Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Game 88: Lure of the Temptress (1992) – Introduction

by Alex



Lure of the Temptress
, the debut game from British developer Revolution Software—founded in 1990 and still making games—promises to be an interesting piece of adventure gaming history. If Revolution Software sounds familiar to you, that’s because these fine chaps (that’s what they like to be called in England, I’ve heard) went on to create the acclaimed Beneath a Steel Sky, as well as the Broken Sword series. Having played none of these games, I am very excited to embark upon something for The Adventure Gamer that is not a Police Quest game, is not a Leisure Suit Larry game, and is not a Robin Hood game.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 - The X Trials

Written by TBD

When we last met our heroine, Lydia, she had just explored the town of Atom City, and had found a spaceship (that she really could have found straight away, because she saw where it landed, and that was where she was told to go)

Lydia Sandler Journal Entry 2: Today was the most exciting day of my life. I met an alien and rode on a spaceship! It was amazing!

I checked out the spaceship, but it needed repairs and I had no idea how to do that, so I moved on. Just past the spaceship is an old dried out canal.

Oh. okay then. I caused a rainstorm. Why do I not remember causing a rainstorm?

I checked out my old screenshots, thinking maybe turning on Dad's machine caused a rainstorm and found out that it did, although it wasn't clear at the time.


Ah. I get it now. By turning on the strange machine, I created a rainstorm that flooded the dry canal that for some reason had a moored boat waiting.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Missed Classic 44: Oo-Topos - Introduction (1981 original; 1986 re-release)

Written by Voltgloss



The Great Zork Marathon has graced this blog with many (and, in the future, many more) adventures crafted by the Implementors - Infocom’s cadre of game designers. With Oo-Topos, we’re taking a semi-detour to explore an Implementor’s work before he became an Implementor. That Implementor is Mike Berlyn, whose work we’ve seen showcased in Joe Pranevich’s playthrough of Suspended and will shortly be coming up again in Infidel. But those were not Mr. Berlyn’s first adventure games. Those honors go to Oo-Topos and Cyborg.

According to his Infocom bio, by 1979 Berlyn had completed two tasks keenly suited to a future career in adventure game writing: (i) he had written two novels; and (ii) he had purchased an Apple II and, like so many other game designers, found and enjoyed the original Adventure. By 1981 Berlyn converged those interests to found his own company, Sentient Software, and publish his first two, pure text adventure games: Oo-Topos (co-written with his wife, Muffy Berlyn) and Cyborg. What about those offerings may have appealed to the folks at Infocom to offer Berlyn a job? Let’s find out!...


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Police Quest 1 (VGA Remake): Final Rating

Written by Alex



Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel is an interesting piece of adventure-gaming history. It might not have been the first to simulate a more realistic occupation in the sea of dragon-slayers, space-farers, and superheroes it found itself in when it first arrived on the scene in 1987, but it was the most successful, famous, and arguably unique. Say what you want about Jim Walls’ and company’s approach to game design, especially in later titles like Police Quest III and Codename: Iceman, but he and Sierra truly captured magic.

However, Mr. Walls had left Sierra at some point after the release of Police Quest III, and as such was not involved with this remake. Given that Walls was the father of Police Quest, and his experiences on the force helped give the original game, and the series as a whole, its realistic tone, it’s interesting to note that the remake does not mess with what made the original so groundbreaking. Other than the obvious cosmetic changes and the new interface which necessitates new ways to perform the same puzzle solutions, Police Quest remains intact.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 - From A Time when Men were Real Men, Women were Real Women and Small Pulsating Creatures from Planet X were Real Small Pulsating Creatures From Planet X

Written by TBD.

The decision is made – YOU voted, and Lydia beat both Barth and Zeke as protagonist for this playthrough. You chose the character with the most boring thing to say in all you've read about so far, just giving us her name and planet of origin. Let's see if that lack of anything interesting to say continues throughout the game. If it does, I know who to blame. On with the show...


Lydia Sandler journal entry 1: Nothing much interesting ever happens in the sleepy town of Atom City, Nevada. Maybe tonight will change all that. My father, an astronomer (or possibly just a telescope enthusiast) asked me to check out a meteor that hit the ground near here. I seek help from my friend Zeke, as well as his employees at the gas station, and do some exploring. While checking out near a dried up canal, you won't believe what I found...

