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Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter (DOS)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168688)
Written on  :  Aug 09, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Wonderful. Problems may occur when playing this on a newer machine, though.

The Good

This is one of those marvelous VGA remakes "Sierra" made for its own classics: the first games of each of its great series. Except the "King's Quest" and maybe the "Police Quest" remake, the three other are true masterpieces: "Hero's Quest", "Leisure Suit Larry" and "Space Quest". They all boast incredibly beautiful, for those times, graphics, very good animation, fantastic MIDI music and a comfortable icon-based interface.

This remake of the original "Space Quest" is better in almost any aspect than the original: what looked like a bit childish, primitive game, turned to be a rich adventure full of suspense. The music provides so much atmosphere that I really can't play the original after seeing this one. The could have used more music in the original game, by the way, even PC speaker music would still add a lot.

I like very much those VGA graphics of the early nineties - no 3D or something, but nice-looking and clean. The characters are especially well-designed: those aliens in Ulence Flats are hilarious.

This remake adds really a lot to the gameplay: instead of a rather poor text parser with very few choices, the VGA version offers much vaster possibilities of trying and experimenting, among them some very funny lines not presented in the original.

In general, if the original game's age really shows and it is difficult to appreciate it today, the remake doesn't seem outdated at all, although it is already ten years old. It is good to have those "Sierra" remakes in any collection of adventure games.

The Bad

Yes, there is one problem that can really bother: this game doesn't have a good compatibility with faster computers. Therefore, some puzzles are very difficult to solve because of the very high speed of the game. Slow-down utilities like "Turbo" don't help in all the cases, although in some of them it would be a good idea to use such an utility.

Especially annoying was the fact that on Kerona's surface Roger was ALWAYS thirsty. And if you don't react very, very quickly, three messages appear one after the other and Roger is then dead. It is absolutely ridiculous, because it's even not a puzzle, and it ruins the pleasure to admire the 256-colored, orange planet. Pity!

Comparing this game to later "Space Quests", especially to the fifth and the sixth, we can see the differences in styles. The earlier games concentrate in suspense and action, the later in exploring and puzzle-solving. I like the both ways, but to some people the first game could appear a bit too primitive and short.

There isn't much exploring or talking in this game, but what it loses on depth and longevity, it gains on suspense. The game is very concentrated, and many puzzles require quick thinking and reaction.

The Bottom Line

This is a classic, and I recommend to whoever still hasn't play "Space Quest I" to try rather this remake. It is a very good addition to the series.