little while you learn that the ghostly inhabitants of the house are trying to communicate with you and requesting you to help them in solving the mystery and all the puzzles in their respective worlds. Now, in order to save Roxy and bring her back in her world you need to solve all the puzzles in these paranormal worlds and also, unravel the mysteries behind the tragic deaths of these people.

The game puzzles are quite moderate in difficulty and can be solved without applying much pressure on your mind. The gameplay is semi-linear and the interface is composed of different cursor shapes for different actions. For instance, the x symbol displays if there is no action required, a question mark cursor means that you can get a closer look of the place or an object and a diamond cursor indicates the direction you can move in the screen. At the bottom of the screen, the game will display an 'inventory' of the items that you are carrying and they are represented only by their outlines. Positioning the cursor within the inventory will display images of the actual objects. Overall, the game has nice graphics compiled in a Myst-Like environment, ambient music, spooky sound effects and excellent storyline, all combined to make this an unforgettable game.