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Missed Classic: Enchanter - Won! and Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich



Last time out, I inched closer to discovering the Warlock’s inner sanctum and figuring out how to defeat him. In the process, I survived being sacrificed, watched a turtle be a ninja a full year before that would become a thing, and completely screwed up the Zork timeline by teleporting my character from the first games into an adventure that he wasn’t expecting. It’s been a great ride, if a bit frustrating at times. I’m not sure how I should think of a Warlock who leaves so many useful scrolls hidden all around his castle for a novice adventurer to come and defeat him with…

The first thing that I did in this session is to experiment with “melbor”, the protection from evil spell that I picked up at the end of last week. It doesn’t help one iota getting through the guarded door, but it does seem to prevent the cultists from finding me. With that, I have been finally able to access the eastern exit from the Junction… yay! This leads me to a landing and then a winding stairwell going infinitely up and down in both directions. I try to see if it repeats by dropping an object and seeing if I see it again later, but it really does seem to go on forever. With nothing up and nothing down and no spells that seem right for this occasion, I’ll have to come back later.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Kyrandia - Final Rating

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

It is time for King Brandon’s adventures to be tested and thoroughly examined through the PISSED rating system. Will the beautiful universe crafted by Westwood be enough to forgive some lacklustre puzzle design or will Kyrandia disappear into the depths of our leaderboard? Let’s find out!


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Police Quest 1 (VGA Remake): Won!

Written by Alex



The reign of the Death Angel is at an end. The city of Lytton is safe once more. And Sonny Bonds—Detective Sonny Bonds—is the most beloved man in the city.

How did we get here? What happened in between Sonny disguising himself *snort* as a gangster *snicker* in order to infiltrate the illegal gambling ring at the Hotel Delphoria?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Missed Classic: Enchanter - The Terror that Flaps in the Night

Written by Joe Pranevich



Last week, I finished exploring nearly all of the Warlock’s castle but left many mysteries unsolved. We found a deathtrap with hammers and spears, a mysterious rainbow turtle, a man in a mirror, an excessively guarded door, and many other little mysteries. I’m going to have to put some of these puzzles to bed if I want to fight my way to the Warlock. You may have noticed that this isn’t a “Won!” post. Except for the original Dungeon (which was enormous), this is the first game in our marathon to require a fourth post. I’m still going to push to have each game done in three or less, but it seemed better to let this game breathe as much as it needed to. There are a lot of puzzles!

Just as with last week, my big break happened almost immediately after I stopped scrawling my notes for the last section. I put the game down, came back, and figured out a huge trick: napping. I have said this before, but when I write about these games, sometimes I sound smarter than I am. For every correct choice, I can spend enormous amounts of time wandering around or trying randomly stupid things which I do not always mention. Keep in mind that for every solved problem there is a strange man yelling at his computer screen about a thirty-four-year old game. Finding the clue I needed while napping was one example of said screaming.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Game 86: Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2: Gas Pump Girls Meet the Pulsating Inconvenience from Planet X - Introduction (1992)

Written by TBD

Since Maniac Mansion, Green Tentacle's become hungry for something else

After completing the original Leather Goddesses of Phobos, I was very much looking forward to the sequel, not so much for the opportunity of seeing the aforementioned goddesses in all their VGA graphical glory (Mmmmm, pixelated boobies...), but because of a point-and-click mouse interface - no more parser problems

{I don't understand the word 'point-and-click'}

Screw you, 1980s Intercom.

{I don't see any 'you' here}


Monday, 31 July 2017

Legend of Kyrandia - WON!

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Brandon’s journal - entry #5 : Finally. Malcolm’s abode. The fiend is near. I’m gonna avenge my new-found dead parents. This is it. The final showdown. Now if I can just find my way in this huuuuge castle…

Last week we followed the adventures of Brandon straight to Malcolm’s island (or what I can guess is Malcolm’s island, considering the dead plants and scary looking mountains scream “bad guy’s lair”)


Turning into a flying horse also left me with a craving for alfalfa.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Police Quest 1 (VGA Remake): That’s DETECTIVE Bonds to You!

Written by Alex

In our last post, we were left hanging as Sonny busted suspected drug dealer, murderer, and driver of that darn stolen Mercedes, Marvin Hoffman aka Leroy Pierson. But did the bust stick?



The bust stuck. Sonny just had to go to court.

But first, Officer Bonds had to get into his street clothes and turn into (duhn-duh-duh-DUUUHN!) DETECTIVE BONDS! And you know what this means!

