February 1, 2015

Chop Suey

Magnet Interactive Studios, 1998

Chop Suey is an excellent interactive storybook adventure about an imaginative magical world of two little girls, Lily and June Bugg. The title is originally developed using the folk artwork and illustrations created by average modern age kids. The game starts in a fictitious town of Cortland, Ohio by looking at an overhead map of buildings, houses and gardens of the town. A point and click arrow cursor allows you to explore the town by clicking the place you are willing to go. Lily and June Bugg are visiting their Aunt Vera, who lives in this town and whose life consists of a series of magical events. The little girls visit every place in the town, do many interactive activities and provide a very educational and entertaining story about the place to the player. The music and sound effects used in every scene also portrayed an accurate glimpse of the atmosphere. In the closing lines I would say that Chop Suey is a very weird game, which will definitely florish your imaginations and creativity.


Terminal Reality, Inc., 1999

Nocturne could be a reminiscent of any noir game that is redecorated by adding an unknown number of some unholy, undead and evil monsters and vampires in every location of this game. In the game, you play as a mysterious noir character teamed up with Syetlana, a young and beautiful secret agent with half vampire blood inherited from her father. You have been assigned a secret mission by a secret government  agency known as "Spookhouse," which was formed by the United States' government to tackle and eliminate all kind of unholy and supernatural  beings on earth. Your mission has four Acts, which can be played in any order but I would recommend playing them in their proper order. In  first Act you travel along with Syetlana to Germany to find and retrieve an ancient artifact. Other Acts include an encounter with Mafia gang; an action packed train ride to Texas and exploring an old haunted mansion.

Since the game is a blend of noir, horror and shooting, the graphics used are mostly dark and beautifully designed with pre-rendered 3D graphics with multiple camera angles, which smoothly switches the views to provide a better understanding of the environment and surrounding. Atmospheric music and sound effects value very high in this game and greatly add fun in the game-play. The interface is the best feature of this game that provides smooth play-ability in every action sequence. All in all, this is a real gem in the action-adventure games and I highly recommend this to every adventure game player.

The Mystery of the Druids

House of Tales, 2001

The Mystery of the Druids is a nice traditional point and click adventure game, which was released after a long pause in adventure genre. In simple words, it was a great relief to many adventure gamers who were tired playing first-person shooters or third-person full action games like the famous Tomb Raider series. In this game, we play the roles of Scotland Yard Detective Brent Halligan and a local museum Anthropologist Melanie Turner in investigating a series of ritualistic sacrificial "skeleton murders" committed in modern London. As you investigate, you unravel the mysterious lives of the ancient Druids, which have been extinct for over a thousand years, and powerful druid cults that still exist in this age of modern science. Your investigation takes you to various locations in London area, Europe and finally you travel back in time to destroy the origin of these evil cults when they were born.

The stunning still backgrounds in this game are beautifully pre-rendered in 3D and 3D characters are superimposed onto them by adding shadow and distance effect. The game-play is very smooth and runs like a movie in this absorbing non-linear story. While the music and sound effects are quite good in this game the dialogue repetition and feeling less voice acting is something that really effected the game rating from being the best. Puzzles are very good, which really needs good thinking and time to solve and sometime the players find himself fanatically using different inventory items with each other. Some events  only occur if you choose an appropriate dialogue options as you interact with different game characters. Overall, it's an above average adventure that mustn't  be missed by any adventure gamer.

Grim Fandango

LucasArts, 1998

Successful is the game attached to the well-known name of LucasArts, the company that elevated the adventure games genre to the highest levels by floating games like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Sam & Max Hit the Road and Indiana Jones series.

Now, LucasArts introduces another unforgettable character named Manny Calavera, the Grim Reaper and travel agent in the land of the dead. Manny's job is to provide his clients the best travel package available for the four-year trip through the land of the dead to heaven but suddenly all his good clients are taken away by Domino, another travel agent in his firm. This terrible situation leaves him no choice but to deal with bad and criminal clients, which causes nothing but trouble. Meanwhile, Manny gets a chance to steal one of Domino's clients, Meche, a pure hearted soul but he couldn't help her with anything as something is mysteriously wrong with his computer so he leaves her to travel all of the journey walking. Manny later realizes his mistake and sets off on a journey to find Meche and apologize to her.  During his adventure, he meets an underworld mob and learns the truth about the land of the dead. The game has four chapters that represents each year of the journey and in every chapter you use a different medium of travelling that starts from a hotrod automobile to hotrod boat and finally a hotrod Gondola.

Grim Fandango features top-notch graphics quality, a real eye-candy. All the backgrounds are beautifully pre-rendered in 3D with every detail possibly available to make the atmosphere real. All the characters are created in 3D and their movements can smoothly be manipulated using a keyboard-controlled interface, which might be a little hard to get used to in the beginning. Another excellent features are the superb quality of voice-acting, highly entertaining atmospheric music and sound effects. In short, Grim Fandango is one of the best adventure games I have ever played and I will never get tired playing it over and over again.

Paris 1313

Canal+ Multimedia, 1999

Paris 1313 is an average historical adventure game that will take you to medieval France, the colorful land of romance, music and intrigue. In the opening sequence the player watches Adam's accidental death by falling from the roof of the Notre Dame Cathedral where he was replacing the old clock with his self-invented mechanical clock. Adam's brother Jacques, a nobleman named Pierre and a stage actress named Rosemonde are accused for this accidental death by villainous Brother Jean. The story revolves around these three main characters and you play every character separately in any chosen sequence. To unravel the mystery every character have to solve a series of puzzles and finally proof themselves innocent. The game is a little short and can be ended in no time by average adventure game players.

