Road to India: Between Hell and Nirvana (Windows)

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Written by  :  Jeanne (76593)
Written on  :  Jan 27, 2002
Rating  :  3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
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An easy-going game with a good measure of mystery

The Good

I really enjoyed Road to India. It is the story of young man’s quest to find his kidnapped sweetheart in a foreign country. The game starts out as Fred, your hero, takes a nap aboard his airplane flight to India, holding his fiancee’s “dear John” letter in his grip. Fred dreams of the Taj Mahal and, in his dream, he sees his girlfriend in the clutches of an unknown assailant. Little does he know that he will be visiting the Taj Mahal, and other places from his dreams, in reality as he searches for his beloved Anusha.

Anusha’s parents live in New Delhi, so this is Fred’s destination. Upon arrival at their front door, Fred watches a real captor push Anusha into a sleek black car and speed away. Somehow he must find out where she has been taken and by whom … and why.

You play Fred in first-person perspective. He is an ordinary looking fellow with a nice voice and a sense of humor. You’ll move him about the streets of New Delhi, explore the Taj Mahal inside and out as well as the ancient and mysterious Temple of Kali. He’ll find clues to Anusha’s disappearance by talking to other characters, finding objects and solving puzzles.

Road to India played flawlessly on my system, something I wish could be said about some other games I’ve played recently. The basic interface is so nice and clean, it was a pleasure to play. There is no disk swapping and it doesn’t matter which disk is loaded in your tray when you start. Ample save-game slots and a simple inventory management system are other pluses. I liked the non-traditional way pictures, books and other reading materials were handled. Rather than go into inventory, they went into a separate area called Notes. From there they could be viewed and read. This was also the place to view Fred’s own diary which was updated at the end of each chapter.

Graphics are very nicely done, although I wish there could have been more going on in the streets of New Delhi. The characters are realistically drawn and voice acting is excellent. The cut scenes made the entire plot come together and were very well done. The music was there for background only and, although it was adequate, it added nothing to the mood for the most part.

All of the puzzles in Road to India were integrated very well into the plot. None of them can be considered hard. In fact, they were all quite easy. You’ll find a good measure of inventory-based puzzles, a locked puzzle box, a maze, and several other puzzle types, all of which move the story farther along.

The Bad

Besides the shortness of the game itself, there are very few things to find fault with. More characters to talk to could have made the game longer and more interesting. Adding subtitles to the inventory items would have been nice, although they weren’t necessary for most items.

The Bottom Line

Take your time and enjoy this one. Using a walkthrough could actually ruin it for you. Road to India is easy enough for children, too, although there is a bit of violence (but no blood and gore or action segments), so use your own judgment. If you’re an adventure gamer, like me, I think this game would be an excellent addition to your collection. It is not the best of the genre, but it rates at least a solid silver star, in my opinion.