February 15, 2015


Media Design Interactive, 1994

All my life, I have been listening to ghostly experiences encountered by different individuals and reading ghost stories, but I never believed them myself, as I never come across any ghost in my life or maybe the reason is that I don't live in England. It is said that England is the most haunted country in the entire world with its haunted castles, manors and stately houses. This interactive multimedia game is a collection of similar legendary paranormal stories that surround some phantom figures or ghosts that have become an important part of English heritage.

As you enter the Hobb's Manor your host, Christopher Lee, the most frightening figure of the big screen greets you in the role of Dr. Marcus Grimalkin. He invites you to go on your quest of venturing into the Manor and find all the objects gathered and placed in the different rooms and halls of the Manor, which are bound to some ghostly background. Once you find an object you will be informed of its ghastly nature by  Dr. Grimalkin. There are six detailed ghost stories presented with a slideshow, and many short tales scattered around the Hobb's Manor.

The static background graphics and all the objects in the game are completely rendered in 3D, in which the player ventures using a point-and-click interface in 1st-Person perspective. Every room has its own ominous orchestral music and creepy sound effects are added with every action. Christopher Lee's superimposed full-motion-video figure appears in the foreground of every scene that hides some information. This cross between interactive media and adventure game is worth playing if you really believe in ghosts and even if you don't, this is quite an entertaining piece of information.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

On-Line Systems, 1993

The Hound of Baskervilles is one of the most obscured CD-ROM titles based on the legendary Sherlock Holmes Mystery novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The mystery involves the murders that took place in the small town of Baskervilles, which are rumored to be the act of a hound. The game is a better example of a multimedia novel, where the player views Dr. Watson's desk in the perspective of famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The player solves the mystery by going through the clues gathered by Dr. Watson by clicking the dates on the desk calendar and other documents scattered on the desk. Once you click on a clue, you get two options to select from either reading the document by yourself or hearing it in a cinematic Dr. Watson's voice. The game has very few graphics, which in return are quite dated for the time it was released. I recommend this game to every mystery adventure gamer and especially to all the Sherlock Holmes mystery fans.

The Ward

On Deck Interactive, 2000

The Ward is an excellent Science-Fiction adventure that, to some extent, will make you believe that this could be the possible future of our space technology. The game takes you in the spacesuit of astronaut David Walker, a member of the Apollo XIX crew. The intro shows that you are doing research on the moon surface away from your crew members when a strange alien spaceship appears and blasts off your friends. Soon after, a huge lightning sphere, which rises from the moon's horizon  surrounds you and renders you unconscious. When you awake you find yourself alone in an alien medical ward. In fact the plot of the game involves two different alien races, one who is after the destruction of the universe and one who is trying to save the universe with the help of humans, or one human to be precise, as foretold by their  prophecy, and you're it!  You have three quests in this game, the first quests is to explore and safely escape the alien's moon based building complex, the second quest is to free all the humans imprisoned on Mars and the final quest involves saving the universe from destruction.

The Ward is a true adventure game keeping all the standards of the genre, which includes a point-and-click interface, huge inventory, mild-action and multiple dialogue option. The game is choke full of puzzles that vary from easy to very hard including some kind of board games and sliding tiles. Some puzzles are timed and need quick action to accomplish. Graphics as well as animated sequences are well done, which are spiced up with good quality sound and music. If you like science-fiction adventures and you can excuse some very hard puzzles and irritating long walks between two locations then the Ward is really your kind of game.

Beyond the Wall of Stars

Creative Multimedia Corporation, 1992

Beyond the Wall of Stars is a hard to find and less known interactive science-fiction adventure created in the style of "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories written by R. A. Montgomery. You play the game as the leader of the expedition team, which is sent to the troubled planet Celadon to aid them in overcoming their problems. To explore the game and unfold the story you choose to decide the direction you move, the strategy you apply to solve puzzles and how you manage your crew and utilize their skills. Since the game is one of the early multimedia titles, the graphics and animations shown are not very good but the speech, sound and music is superb. Puzzles are of a very standard quality and your different move or action will outcome different results in the storyline, which on the bright side increase the replay ability of the game. If you have read any of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" book or played the CD-ROM version of these books, you will definitely like this game, which in my humble opinion deserves to be played by the fans of adventure genre.


Artech Studios, 1997

UFOs is a cartoon adventure game for a mature audience choke full of wacky humor. You get to control Gnap, a one-eyed purple colored sausage like alien, who has crash-landed his spaceship on earth somewhere in Ozarks. In order to continue his journey into space Gnap needs to repair his spaceship by finding useful items, which can be used as substitute spare parts. No sooner you start your quest as Gnap, a friendly platypus becomes your sidekick and you get a button icon to control his actions. The game is full of mind-boggling puzzles and comic action sequences, where you must follow the right sequence or act fast. Other then normal puzzle solving, there are few entertaining arcade sequences also added in the game, which spiced up some fun in the game.