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Missed Classic: Enchanter - Magical Mystery Tour

Written by Joe Pranevich



Last week, I started my explorations of Enchanter by breaking into an ancient castle inhabited by an evil warlock. It seemed to be going well at first except I was too tired to memorize any spells, failed to find a safe place to sleep, and then was captured by cultists and sacrificed on an altar to a bloodthirsty god. I did manage to learn two new spells (one to open doors and another to repair damaged objects), found a mirror leading to the original Zork games, and encountered a door so heavily guarded that it’s defenses had defenses. Fort Knox would be easier to enter! The game is a ton of fun so far but I’ve barely cracked the surface. How am I going to find and defeat the Warlock? Will I win by opening a stuck door at him?

I will start this week by saying that I solved the sleeping issue immediately. Not really having any better ideas, I tried sleeping immediately after restoring from my trauma and that worked for some reason without any hassle. I have to assume that it’s a random event and I was just unlucky the last time, but I honestly have no idea. Did I just sleep in the wrong room? At the wrong time? Who knows but at least I can memorize some spells and start a less haphazard exploration of my environment.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Police Quest 1 (VGA Remake): Make the Bust and Make It Stick!

Written by Alex


Make the bust and make it stick! That’s the goal, right? I mean, it even says that on the box to this game:

At least, on the box of the original game.

So did Sonny bust someone? Did he make it stick? Ah, for that, you will have to read on. Because first, Sonny was off to The Blue Room for a shindig in honor of his buddy Jack Cobb.

(The suspense is killing you, I know. That’s all part of the trick.)


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Missed Classic 43: Enchanter - Introduction (1983)

Written by Joe Pranevich


It seems like forever since we played Zork III, but we are finally returning to the unambiguous portion of our Great Zork Marathon with Enchanter, the first game in the second trilogy. It seems a waste for Infocom not to have taken advantage of the well-established brand name, but I am sure the marketing team had their reasons for not wanting to do so. Zork IV: The Enchanter would have been a fantastic title! I enjoyed the Zorkisms that we found in Starcross and Planetfall, but it feels good to be back on the main road. Like many of the games in this series, I vaguely remember starting this game (or one of its sequels) more than twenty years ago. I know that it has a magician protagonist and that finding and casting spells will be a key component. I also know that at some point in this series you “meet” your player character from the first Zork trilogy, but it might not be this game. I look forward to finding out!

This game both starts and ends an era for Infocom. This is the final game jointly designed by the team of Marc Blank and Dave Lebling. Marc remained at Infocom until 1986 but did not have time to develop any other games; he would return to produce Battlefield and Journey in 1988 and 1989. Dave will write four more games but we aren’t quite done with him yet. We will be looking at his Spellbreaker, the third game in this trilogy, in a few months. (Steve Meretzky of Planetfall-fame will be given the helm of the second game, Sorcerer.) Enough introduction, let’s play!


Monday, 17 July 2017

Kyrandia - Hocus Crocus

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Brandon’s journal - entry #3 : After this horrible cave, where to go next? After being knocked out by this branch, I met with Zanthia, another mystic. She seems to tell me I am a prince of some kind and when I ask her more infos, she asks me to bring her some magic water… These mystics and their errands! Could someone just give me actual real help already?

One week later…

We left Brandon having a little nap on the forest ground. He wakes up directly into some kind of witch house, with a blonde woman mixing up a potion in a huge cauldron. She introduces herself as Zanthia, another mystic (and future heroine of Kyrandia 2). She is pissed at the other mystics for basically telling you nothing apart than “go see other mystics” with a slap on the buttocks. Then she tells you you’re the prince...

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Missed Classic: Leather Goddesses of Phobos - WON! and Final Rating

When last we met, Trent had almost died for the fourth? time in Cleveland. A circle in Cleveland took us back to Phobos, and from there on to Venus and Mars.

