February 9, 2015

Altered Destiny

Accolade, 1990

This wacky adventure begins with a humorous event: You are sucked into your television and into an alternate world by aliens bent on galactic domination. However, you are reluctantly recruited to save this world from tyranny. Like the early graphical Hugo's House of Horrors adventures, this is a text-parser game. Fortunately, this parser is more sophisticated. It recognizes a vast range of words and commands, so the interface avoids becoming a hindrance as you set out to save the universe. While puzzles can be difficult, they are all logical and enjoyable.

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West

Capstone Software, 1994

The game is based on the famous cartoon movie of the same name, directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. The plot is exactly the same as in the movie: Fievel the mouse-child must find his parents in the strange new land called "America." As Fievel, you must solve logical puzzles, venture in dark New York alleys, evade vicious cat attacks and travel from the Wild West to the sun-baked desert in search of your missing loved-ones. Despite a few easy arcade sequences the adventure elements take precedence in the game, which is spiced up with excellent graphics and sound support for all major sound cards. Overall, An American Tail is an entertaining outing for every member of the family.

Nightlong: Union City Conspiracy

Trecision, 1998

An excellent Science-Fiction adventure game set in the year 2099, which casts you into the role of Joshua Reev, a former military operative turned private investigator. Hugh Martens, the mayor of Union City, who used to be your commander in military service, ask you a favour: to investigate a terrorist organization, which is after his political career. The previous agent named Ruby, whom Hugh assigned to investigate and infiltrate the terrorist organization, has disappeared without a trace. He asks you to take over Ruby's unfinished mission and also investigate Ruby's disappearance. The atmosphere in Nightlong is completely futuristic, set in a dark underworld of espionage, power and corruption.

The game has some breathtaking animated cut-scenes. The background graphics are still images but rendered in 3D, on which the 3D characters are superimposed and provide the player a very original feeling of the scene. Voice acting is quite nice but doesn't sync well with the lip's movement. The interface is point-and-click with a huge inventory that can hold a long row of objects, which can be scrolled sideways. Overall, the game is quite interesting and provides hours of enjoyment and fun.

The Prophecy

Coktel Vision, 1993

One of the only adventure games that I've played more than once, The Prophecy sets you on a quest to save a princess who has been kidnapped by an evil wizard. Playing as young Ween, you must not only save the damsel in distress, but also recover three legendary "grains" as prophecy has foretold. Not only are the puzzles very interesting, but you have a marvelous variety of magical help at your command.  Use your magical ball to accomplish certain tasks by making it change shape according to your needs. Call upon your magical bat friend for help with puzzles, but you'll have to feed him some fruit before he'll cooperate.

The game has a similar interface as what is found in other Coktel Vision games like Lost in Time. Graphics are excellent, spiced with breathtaking cut-scenes, sound blaster supported sound and music. I highly recommend this game to every serious adventure gamer.


Divide by Zero, 1995

In this sequel to Innocent until Caught you can choose between playing as a tough female Police Officer, Ysanne Andropath, or as notorious thief, Jack Ladd. Each character solves game puzzles in different ways, making this one re-playable. The adventure begins when Ysanne throws Jack in the prison cell on her spaceship, which Jack escapes and later put the space ships hyperdrive out in unknown space. Keeping in the view the emergency situation, Ysanne has no choice but to join Jack and work together in this wonderful adventure of saving the galaxy.

The icon-based interface is slightly overhauled and makes the controls a bit easier. The graphics are decent enough, but the constantly looping music is once again a distraction. The CD-Rom version of this game has full digital speech and music. I recommend this game to those who enjoyed the first game in the series.

The Dark Half

Symtus, 1992

Based on one of the most thrilling novels ever written, The Dark Half brings horror writer Stephen King's most frightening vision to the PC screen. You play Thad, a gentle and mild-mannered author who writes horror novels under a pen name in order to protect his privacy. But when a blackmailer threatens to expose you to the public eye, your fictional alter-ego emerges and takes revenge. Worse still, he happily leaves you to take the fall, as you are the prime suspect in the murder. Your job as Thad is to prove yourself innocent and destroy your evil alter-ego before he can kill again. In game graphics and music are reasonably good and bring life in the scene while making the game worth playing.

Pepper's Adventures in Time

Sierra On-Line, 1993

One of Sierra On-line's underrated educational discovery titles. This educational adventure casts you as Pepper, a little girl, whose megalomaniac great-uncle Fred has built a time machine and plans to wreak havoc on the world by changing history with the help of Ben Franklin, who has been called into the present. Pepper, along with her dog, Lockjaw, is tasked to stop Uncle Fred from changing American history. In this game, the kids learn lots of facts about Ben Franklin, American history and colonial life in general.

The breathtaking graphics are dated for the time the game was released. The game is packed with humor, logical puzzles, it has an icon-based interface and good music. It's so sad that Sierra put an end to educational adventure games for they developed some great edutainment titles in their earlier years.

Amerzone: The Explorer's Legacy

Microids, 1999

Amerzone is a strange adventure based on French comic novel, originally written by the acclaimed French novelist and artist, Benoit Sokal. The title cast you in the role of a reporter interviewing Alexandre Valembois, who stole the last egg of the mysterious white birds of Amerzone sixty years ago. Before dying, the old man begs you to return the still fertile egg back to Amerzone as the museum has turned down his request to aid his expedition to Amerzone any further. Thus, begins your journey. The most enjoyable theme in Amerzone is the multi-purpose Hydraflot that Valembois designed just for the purpose of travelling to Amerzone. The Hydraflot can be used as a plane, a submarine or a boat. Explore the unknown territory of Amerzone, meet the people of Amerzone, ride strange domestic animals and carry out a dead man's last wish.

The characters are fully animated in 3D and superimposed on 3D rendered backgrounds, which can be viewed in 360-degree pan view. All the scenes are quite well done and the voice acting is over the top. All in all, Amerzone is a well-presented game and a unique gaming experience.


Access Software, Inc., 1990

An interactive movie-like adventure game of intrigue, espionage and suspense. A cross between adventure and action, it is very similar to the Tex Murphy games. You play as Mason Powers and upon awakening you find yourself locked in a cold and barren asylum cell. You know you are a  CIA agent but you have no memory of how and why you're in an asylum, nor what happened in the last few days. Now, you are tasked by fate to unravel this mystery and regain your memory in order to prove yourself innocent. Your tasks include escaping the asylum, interrogating suspects, avoiding or outwitting other agents and spies and most of all finding a way to regain your lost memory. The game has a point-and-click interface, digitized characters and superb VGA 256-Color graphics.