February 11, 2015

Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter

Sierra On-Line, 1991

This is one of those 256-Color remake titles, which were part of Sierra's idea to remake their earlier acclaimed titles. This remake is a significant improvement upon its enhanced version, featuring improved graphics, redesigned animations, sound card support and a true point & click interface. The story is almost the same with slight innovative changes. The evil Sariens have stolen a powerful new thingamabob from the research spaceship Arcada, killing almost everybody aboard except you. Take on the role of inept janitor Roger Wilco and save the universe from destruction. Highly recommended for all adventure game fans, but especially for those who played and enjoyed the original game.

Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge

Sierra On-Line, 1987

The second episode in the humorous Space Quest series again casts you in the role of Roger Wilco, bumbling space janitor, who mistakenly thought he would never see evil Vohaul again. But, Vohaul does return in this chapter with a much more gruesome plan to destroy the universe by infesting the planet Xenon with thousands of genetically engineered door-to-door salesmen. But, you are the only person that he fears so his minions kidnap you and bring you to the jungle planet Labion, where fortunately the shuttle crashes while landing and you are the only survivor. This time Vohaul is quite determined to succeed in his plans unless you find a way to escape planet Labion and kill him and save the universe all over again. It's all in a day's work for our unwilling janitorial hero.

All though, this sequel is using the same 16-color palette the graphics quality are much superior with good quality characters and richer atmosphere. Jokes are even funnier and the text-parser is also overhauled. Many games normally never lived up to it's later installments but make no mistakes as this one is a far better sequel.

Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

Sierra On-Line, 1989

The Space Quest games just keep getting better. In this third installment Roger Wilco is saved from death in the cold emptiness of space when his small escape pod is mistaken for refuse and collected by a robot garbage freighter. Now Roger has to escape this trashy haven and lose the terminator droid sent to destroy him because he forgot to pay for the mating whistle he ordered in Space Quest II. After that the next quest is to help two programmers from Andromeda by rescuing them and defending their programming careers from the diabolical ScumSoft, a stingy, money-grabbing computer software company. The graphics are high resolution EGA, so this edition to the series escapes that blocky low-resolution imaging of it's predecessors.

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

Sierra On-Line, 1991

In this fourth installment everyone's favorite janitor, Roger Wilco, is back in full 256-Color glory. He must save the universe yet again, this time without even knowing what the hell the universe needs to be saved from. Time Rippers opens with the hapless Roger stopping in a bar for a quick drink, only to find himself teleported through time to Space Quest 7. To save his reality, Roger must quest across various timelines and Space Quest games in order to discover, then complete, his mission. This is undoubtedly the strangest of the series, but features very nice graphics, good music and an interesting plot (once you figure out what the hell is going on, that is). Don't miss this one!

Space Quest V: The Next Mutation

Sierra On-Line, 1993

The fifth installment of Space Quest is still a blast to play! The Next Mutation has all the elements of a true classic adventure: challenging obstacles to overcome, mind boggling logical puzzles and an entertaining plot. In this episode Roger Wilco must outwit a homicidal female android sent to kill him, solve the mystery of unauthorized trash dumping, then investigate the disappearance of a fellow Starfleet captain and his ship and eventually save the galaxy from destruction. This chapter of the series is icon-driven with a simple interface and breathtaking graphics. Every Space Quest fan should play it as it keeps on getting better!

Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier

Sierra Studios, 1995

The Space Quest series' favorite janitor Roger Wilco is back with his wacky sense of humor in this last outing of the series. Oh yeah, you must be thinking that he was a Captain in Space Quest 5 but his rank didn't last forever and he got demoted back to where he started his career, a janitor assigned to Deepship 86. Yet, fate has chosen Roger once again as an evil person wants to use him for her malevolent plans by using his loved one's brain as the target of her evil deeds. To help Stellar Santiago, the love of your life, you must travel in her blood vessels toward her brain in your ship after being injected in her body in the size of a microscopic particle.

The major flaw in the game is the main plot, which gets into focus only after you reach half way in the game. But on the bright side we have delightful graphics nicely crafted in plain 2D giving the game a very distinguish look with pre-rendered characters overlaid. The puzzles, to some extent are reasonable and sometime needs good puzzle-solving expertise to solve. All in all, a nice game to play by the science-fiction adventure games fans.

L.A. Law

Synergistic Software, Inc., 1992

Based on the TV series of the same name, LA Law allows the player to take on the role of one of three junior partners at a Law Firm.  Playing as either Jonathan, Abby or Victor, you must take cases, interview witnesses and defend clients in court. To complete the game you must win several cases and rise within the law firm, eventually becoming an indispensable and full partner. Fans of court-based dramas will enjoy this chance to step into the shoes of an Attorney at Law. For those unfamiliar with the workings of the US legal system, hints on how to proceed can be found in the research documents provided by the game. Stunning digitized video and support for all major sound cards make this one a true winner.

Under a Killing Moon

Access Software, Inc., 1994

Tex Murphy, our trench-coated, always broke Private Investigator is back in this third chapter. The year is 2042, following the World War III. You live in Old San Francisco, which is mainly populated by the Mutants, the group who suffered the World War III radiation and very few Norms, such as yourself. The Norms hate the Mutants but you prefer to live among them. In the game, you are hired to find a stolen bracelet but fate fumbles your way into a more hideous and evil plan of totally annihilating the world of innocent Mutants. As Tex, you must help Capricorn and find your way to Moonchild to destroy the main computer and save the world.

The game comprises breathtaking three-dimensional environment, with which you can interact in two modes, the movement mode and the interactive mode. This game was the first attempt to use the full motion video with interactive 3D background. The best feature in this game is the choice of dialogues, which shows the players different moods. Other features include an online hint system and an extensive support for additional sound/music devices. Overall, Under a Killing Moon is one of the most enjoyable games I have ever played.

Legend of Djel

Tomahawk, 1989

This game is the predecessor of Coktel Vision's later publication Ween, the Prophecy. In this game, you play the role of old Djel, the son of Hokram, a powerful wizard. You have three missions to accomplish in this game. Find your beloved daughter Azeulisses, who is your apprentice along with Petroy. Your second task is to find and collect certain ingredients to brew a magic potion for Theros and finally, accumulate a certain amount of gold for the poor and starving people of Kal's tribe as a return favour, for they aided you in achieving your early quests. The  graphics are the same quality as in Coktel Visions earlier games, supported with PC internal speaker and a mouse-driven interface.