South Pole

EDUTAINMENT WARNING < While Mars' north pole is made from water ice, the south pole in Mars is made from CO2 ice. >EDUTAINMENT WARNING

While hanging out near the Sultan's palace last post, I found that one of the teleportation circles takes me to the barge. With that information I (eventually) work out that I can get to the south pole without going past the brain exploding machine.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Police Quest 1 (VGA Remake): Speeders, Drunks, Bikers, and Murder

Written by Alex



Sonny’s first in-game day on patrol wastes no time getting to the hardcore stuff! But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here; like I wrote in the last post, we need to talk about the Police Quest remake’s driving interface first.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Kyrandia - The Descent

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Brandon’s journal - entry #3: Caves. Darkness. Floating balls of light talking to me. Monsters moving in the shadow. This is definitely the last night I spend in this night club…

Yay, the fireberries cave! Well it’s a long long maze, and it’s very surprising at first. You’ve been wandering around the game nicely until now and random gem puzzles aside, it’s been somewhat of a breeze. And then the game throws at you a hundred-screen maze with insta-death around every corner! I understand that a lot of players just stopped there dead in their tracks… As for me I kinda like it! I enjoy mapping my old-school games with graph paper and pencil and this is a maze that rewards the player for being thorough.


One of the two kinds of screens we’ll see for a long time…

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Missed Classic: Leather Goddesses of Phobos - The Sultan of Schwing

When we left off last time I'd just escaped from a gorilla's body in a mad scientist's lab in Venus.

Inside the locked lab is another black teleportation circle, which I enter, ending up outside the scientists' house. A few screens later is another black circle, which I also enter.

After entering the circle I am now in...


MARS

I arrive in a ruined castle where I get told the story of King Mitre – on Earth we've heard a bastardized version about King Midas who turned everything he touched into gold, including his daughter. The real story is about King Mitre, who turned everything he touched into a forty-five degree angle. Next to him is a pile of angles, including one with golden hair and a flowing white gown {HINT! HINT!}

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Police Quest 1 (VGA Remake): Morning Routine

Written by Alex



And so we begin the Police Quest remake. I have to say, right off the bat, it gets points for presentation. I like that the title screen mirrors that of Police Quest III, released one year earlier.



In fact, this remake uses a lot of the same assets from Police Quest III, as though they were intending make sure that the overhaul of the series maintained a certain level of continuity throughout.

Lytton P.D. in Police Quest I


…and Lytton P.D. in Police Quest III.


Sonny’s street clothes in Police Quest I…


…and in Police Quest III


And lastly, Sonny’s character portrait in Police Quest I


…and in Police Quest III.

I’m getting ahead of myself here, but these are cool little touches that make me wish that the second game had also been similarly remade to bring it in line with these two.

Back to the intro: over some wailing guitars—well-composed, though the audio quality is a bit grating—we get the game’s credits, as well as some ominous imagery bespeaking the violence facing the city of Lytton.


This is actually animated.


So is this. It turns into a SKULL!

It definitely gives the game that “cop show” vibe I’m sure they were going for, and that I enjoyed so much about the third game . . . at least in the beginning.

But among the credits . . .

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Missed Classic 42: Leather Goddesses of Phobos (1986) - Introduction



What can I tell you about Leather Goddesses of Phobos? Let's check in with wikipedia...

Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skin

A goddess is a female deity in polytheistic religions

Phobos is the innermost and larger of the two natural satellites of Mars

Well, that explains it.

Leather Goddesses of Phobos are female deities from a moon of Mars who are made from a durable material.

But that's not the image I get in my head when I read the title.

THIS is closer to the image I get in my head, but that's Space Quest IV clearly referencing this game

Read more to find out about the game everyone is talking about

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Game 87: Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel (VGA Remake) (1992) – Introduction

Written by Alex



Alright people, let me fire up my computer, have I got a treat for you. You see, I’m finally going to get out of Sierra Land and talk to you all about a cool little game called Lure of the--



Oh brother, who’s at the door now? Maybe they’ll go away if I ignore them. Where was I?

Lure of the Temptress is a point-and-click adventure developed by Revolution Software, a British company also known for—



I guess they won’t go away. Looks like I’m going to have to go give whoever this is a piece of my mind.

Hold on a second.

*gets up to answer door*

Look here pal, I’m trying to do a review oh my God!



“Slight change of plans, buddy!”

Monday, 26 June 2017

Hook - Won!, Final Rating, and More

Written by Joe Pranevich

The final battle begins!

Last week, Peter Pan got his groove back: we were able to recapture his old memories and remind him of his happy thoughts, his family. This allowed Peter to reclaim the leadership of the Lost Boys from Rufio and he reclaimed his sword before flying off to Pirate Town to rescue his kids and confront Captain Hook.

