February 15, 2015

China: Intrigue in the Forbidden City

Cryo Interactive Entertainment, 1999

China is a very nice educational adventure title developed by Cryo Interactive, acclaimed software house and home to many adventure games including everyone's favorite Atlantis and Egypt series. The game under review takes place in the exotic China of late seventeenth century, when a chief eunuch has been murdered in the Forbidden City of Beijing. You play the role of Chief Superintendent Han Jing, who has been ordered by the Emperor Qianlong to investigate the crime done and bring the assassin to justice. As you investigate, you unravel a mysterious web of intrigues intertwined inside the royal quarters, which leads up to more murders. There are very few problems and slide-tile type of puzzles to solve and the game mostly depends on interacting with different characters in the game or visiting places or by chasing someone to some hidden place.

Travelling in the games has made simple by the help of a map but you can not reach a place if you have not explored it interactively, which means that you can only reach an already visited location by clicking on the map. As for the educational part, the CDROM has an encyclopedia reference section and the player can get a bit of information on many locations, things and officials designated in the historical Chinese palaces. The game interface consists of 360-degree smooth camera view with a point and click cursor. Collected items are placed in the inventory, which a right mouse button click opens at the bottom of the screen. Graphics are completely rendered in 3D and display a real life look of the city and the palaces. Typical Chinese music playing in the background is very nice and does add extra fun in the game. Overall, this is a must play game and I strongly recommend it to every serious adventure gamer.