February 4, 2015

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Sierra On-Line, 1994

A game based on a mystery novel by Jane Jensen. You play Gabriel Knight, a hip young writer in present day New Orleans who is being tormented by terrifying nightmares. In order to finish his book and quell the dreams, he must solve a series of grisly voodoo murders and unravel the story of his own supernatural heritage. The game plays like a mystery, with minimal graphic violence and gore. But what we particularly enjoyed was the well-researched history of voodoo as a religion, including how and why it was introduced in this country during the early days of slavery.

You play the game through a point and click interface, a way of control adapted earlier by Sierra, leaving behind the annoying keyboard text parsers. An icon bar slides down from above when you move the cursor to the uppermost area of the screen, where icons are available to select various actions, such as walk, talk, and look. The inventory icon pops up an inventory that allows one to carry multiple items. All characters and backgrounds are computer animated and finely rendered. Gabriel travels from one place to another by clicking the available locations on a map of  New Orleans. The background music in this game is so appropriate according to the situation that it elevates the enjoyment. For me, it's one of the best adventure games I have ever played.