February 7, 2015

Ark of Time

Trecision, 1997

Ark of Time is yet another adventure game based on the fabled civilization of Atlantis. You play as Richard Kendal, a journalist, who has been assigned to investigate the mysterious disappearance of famous archaeologist, Professor Caldwell and his expedition team. The Professor was last seen searching for the traces of the Lost City of Atlantis in the Caribbeans. You start your quest from the Caribbeans and then travel many locations all over the world by means of an on-screen world map, meet various people, gather clues and solve interesting puzzles.

Ark of Time is a graphical adventure with tastefully rendered graphics, easy to handle point-and-click interface, superb voice acting and music. The game has very few puzzles, which in turn are mostly inventory-based. Overall, it's a good adventure game and should not be missed by the fans of the genre.

The Last Express

Smoking Car Productions, 1997

The Last Express is one of the most fascinating games I have ever played. Featuring a gripping story full of mystery, suspense, romance, international intrigue and murder, you play the role of Robert Cath, an American Doctor living in Paris when the world is on the brink of World War I. You receive an urgent letter from your friend, Tyler Whitney, asking you to join him on the Orient Express departing Paris for Constantinople. Unfortunately you miss the train by minutes and have to jump onto the moving train while following it on a speedy motorcycle. Your adventure begins right after you set foot on the train and start looking for your friend, whom you find dead when you enter his compartment. Your mission is to the find the murderer and his motive in order to clear your name and prove your innocence in this murder.

This game features one of the best and unique 3D rendered environment with real-time event handler. Puzzles are very enjoyable including some time-based ones that need quick reflexes. You gather clues to puzzles by either talking to characters or eavesdropping on their conversations. Overall, this is a high quality game made only for professional adventure gamers due to its timed and fighting sequences.

Operation: Eco-Nightmare

Discovery Channel Multimedia, 1997

Operation: Eco-Nightmare, a sequel to Operation: Weather Disaster, represents the evil weatherman, Dr. Rainwater with a new identity as Jonah Greenstreet but same nasty goal to wreak havoc on the world by controlling the world weather. Join the Team-Xtreme and embark on a quest to solve the ecological mysteries and series of mind-twisting puzzles. Save the planet by eliminating ecological threats such as oil spills, perforated ozone layer, nuclear meltdowns, etc.

This environmental adventure game is developed in full-motion-video with 360-degree panoramic views. The game graphics are undoubtedly dashing with superb music, sound and puzzles. A fast paced game that doesn't give much time for players to relax.

The Adventures of Valdo & Marie

Ubi Soft Entertainment, 1997

The Adventures of Valdo & Marie is a very fascinating and interactive adventure game for kids ages 9 and above. The quest takes Valdo and Marie aboard a Portuguese ship embarking on a great voyage from Lisbon in the year 1580. The ship's destination is Japan, by way of Africa and India. As Valdo and Marie, your objective is to reach your destination safely and gather the scattered pieces of an old and mysterious treasure map. During your adventurous voyage you come face to face with swash-buckling pirates, hungry crocodiles, sharks, mind-boggling and fiendish puzzles, not to mention a ghost that lurks in the storage hold of the ship, with only your wits to help and aid you in this time of great danger.

The game is packed with exciting animations and cut-scenes presenting the events of a historical story by upholding the faithful history, culture and geography of the era. The best feature of the game is re-playable value with multiple paths to discover with different endings. The game has many logical puzzles and strategy games, which can be solved and played, choosing different levels of difficulty. Highly recommended adventure game for all members of the family.

The Legend of Lotus Spring

Woman Wise, 2000

The Legend of Lotus Spring is an adventure game based on the touchy story of a forbidden love between an emperor of the Qing dynasty and a beautiful woman, Lotus Spring from the Han Chinese. The emperor kept her hidden in the Garden of Perfect Brightness, until one day the Dowager Empress CiXi, out of jealousy, takes her and abandon her on a remote island.

Throughout the game you venture the enchanted Garden of Perfect Brightness, gathering inventory items and clues, which will help you to solve many puzzles found in the garden and unravel the mystery behind the tragic disappearance of Lotus Spring. The game puzzles are good and can be solved without much difficulty. The Interface is well designed and makes the navigation very smooth during the game. The best feature of this game is the breathtaking graphics, which give the player an interactive ride in the grandeur atmosphere of the garden as it was a 100 years ago, while making this game a masterpiece adventure and a collectible item.

