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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  :  pogalogen (14)
Written on  :  Feb 14, 2007
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
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Summary

Novel adventure with flawed implementation

The Good

Freddy Pharkas, a classic Sierra adventure designed by Al Lowe and Josh Mandel, provides a pleasant departure from the usual settings of other adventure games. Freddy, a pharmacist and former gunslinger, must discover who is behind the rash of incidents driving the townspeople from western town of Coarsegold. The characters and locations in this game, while limited, are well fleshed out and entertaining. The VGA graphics are generally good and the sound is excellent. The story itself is entertaining and well written.

The Bad

The major downfall of Freddy Pharkas is the result of a number of timed puzzles within the game. About one third of the game consists of puzzles, that when not solved in an unspecified time limit, results in Freddy’s death. While this may add a sense of urgency to solving these puzzles, it also forces the player to reload many times in an effort to beat the clock. In some cases there is barely enough time to solve the puzzle when one knows what to do let alone when the player doesn’t. This leads to the player being forced to rush through the game and not experience the entertaining characters, locations, and situations that make this game shine.

The Bottom Line

Overall, Freddy Pharkas is an example of a potentially great game that did not live up to its potential. It weaves a tight, albeit short story in a novel setting with a number of entertaining situations. Unfortunately, the way the game was designed does not allow for the player to experience the small details that make the game shine. As a result, it is reduced to a mediocre adventure.