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SummaryFantastically compelling classical adventure
The GoodThis game is a testament to what a rich and fertile creative development house Lucasarts was (is?), not only did they produce the greatest adventure games of their time, but every now and then they also took gambles and came out with offbeat, experimental games that shattered everything we seemed to know about these types of games (ok, maybe not so dramatically, but they still rocked!) Loom is perhaps the most obvious of these games, and one of the most interesting ones to ever come out of Lucas's coding house.
Sporting a näif fantasy-feel with a decidedly dark and edgy storyline and an innovative control scheme where instead of picking and using stuff over and over you have to cast spells using a series of basic music chords (played in your very own quirky magic wand (tm)), Loom is as far from traditional adventure games as you can get without throwing in a shotgun.
The graphics are fantastic and the music while technically limited (talking about the original floppy version here) is still excellent. Bobbin's quest is one of the most fantastic stories ever written for a video game, this is the kind of stuff that's emotional without crossing the line of cheapness, and that's really touching without taking cheap shots at melodrama. Death and destiny are dealt with using a remarkable finnese on this game, there's a sequence which I will never forget that has you meeting a (seemingly small at the time) character that died because of your merry "adventuring" actions and forces you to acknowledge the consequences of what you do. THIS is touching, THIS is powerful! And it's done with a great sense of simplicity and style, not with a million-dollar fmv sequence where the leads kiss as a pop song plays in the background and a bunch of flying blossoms make the world a-ok. Most of the people who think that sort of thing is "epic" should also remember about the magnificent ending of Loom, which hands down is one of the most poetically touching ones ever made.
....yeah, I'm still pissed about that *other* game. you know who. ;))
The BadWell, this is really an introductory-level adventure. It is simple and straightforward, and such simplicity in it's design (and the innovative interface) seriously limit the range of stuff you can do, it really all boils down to knowing which spell to cast when.
Aside from that I can only think of one thing: it's an adventure game. So yeah, it's got everything that is fantastic about adventures, but also everything that is so bad about them and caused them to whitter and fall into a coma. If you are solely into shooting stuff and talking l33t then I don't see what you are going to do with this.
The Bottom LineA fantastic adventure game. If you are even remotely interested in the genre then pick this one up, its like the Rashomon of videogames, you know, not so well known to the general public, but clearly more poetic and insighful than the rest of the "Seven Samurais" out there.......(where the hell did this Kurosawa thing come from????:))
If you on the other hand are a veteran adventure gamer then I can't understand why you are reading this, you already know this game rocks! What's that??? Didn't play it??? Get the hell out of here and steal a copy before I "transcend" your ass!!! :))