Before we start, I mentioned last week that I had read Peter and Wendy, the original 1911 novel, and was considering watching either Disney’s animated Peter Pan or the actual Hook film. Since this post won the game, I skipped the cartoon and went straight for Steven Spielberg’s Hook. I did not watch the film until after playing and writing down my rating so I promise that it didn’t interfere with the score. I’m going to conclude playing the game, talk about the movie briefly, and then finish up with the score.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Kyrandia - Snakes on a Tree

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Brandon’s journal - entry #2 : Okay, I know have a perfectly useless amulet and Brynn seems to have disappeared somewhere! I certainly hope the other mystics will be able to help me. First I have to go see Darm and Brandywine, then I’ll try and get access to these darn caves…

We’ve left Brandon at the entrance of the Timbermist Woods. The first screen after the entrance leads to a big hut which seems to be the abode of Darm and his pet dragon Brandywine. Maybe they’ll be able to help me…

Worst roommate ever

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Missed Classic: Lords of Time - Won! (With Final Rating)

Written by Ilmari

7) Scifi zone

It’s a pity that this time zone has just a picture of my time machine

I ended my last post by complaining how repetitive the time zones had become and by wishing that something new would appear in the last three time zones. The seventh time zone taught me that I should stop wishing for things, since in worst case my wishes could come true.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hook - Island of Misfit Boys

Written by Joe Pranevich



Welcome back! Last week, our lawyer-turned-hero had two of his teeth pulled, drugged a pirate with cocoa, and stole pirate clothes all to gain access to the famous Jolly Roger, Captain Hook’s ship, to rescue his kids. Making it there wasn’t enough: Hook easily defeated me but Tinkerbell argued that she could get me into fighting shape in three days. Hook let me go so he could have more of a challenge but still forced me to walk the plank. It’s been a fun adventure so far, but I am curious where this will go next.

As I was playing and working on this post, I also tucked into Peter and Wendy, the original Peter Pan novel from 1911. (The play came first but it was modified many times in its theatrical run.) Honestly, I do not think it will help much and puts me in a strange position where I am catching the obscure references to the original book but have no idea of even the big connections to the Hook film. Depending on how things go, I will try to either watch Disney’s animated Peter Pan or Hook for next week’s post. My first observation: this book is much darker than I expected, very focused on topics like death, memory, and the role of parents. It’s a fun read, but somehow I didn’t expect a book that would make me think so much. More on that in a bit. For now, I think I have to help Mr. Banning to stop drowning…

Friday, 16 June 2017

Kyrandia - Romancing the Stones

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Brandon’s journal - entry #1 : Damn Malcolm! This monster has turned my grandfather Kallak to stone! And now the wooden wall of his hut starts talking to me telling me about my destiny and how I’m supposed to fight this jester devil and save the world! Now if I could only find a way to read the magic note that I found on grandfather’s desk? Maybe Brynn will be able to help me…

Note : having experienced a tragic MacBook crash, this post will be shorter than usual in order to be able to release it (somewhat) on schedule. Sorry about that guys, I promise you a full-length post for next week! -Alfred

First of all and without further ado : playing Kyrandia nowadays is still a blast! The MIDI music and the low resolution graphics are still as beautiful and enchanting as it was before. Pixel art is still what’s holding up best, especially when you compare it to digitized graphics or early 3D ones! But enough of this for now, let’s try and figure these puzzles out…

Pretty hut, and with a natural elevator to boot!

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Missed Classic: Lords of Time - All Caves Look Alike

Written by Ilmari

3) Flintstones Era



I landed on a prairie, with large animals grazing around me - dinosaurs. I particularly ran into one allosaurus and one tyrannosaurus, which both started to follow me and finally had me for a lunch, if I happened on the same screen with them. The obvious answer was to lead the allosaurus to the tyrannosaurus and watch the two take care of each other.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Hook - (Won’t You Take Me to) Pirate Town

Written by Joe Pranevich


Clap if you believe in faeries!

Our game begins in a town full of pirates. If you missed the introduction, our protagonist is Peter Banning, a boring and career-obsessed lawyer with two kids. While visiting London, his kids are kidnapped by the evil Captain Hook and taken to Neverland. Mr. Banning learns that faeries are real and that he is actually Peter Pan, grown to middle-age and without his memories. Tinkerbell flies him off to Neverland and they land right smack in the middle of pirate-central. Why there and not with the Lost Boys? I have no idea! In fact, the only reason I know this much is because I vaguely remember the movie as the opening cinematic is sparse on the details. If I will need to recall the film to understand key plot elements throughout the whole game, I may get into trouble quickly.

