February 13, 2015

Ripley's Believe It or Not!: The Riddle of Master Lu

Sanctuary Woods, Inc., 1995

The Riddle of Master Lu is one of those unforgettable adventure games that I have ever played, fully packed with mind twisting puzzles and displaying many exotic locations in China, Germany and Peru with well-done backdrops created with the combination of computerized graphics and modern video technology. Before playing this game, I only knew Robert Ripley from one of his many Ripley's Believe It Or Not! museums I visited while staying in the United States so, when the game was released, I rushed to get it. In this game you play as Robert Ripley himself, who goes on a tomb raiding quest to unravel a 2,000 years old hidden tomb of the first legendary emperor of China, Master Lu, fabled to be buried along with all his treasures and most of all the Imperial Seal, an ancient talisman, which could give immense powers to the one who possesses it. Your only rival in the game are two unknown Asian goons of some criminal group, who also tried to kill you while you were on an expedition in Egypt, which you escaped by sheer luck.

Despite the reasonably good quality graphics and inlay small window size video sequences that you often get in the game, the music and sound effects are quite standard with inferior quality speech and voice acting, which I didn't like a bit. The digitized sprites of real actors are not very smooth in movements and gives a distinguished feeling of the character in the scene. Though, the puzzle-solving vary from easy to very hard with good rating on pixel hunting. Story and gameplay is excellent and very grabbing and if you overlook the speech issue then this is no doubt an enjoyable classical adventure game to try.