Sign of the Sun

Project Two Interactive, 1997

Sign of the Sun is a science-fiction adventure based on the most feared question many people ask our modern age astrologers: what will happen if the sun goes cold, or what if the earth, instead of orbiting around the sun, started moving closer, due to it's gravitational force? The game intro shows a similar situation as the sun is getting closer and closer to the earth and the temperature is continuously increasing, causing the water to evaporate from the surface, animals and greenery are gradually decreasing and most of the earth has become barren and deserted. Now, the scientists have come to know that something is gone wrong on the sun and someone must travel to the sun to find out the problem. They develop a very special spaceship that can only house one person and they choose you to be the one.

Once your spaceship reaches the sun some strange force surrounds your  spaceship and drags it inside the sun. You get captured and teleported into a prison by Firons, the inhabitants of the sun who are made of fire and your adventure begins right after you escape your prison. Your quest is to solve the mysteries that includes underground passageways in the sun and the Mayan dynasty on earth, to restore the sun back to it's normal steady state, and finally, find your way back to earth.

The still background graphics used in this game are excellent with the main character rendered in 3D. The interface used in this game is bit clumsy where character's movements can be controlled by a mouse-driven cursor but most of the actions are keyboard dependant and need some good practice to get used to. The game is a good example of pixel-hunting packed with some good quality and easy to solve puzzles. Overall, it's a good adventure game with a few action sequences and must not be overlooked by the fans of the genre.

The Indian in the Cupboard

Viacom New Media, 1996

The Indian in the Cupboard is an interactive adventure based on a movie with the same name. The game is developed for kids with eight different activities focused on the Iroquois history and tradition. These activities involve using skills such as logic, listening, memory, and problem solving. Some of the activities include identifying different animal tracks in a variety of environments, hunting for feathers in order to create an Indian Headdress, and participating in a traditional Iroquois ceremony. Children are guided through the program by their own selection of characters and each character has its own story to tell. Graphics, sound and music are simply beautiful and well appropriate according to the atmosphere. However, there are few setbacks in the game that kids might encounter, they include a somewhat difficult mouse manipulation and extraordinary lengthy introductions and explanations at the beginning of each activity. But, despite these minor setbacks, I feel that this is an excellent arcade-adventure to play with your kids.

The Feeble Files

Adventure Soft Publishing, 1997

The Feeble File is a less known point-and-click adventure game created by Simon Woodroffe, the creator of the "Simon the Sorcerer" series. You play as Feeble, a green skinned, funny looking alien with big black eyes, who lives on a planet governed by a dictatorial organization called Company. The Company, under the control of a super-brain named Omnibrain has enforced very strict laws on the planet with an idea that this will keep the people safe and happy. But on the contrary, the people are fed up of this dictatorial regime and become rebellious.

Your quest begins when your spaceship hits an orbiting Voyager satellite while trying to navigate through an asteroid belt, sending it off-course and destroying a Company's installation unit. You get arrested for breaking the law and sent to a heavily guarded prison, where you meet and team up with a member of a revolutionary group organizing a rebellion against the Company. Your mission is to unfold the truth about the Company, destroy the Omnibrain and bring freedom back to your people.

The game exhibits very nice graphics, point-and-click interface and brilliantly designed cut-scenes. The most enjoyable feature of this game is the hilarious dialogues used in multiple choice responses. On the darker side, the puzzles are damn hard and annoying even to professional gamers and I would advice to keep a walkthrough handy while you play this humorous adventure game.

Igor: Objective Uikokahonia

Optik Software, 1995

In this highly acclaimed game from Optik Software, you play the role of a precocious teenager who is madly in love with the girl next door. However, she only has eyes for a classmate whom you despise. As Lovelorn Igor, your goal is to find a way to accompany her on a biology field trip to scenic Uikokahonia and in that perfect setting, to win her heart. But instead, you discover a criminal plot and wishing it or not you have to investigate. An enjoyable and frequently quite funny graphic adventure, which should not be missed by any serious adventure gamer.