February 3, 2015

The Space Bar

Boffo Games, Inc., 1997

The Space Bar, an excellent and unique science-fiction concoction of themes, casts you as Alias Node, a security cop and the only human on an intergalactic planet named Armpit VI. While on duty and cruising an area in your patrol car along with your alien partner, Maksh, you witness a female alien police officer being shot down and before dying she gives you a stolen Datacard, which holds half of the highly confidential secrets of a giant company. The other half of the secrets are on another Datacard, which is still with her attacker, who as per her statement is a very dangerous shape-shifter and can be tracked down in a local bar named "The Thirsty Tentacle." On reaching the bar, Maksh enters it and mysteriously disappears leaving you on your own. Now, your goal is to enter this bar full of strange looking aliens undercover to find Maksh and that mysterious shape-shifter and finally, retrieve the Datacard from him. The best feature in this game is your ability to merge your mind with someone else's. This ability of yours turns your quest into six quests, where you play the game with six different aliens. I enjoyed the part when I played as an alien with three sexes.

The Space Bar has one of the best looking graphics completely rendered in 3D, including the characters, the environment and all the objects, backed up with a point-and-click interface that allows you to view them in a 360-Degrees panned view. Sound and music are added very professionally and meshes well with the atmosphere of this intergalactic bar. Voice acting is excellent with subtitles, good quality lip-syncing and not to mention, the funniest dialogues. Overall, I find this game very entertaining and I would highly recommend it to all those fans of science-fiction adventure games that can stand ugly looking aliens.

Zeddas: Servant of Sheol

Caravan Interactive, 1995

Zeddas is a classic role-playing adventure game directed by Haruhiko Shono, a legendary figure in the Japanese gaming circle. The game tells the story of Rodvydel Castle, once ruled by a greedy King Griaras, whose huge treasures were hidden in this Castle. Zeddas, the King of Demons became his enemy and took over his castle by attacking him with his army of goblins and orks and killed everyone in the castle.  Soon after the castle disappeared and nothing was left but rumors. Many hundred years later you find a magical mirror, which shows you the way to this castle and you enter it determined to fight Zeddas and his army and free the castle. The game exhibit very dark but good graphics accompanied by an ominous and horror music soundtrack, The interface is simple and you use weapons or magical powers by clicking and dragging them onto the enemy. Overall, I will not recommend this game if you have weak heart, as some explicit scenes are not suitable to watch.

A Fork in the Tale

AnyRiver Entertainment, 1997

A Fork in the Tale is an interactive full motion video game with Rob Schneider starring in it. The game begins in present time and you get transported to the world of Eseveron in another dimension while saving a young woman's life and getting injured. It's a strange game where you try to figure out what is happening to you because one moment you are in an ocean swimming with the fishes and trying to save your life, and the next moment you are either in a dungeon arguing a strange person who magically materialized in front of you or running away in a jungle trying to hide from some strange people intent on capturing you. The plot in the game is that you must run and avoid everyone accept a woman, who wants to show you the way out of this cat and mouse chase maze.

The game interface is unique and gives you a choice of multiple action paths that leads to different locations, if you choose the right path the game will proceed else you will find yourself repeating the same sequence again and again. Qualifying these sequences need your best quick reflexes and instant decision. Sound and music is quite noisy and sometime become very irritating but according to the situation it suits well. I recommend this game to all the action adventure game fans.

The Neverhood Chronicles

The Neverhood, Inc., 1996

The Neverhood is one of the most bizarre classical adventure games created by Douglas TenNapel. The game is set in a bizarre environment made completely out of clay and casts you as a Duckman, newly born in the third age of Neverhood, a clay world full of mysterious artifacts, extraordinary machines and terrifying monsters. You travel around in this mystery world solving challenging puzzles, blasting monsters and collecting strange pieces of clay-video blocks that will unfold the mystery of your homeland. You are tasked with finding out what has befallen your homeland and how to make it better again.

The game offers one of the best music, a clay world created out of tons of clay fully packed with mind-boggling puzzles, riddles and tongue in cheek animations, which are amazing enough to freak you out and make you applaud.

