User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus (DOS)

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platform
73
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
...
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Mickey Gabel (357)
Written on  :  Jan 07, 2000
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
write a review of this game
read more reviews by Mickey Gabel
read more reviews for this game

Summary

An exceptional game, that manages to combine education, humor, fun and an incredible sense of wonder.

The Good

The strength of this game comes from the synergy of great music, strong story, beautiful graphics, educational information and a sense of wonder I have rarely encountered in any computer game. The game, at first glance, seems common and naive - a lonely child befriends speaking animals and saves their home. But as you play the game you discover that this is not what the game is about (well, of course it is but that's not the point of the game). The point of the game is exploration of the rich coral reef biosphere, as Adam identifies each and every organism you look at. You will come to appreciate the damage being caused by human civilization to coral reefs and the undersea environment. And you will learn how to prevent some of these damages, and how can some of them be solved. The game does not embellish the truth: some of the ecological damages caused by humans can not be restored by Adam, and can never be restored. But the game will expose you to some possible solutions currently in research. The music fits in perfectly with the game and the plot, changing from scene to scene to fit the surroundings and the plot. Sometimes the change is drastic, some times imperceptible, but it will always be the right thing. The graphics is colorful and varied - reflecting nicely and accurately the animal and plant diversity of coral reefs. Just looking at the scenes will teach you something.

The Bad

  • Some of the background scenes seems like they were drawn on paper and then scanned - sometimes resluting in ugly areas of flat colors. I thing some more postprocessing would have benefited the graphics much.
  • For a game that is generally accurate and obviously based on a lot of reserach, I am surprised that the developers "forgot" that dolphins don't have eyebrows. Sure, it makes Del more humanlike, but it looks ridiculous!
  • The ending. It is probably the only ending it could have, especially when you are talking about a game designed primarily for kids - but it left me wanting more closure.

The Bottom Line

A fun, informative game, that manages to teach you without being didactic even a bit. Recommended to kids, and all people young at heart.