Written by  :  MAT (180964)
Written on  :  Sep 13, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

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Adventure Jewel

The Good

This game simply breeds oldness from the moment it starts. I realize that back in 1997 it may seem as a new thing, but even then, this game simply adds you to the feeling you're playing an old classical LucasArts adventure, such as TSOMI. Although technically, it could be considered as flawed, I find those points big pluses as it adds to a feeling that can easily fly you back through your memories of nostalgy for old games. The screen changing effect (so slow), dialogue emphasis (so indifferent), character walking motion (incredibly slow), background music (basically non-existent with sound effects mostly), the story premise (think Zak), all those add to a certain touch of classic times when we were all amazed by the achievements of hand-drawn graphic of LucasArts' numerous adventures. If you can shut down from the cutting-edge technology and graphic reality present today, then there's just a possibility you may start to appreciate this game, and what it trully holds within its shell.

Game has lots of characters and that means lots of conversations, and they're all with voice-overs, it's simply awesome. When you see an adventure in a classical 3rd-person point-and-click style with full voiceover acting, you really start to appreciate it. Especially if you love endless conversations just for the sake of it being an adventure game.

Story, although "promising", won't reject your interest if you're in for some fun. And the main character Kendall will be there to assure you stick with him all the way 'til the end. Really funny journalist, not like Zak, but great in his own domain. Being a more of a football reporter, he's been given an assignment to find the professor who's gone missin' on his expedition to find the legendary city of Atlantis. Reluctantly, you'll take the case, and that's where the real fun starts. This game will make you visit various of locations from all around the world, and all the locations/background are pre-rendered static shots with extreme quality. Unless you get stuck on some puzzle, you won't get bored, rest assured. Even puzzles aren't that hard to master, most of them are sort-of... on a logical bases.

The Bad

One of the most frustrating things is that you need an old graphic card in order to play this game, the one which supports precise VESA... something. That alone made me doubt I'll ever be able to play this game, but luckily, I only waited a year or so to be able to.

Secondary annoyance may be directed to item inventory. It's placed in the bottom of the screen, and it scrolls extremely slow. And you get to keep all the items all the time, even those you won't need again. Sometimes, situations require of trying everything on everything, and the way item inventory is handled, it may take up ages.

Thirdly, you travel a lot across the globe, and many times, you need to travel here and there and completely illogically to get two or more different items that you can combine or use for some other location. That sort of beats the purpose of adventuring, game should be made that character is able to think of something without traveling 1000 miles away to get an item for solving the solution.

The Bottom Line

This is one of those games that will bring you back the faith that newer games can still have a touch of spider web and yet be and feel great. One one side, there are classics like Fate of Atlantis or LeChuck's Revenge, and on another games like Blade Runner or The Longest Journey. Ark of Time nicely fits in its own time, and shows how less known company such as Trecision can make a brilliant adventure game. Plus for the fact, I just love to see European companies making great games, too ;) This is one of the finest adventures I ever played, but if you don't find this game your cup of tea, don't tell me that I didn't play enough adventure games. This oldie just awakes some very likeable feeling in me when I play it, and facts or not, this will always be a great game to me.