My first impressions are not too bad. The opening area that I find myself in has a good respect for the Peter Pan mythos: the Crocodile, Hook’s ticking nemesis, stands stuffed in the center of the square as a sign that the pirates have won in Pan’s absence. The whole town seems to be made of parts of ships pulled together, perhaps from a long history of shipwrecks on the Neverland shores. Tinkerbell is my constant companion, hovering around Peter’s head, but the pirates don’t seem to pay much attention to either her or me. What am I supposed to be doing?

Friday, 9 June 2017

Game 82 : Legend of Kyrandia - Introduction (1992)

Written by Alfred n’ the Fettuc

Aaaaah, Legend of Kyrandia. One of my all-time favorites! I don’t know why but the first game has always evoked images of my childhood, be it the wonderful music, the lush colours, the zany characters, the thoughtful puzzles… Needless to say I’ll be wearing huge rose-tinted glasses on this one, or I’ll find some detail point that annoys me and isn’t as good as I remember (fireberries, anyone?) and I’ll flay this piece of crap. Only the next few weeks will tell, but I’m certainly curious about playing through this one again all these years after.

That’s what I call a cover that screams adventure and danger. There is even Tinkerbell in it!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Missed Classic 41: Lords of Time (1984) - Introduction

Written by Ilmari

When it comes to Missed Classics, it's obvious that Joe's huge formerly-just-Zork-and-now-probably-whole-of-Infocom-Marathon is the main attraction right now. Because Joe is currently doing another gig in the Main Game Division (Hook), it's time for another warm-up show with a game from the company known as the British Infocom, Level 9. Braze yourselves for Lords of Time.


Why exactly does Father Time carry a scythe?

Monday, 5 June 2017

Game 85: Hook - Introduction (1992)

Written by Joe Pranevich



Other than text adventures, if there is one thing I might be becoming known for here on TAG, it is playing licensed games. It was not deliberate! Yet, as I sit down to play my tenth licensed game (from James Bond to Star Trek)-- and am on the hook to play several more in 1992-- I am optimistic. Sure, these titles haven’t all been gems but our recent playthrough of Gateway proves that a licensed title can be one of the best games of the year. Even Consulting Detective, for its flaws, was a tremendously influential title. I know absolutely nothing about Hook. Will it be a surprise success? Or will I be pulling out my fingernails? Only one way to find out!

Hook does not have a deep adventure game pedigree. Published by Ocean Software (later to be bought by Infogrames and now branded as Atari), it is one of dozens of licensed games produced by that company since the early 80s. Nearly all of those were action games of one type or another and off our radar. Of the key credits, designers Bobby Earl and Kevin Oxland plus producer Jon Woods, only Mr. Woods had ever worked an adventure game before: a 1985 text adventure based on The Neverending Story. Of course, there is a first time for everything and by 1992 there were many fine examples of adventure games for new designers to take inspiration from.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Fascination - Final Rating

Written by Ilmari

We reviewers have rarely explained in detail our methods of deciding the individual scores for each category. I am sure there are as many ways to do it as we have reviewers, but personally I like to pick a few games to compare with the game I am rating. If the game is part of some series, I’ll choose an earlier part of the series, just to see if there has been any progression or regression. Even if the game is a part of a series, but especially if it isn’t, I’ll also take as a reference point a game that has something similar to the game I’m rating, but which is otherwise not related to it. Finally, I want to choose game reviewed by another person, just so my ratings would be in line with what the other reviewers are doing. Thus, when I have rated games by Level 9, I have made comparisons to my own earlier reviews of their games, but I’ve also checked what ratings Joe Pranevich has given to Infocom and Sierra Hi-Res games with similar themes.

In this particular instance, I’ve chosen to compare ratings of Fascination to my own ratings of the earlier Coktel Vision erotic adventure, Geisha, and their slightly better game, Legend of Djel, but also to the ratings of another Coktel Vision game, Bargon Attack, reviewed by Alfred ‘n the Fettuc, and to ratings of a French adventure game from a completely different company, Eternam, reviewed by Aperama. Let’s see what will be the result!


Contestant number 1: Fascination


Contestant number 2: Geisha


Contestant number 3: Legend of Djel


Contestant number 4: Bargon Attack


Contestant number 5: Eternam