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Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist (DOS)

80
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  OceansDaughter (106)
Written on  :  Aug 19, 2002
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars1.2 Stars
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Summary

This game could have been much better than it turned out

The Good

This game seems to me to be a bit different in terms of setting for most Sierra games. The opening song lyrics with the bouncing ball are hilarious. The graphics are fairly well done, though sometimes they're really tiny and hard to see. There are some humorous moments in the game. Freddy strikes me as being the least likely person to be a hero, because he seems like such a geek--and it's nice to see a non-standard hero being the center of a game. The manual for the game is very well done, and is the most humorous part of the game or its packaging. It's also nice to see the puzzles involved some science background, like the baking soda puzzle. At the least, it felt like playing with a virtual chemistry set.

The Bad

It's too short, for starters. After the introduction, the game itself is a bit of a letdown. I think it progresses too fast. The plot is predictable. You really don't get a feel for the other characters in the game, so the end chapter was neither a surprise nor very interesting. There is very little dialogue in the game itself. I remember the reason why I bought this game was because someone mentioned wandering around the town before opening the pharmacy for the first time was the greatest part. Unfortunately, this did not hold up. There are very few characters to talk to, to begin with! Almost all of these dialogues are repeating, for the most part, or somewhat uninteresting. Once the action starts, you have no choice but to complete the solution before time runs out. That doesn't give you much time to talk to characters during the game itself, meaning their characters are very underdeveloped. This game was pretty much full of timed puzzles after the first act. This, I find, is unusual for a Sierra game, where most of the time you have plenty of time to do things--unless it's part of the endgame, or really necessary to the plot. The fact that the graphics were so hard to see made things like the sword fight very hard to win. And, lastly, the sound effects were not that great, had appeared in previous games, and could be downright annoying, like the barking dog--or else were just flat-out inappropriate.

The Bottom Line

If you're a diehard Sierra fan, go ahead and play it. If not, be ready for a game that is not exactly their best. While I wouldn't say this is the worst game Sierra ever produced, I would say that it could have been more thought out and made more original. Instead, it seems as if it was made quickly and without much thought as to plot and graphics design.