Paris 1313 features excellent quality 3D rendered graphics overlaid on nicely created medieval Paris backgrounds. While the voice acting is par-excellence, the sound and medieval background music is extraordinarily original and meshes well with every scene. The puzzles are far too easy while they are not very logical including some maze, archery and board games. Overall, it's an average adventure game and should not be missed by the fans of the genre.

Road to India

Microids, 2001

Road to India is an excellent adventure game that involves the blasphemous rites of the followers of Kali, the goddess of death and destruction in Hindu mythology, whom are called thugs. You play as Fred Reynolds, a young American student, who travels to New Delhi, India to rescue his girlfriend, who has been kidnapped by the thugs. The game intro shows a terrorist act as a thug implants a briefcase bomb in a middle class district of New Delhi that mistakenly injures one of the top-notch Indian film actress and burns half of her face. The game is set in modern day New Delhi, where people believe that thugs are no more in existence. Other exotic Indian places like Taj Mahal, the last resting-place of Queen Mumtaz Mahal and the historical Kali temple are also included in this game. 

The game is developed using a 360-degree view-able interface with pre-assigned directions to go, which means that you can only walk in the direction the game wants you to go. Excellent graphics are rendered in 3D including the characters and the cut-scenes. A variety of puzzles are packed in this game other than logical ones  and you will need some basic knowledge of Hindu mythology to solve. Good exotic music and sound effects along with typical Indian accent voice acting elevate the fun and make this game a true entertainment for every classical adventure gamer.


The Dreamer's Guild, 1995

James Gurney's fictional world of Dinotopia is brought to the realm of interactive gaming in this point-and-click adventure for children of all ages. You play as young Nathan, who finds himself ashore on a strange world after separating from his twin sister Constance, due to a terrible shipwreck. Intelligent Dinosaurs and humans, living together, have peacefully populated this land known as Dinotopia. Your quest is to find a way to talk with them as they speak a strange language, make friends with Dinos, collect useful items and finally find your missing sister, whom you are sure survived when the ship was sinking.

The graphics used as backdrops are very colorful and fascinating for kids. While puzzles are mostly inventory based, they are somewhat easy and quite entertaining and help to further involve you in the story. Additionally, there is no text or subtitles option, which makes the game a little bit difficult unless you play with a walk-through, but speech and beautiful cut-scenes are very helpful in solving many puzzles.

RedJack: Revenge of the Brethren

CyberFlix, Inc., 1998

Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren is undoubtedly a beautiful swashbuckling adventure in the high seas. The opening animation sequence of this unique adventure game tells the tale of a most feared and mighty pirate Redjack that was once sailing the seven seas with his notorious crew known as the Brethren of the Coast. Seventeen years ago, one dreadful night when he was sailing to his hideout to dump the biggest loot of his life he was attacked by several government ships and before dying he swore that he would revenge the person who had betrayed him.

You start the game in the role of Nicholas Dove, a young guy, who's dreams are haunted with Redjack. To get rid of these dreams you decide to become a pirate yourself, but to become a pirate you need to prove yourself brave and worthy to the pirate captain, who is your only ticket out of this island. As you play and progress in the game the main story unfolds and you come to know that your fate is interlocked with Redjack's revenge and he seeks no one else but you. Even though there are many action sequences, which are either shooting the bad guys with your cannon or pistol or defeating them with your sword, the puzzles and the story-line very much rule the whole game.

Visually, the game has flamboyant graphics that will definitely take your breath away. 3D characters are very nice with excellent and realistic lip-sync and body animated movements. Voice acting is superb, so is the music and the sound effects. The best feature that amused me a lot is the point & click interface that allows smooth and very efficient movement in a 360-degree panned environment. There are multiple choice dialogues when you interact with game characters, which are quite humorous and entertaining. All in all, Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren is an excellent game to play and I highly recommend it to every serious adventure gamer.

Dracula Unleashed

ICOM Simulations, Inc., 1993

As the title interprets, this interactive game really unleashes Bram Stoker's Count Dracula for the very first time. The game is created in the same mould Icom used in its earlier Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective series with much use of FMV technology of the time. The game play is non-linear as the player chooses a location to go to, and each location serves different events through movie clips of real actors hired to do the job.

Dracula Unleashed is set in London of 1899, a decade after the elimination of Count Dracula according to Bram Stoker's novel, where you play as Texan Alexander Morris, the younger brother of Quincey Morris, who lost his life in defeating Dracula. Alexander arrives in London following a trail of ghastly murders, werewolves' tracks and Dracula's brides. While on the trail of this new evil, you proposed to the love of your life, a local girl named Annisette, who also becomes a victim of this evil, and now your goal is to save her from transforming into a vampires and the queen of this new Dracula or she will transform you into a bloodless corpse if you fail her. During the game, your only aide is your brother's old friend, who luckily survived fighting Dracula with your brother.

The progress in the game mostly depends on you being present at a right place at the right time. To solve puzzles you must be equipped with proper inventory items while entering a location or the consequences could be fatal, but favorably there are multiple paths and solutions to every problem that lead you to final game ending. Graphics, as I mentioned before are totally full motion video clip with average quality acting of real actors. Overall, the game is an average horror adventure game, which could be enjoyed by the fans of the genre as the music and sound effects are quite creepy to raise the hair on the back of their neck.