While there is minimal amount of music, the atmospheric sound effects and speech are quite good. Graphics and cut-scene animations are very colorful and impressive. Control interface is point and click with a remote control icon on top of the screen, which can be clicked to bring up the various game options. All in all, this is without doubt an amusing game and I strongly recommend this to every adventure gamer and especially those, who played and enjoyed Space Invaders, Chewy: Escape from F5 and Down in the Dumps.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? The Tale of Orpheo's Curse

Nickelodeon, 1994

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is an excellent horror adventure game based on Nickelodeon's television series of the same name. The TV serial is about a club of young people called the Midnight Society, who sit around a campfire and entertain each other with ghost stories. Similarly, the game starts around a campfire, where you are the new member of the club about to start telling the story of Alex and Terry, a brother and a sister, who sneak into the Orpheo's Palace, an abandoned and haunted theatre, which was closed fifty years ago after Orpheo, his family and all his employees mysteriously died one fateful evening. Orpheo, who was a great magician and people from all over the country used to visit his theatre to watch his spectacular magic shows but that evening while teleporting his own daughter from one box to another her daughter disappeared and his magic got cursed. You play the game in the perspective of Alex, who enters the theater following his sister, but as you reach the stage, Orpheo's ghost kidnaps your sister and you find yourself trapped into Orpheo's evil plans. The only way to escape this haunted theatre and rescuing your sister is to solve the riddle of Orpheo's curse, which in return will unravel the cause of the mysterious disappearance of Orpheo's daughter.

Game puzzles are very interesting and you need to find clues and hints by interacting with the good and friendly ghosts lurk in the theatre and collect inventory items. Graphically, the game is an excellent blend of full-motion video of real actors with computer-generated backgrounds. The interface is point and click and very smooth. There are no violence or gore scenes but the game is choke full of special effects and ungodly shrieks that scare you time by time in the game. Ambient music is very atmospheric and meshes well with every scene. This is one game that I enjoyed a lot playing and I would certainly recommend it to every adventure game player.

The Lords of Tantrazz

Kane Roberts, 1997

The Lords of Tantrazz is a mildly adult oriented adventure game solely designed and put together for a mature audience by Kane Roberts. The game consists of six chapters, which can be selected individually from the main menu and played in any sequence. As for the quest goes, you control Veronica Callahan, a top-notch agent of Swirdlo Omni Tek Enterprises, a private agency responsible for development of high-tech weaponry and espionage systems including ultra-advance security systems and training United States secret agents. Your mission is to infiltrate Dunnington Research, which is situated on Dunnington island and investigate if Angus Dunnington, the CEO of the company, has any evil plans of dumping his dangerous toxic waste into the ocean and also feedback the agency about his other illegal activities.

Most of the graphics, apparently done by Kane Roberts, are reasonably good and compiled into the game by utilizing the ultimate multimedia capabilities of Quick-Time technology. There are very little animations, and the graphics slide, fade or fizzle in and out in a comic-book style as you progress in the game. Other then tiresome mouse clicking on the screen, the game has few low quality puzzles, which need some quick reflexes and mouse action to overcome. The game music is good that includes a cool intro song, also written and sung by Kane Roberts, but marred by the worst quality of voice acting. Anyhow, I have played and ended this game once and have no plans to touch it again, unless my life demands to play it once again.

On Assignment

TCB Entertainment, 2002

On Assignment is a nice but less known graphical adventure game developed by a software company created and released many freeware adventure games. Other then the full CD-ROM version of this game a shareware demo version was also released, which is available and can be downloaded from many archive websites. The CD-ROM version contains complete soundtrack, an image and animation editing software and a screensaver utility. You play the game in the perspective of a top-notch photographer, who works for a magazine and has successfully accomplished many photo-shoot assignments in the past. Now, your company has assigned you your most desired and challenging assignment, which seems no different than any of the previous ones but the problem is that this time you have to outwit someone, who does not want the truth to be exposed and creating obstacles in your path. Equipped with your camera and a few rolls of films you embark on this heroic assignment, completely prepared to give it your best shot.

The game contains many mind-twisting puzzles to solve and thought provoking situations to maneuver, which entertain the players with hours of fun and enjoyment. The game features very high quality pre-rendered 3D graphics, a digital quality music soundtrack, CD quality sound effects and a smooth point and click interface. Finally, I would say that if you are looking for an exciting adventure game to play at this moment then look no further and give this game a go.

Daria's Inferno

Simon & Schuster Interactive, 2000

Daria's Inferno is an average point and click adventure game adopted from famous MTV's animated series "Daria", with many arcade sequences and wacky problems to solve. You play as Daria Morgendorffer, who falls asleep during a class session on "Dante's Inferno" and finds herself stuck in her worst nightmare with sarcastic and annoying people from her life disturbing and annoying her with their sarcastic and nightmarish antics. The only way to escape this nightmare and wake up is to solve all five levels, which respectively explores five areas of the town of Lawndale. These areas can be played in any sequences by selecting from the main menu. In arcade sequences, you may die and will have to repeat the sequence all over again if you fail to solve the problem or overcome the hazards by avoiding them and continually hit by the violent people or other creatures, which are trying to stop or hurt you.

The original voices and characters from the animated series are featured in the game with ordinary kindergarten style of 2D graphics, mostly found in early nineties' games. While the gameplay is extremely non-linear, the puzzle solving mostly consists of avoiding cheerleaders, non-stop walking students, huge flying eyeballs and similar hazards blocking your path. The interface is traditionally point-and-click but arrow keys can also be used to control Daria's movements. In the bottom line, I would like to say that I honesty feel that this game is not a piece of cake for grown up adventure gamers but kids and teenagers will tremendously enjoy it.