Hariboy's Quest

Condor Software, 1996

A nice cartoon adventure game developed to promote Haribo chocolate candies. You play the role of Hariboy, a young kid who got sucked by a painting in his room into the enchanted fantasy land of Bonbonia, where an evil dragon has destroyed a candy formula which was kept safe in a chest. The land of Bonbonia consists of three worlds, the Western world, the Roman world and the Medieval world and a magical tree controls the access to these worlds. The precious candy formula has a duplicate copy, which is further scattered across three books and each book is hidden in each world of Bonbonia. Your quest is to find a way to reach these worlds and get hold of these books and retrieve the formula. During your quest you have to handle some crooks that are also after the valuable formula.

Hariboy's Quest is one of those few games where you have hundreds of locations to visit, which in turn are decorated with colorful cartoon like graphics. The puzzles are quite logical and promote different Haribo candy products. Overall, Hariboy's Quest is a fun game that will amuse every member of the family.

Mortimer and the Riddles of the Medallion

LucasArts, 1996

A fine educational arcade adventure game from the well known home of adventure games, LucasArts. In the beginning of the game Sid and Sally stumble into a magical world while chasing their cat and dog, which they also find in this enchanted world turned into stone statues due to an evil curse. In fact, the evil Lodius has stolen a magical medallion from the kind professor Lazlow and is using it to steal all the powers from the animals and turn them into statues. The medallion's magic was only intended to do good, thus it explodes into seven pieces and scatters throughout the world and land in places which are protected by some gate guardians. It is now up to Sid, Sally and a very special (and very large) flying snail named Mortimer to unfreeze the animals and find all the pieces of the medallion within 24 hours, because if the animals aren't freed within 24 hours they'll remain in their stone state forever. You play as either Sid or Sally and fly the Magical as well as Mechanical Mortimer and you try to  unfreeze all the animals using Professor Lazlow inventions. Once you end a stage, the Gate Guardian will ask you a riddle related to the last sequence you have accomplished. The correct answer will open the gate and let you get the medallion piece. The animated cut-scenes in the game are brilliant, especially the introduction. The arcade sequences are very entertaining and can be accomplished using your mouse without much difficulty.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

The Dreamer's Guild, 1995

Based on Harlan Ellison's most famous novel, I Have No Mouth translated beautifully to the PC screen in this frightening game adaptation. It is the dark tale of five human beings who are the last legacy of a self-annihilated humanity. You get to play as each of the five characters, whose minds and bodies are at the mercy of a supercomputer, the only other surviving intelligence on the planet. The SVGA graphics are excellent and the MIDI music quite atmospheric. The digitized speech and sound effects are top-notch and the story, entrancing.  While not for the faint of heart, this title is not to be missed by adventure game lovers, especially those who enjoy dark and haunting games like Sanitarium and Darkseed.

Torin's Passage

Sierra On-Line, 1995

This is one of the few games that Al Lowe wrote for Sierra On-line other then the infamous Leisure Suit Larry games, a series of adventures that introduced the hilarious character of Larry Laffer. Torin's Passage is a fantasy adventure set on Strata, a planet consisting of five nested worlds. You play the role of Torin, who was saved by his faithful nanny from an evil sorceress, when he was merely an infant and the only son of the King and the Queen of Strata. Your quest is to find the evil sorceress and rescue your parents from her imprisonment. In order to do this, you must journey to all of these worlds, solve puzzles and decipher clues. The game has a solid story, which may be equally enjoyed by both children and adults.

The sound effects and animation sequences in the game are incredible. One of the unique features of the game is the slide-up inventory with a teleprompter, which controls the subtitles and display the inventory items in three dimensions. Another nice feature is your bunny companion, Boogle, who has the ability to transform into any shape. In many cases, Boogle   becomes very handy in solving many clues. This is one of my most recommended games for the fans of the genre.


Mulawa, 2000

Xiama is the personal masterpiece artwork of Peter Hewitt, who spent over one year working on this title. The game is packed with puzzles and hundreds of still photographs captured in a part of the Australian rainforest called Alligator Creek Falls.

The game is in first person perspective. You venture through the rainforest in order to find the puzzle scenes. Once you solve the puzzle you advance forward to find the next one. However, the puzzles, a total of 24, vary from easy to hard but, the grasping backdrops make them very interesting. The sound effects are quite justified to every scene you step in, including the birds calls, flowing water streams and animal sounds. I highly recommend this game to all the fans of the genre who love solving tons of puzzles in a game.