February 16, 2019

The Crystal Key

Earthlight, 2000

The Crystal Key is an underrated Science Fiction adventure game developed entirely using Quick-Time technology. Earth's space satellites have picked up some strange messages from some alien world warning about a danger and advising to abandon all the colonies including Earth and return to a Planet named Arkonia. Now, you are chosen by the high officials to travel to Arkonia in a spaceship and solve the mystery of these strange messages.

The 2D graphics used in the game are still images tied together in such a way to give the player a 360 degree panned view, which can be viewed by moving the mouse in the desired direction while keeping the left mouse button pressed. In addition to this beautiful 360-degree panning effect, the zoom in and out view options are also available. While the game has a few glitches that include a weak storyline, illogical and simple puzzles, inferior quality of music and quite few sound effects, the cut-scenes are well done. In my opinion, it's another playable Myst-Clone, which can be picked up from most bargain-bins for $6.95 or most probably less.

Chemicus: Journey to the Other Side

Heureka-Klett, 2002

Chemicus is a classical adventure game developed in a Myst like environment with an educational theme. After watching the fantastic introductory animated sequence you enter your friend's house in an effort to rescue him. Your friend Richard is a expert chemist and while doing his routine experiments in a hidden lab he accidentally opened a portal to the bizarre and mysterious city of Chemicus. Before he could walk into the city some strangers kidnapped and imprisoned him inside the city. Your quest is to follow Richard's footsteps to Chemicus to rescue him and you must also solve the mysteries hidden in the city of Chemicus.

The puzzles in Chemicus are very challenging and hard to solve without having some good knowledge of chemistry and chemistry experiments students usually conduct in Labs in real life. Other good features of the game include brilliant graphics, extraordinary music and an easy to use point-and-click interface. On the whole, Chemicus is an excellent educational adventure game, which will definitely fascinate chemistry students and other adventure gamers.

February 22, 2016

Blue Heat: The Case of the Cover Girl Murders

Orion Interactive, 1997

This is a mature nature adventure game of suspense and murder that casts you as Holly Jacobson, an undercover LAPD Homicide Detective investigating the murders of Cover Girl models posing nude for an adult magazine, LA Erotica. The killer has used a similar method to kill the girls at different times and places by tying each of their hands and legs on the four-bed posts before killing them. You start your undercover investigation by meeting and questioning the suspects, cross-examining the clues and sifting evidences to find a lead that may carry you closer to the murderer. During your investigation the serial killer strikes again and again and other models lose their lives. You save all the information that you gather and all the records related to the case in a Personal Digital Assistant or a PDA.

The game is created in a photo-realistic environment, which can be viewed at some places in a 360-degree panned view. You interact with suspects and other characters in an interactive full-motion-video environment. There is a map option that provides you a 45-degree overhead view of Los Angeles, which you use to travel from one place to another. The most exciting feature of the game is the cast that includes many Playboy Playmates and top-notch celebrities of the big screen showing their best performance in this exciting game.