SummaryDecently fun to play
The GoodI would say, as everyone claims this game to be a Myst clone, it has enough going for it to be it's own game. Being an adventure game, I'm fairly certain the majority of players won't appreciate it, but being the open minded individual I am, I would say it's decent fun. Six years later, the game was still enjoyable, although there are a few eyesores. The game plays in the point and click fashion, however unlike a favourite of mine, Lost Eden, the movements between spots isn't animated - it's point, click, transport, point, click, transport. There isn't even a fade effect or anything between spots.
The game starts off with a cutscene with a postman, and I must say I find it odd that the first cutscene is the most pixelized of them all. The graphics are decent to look at, including the water effects, which, when moving, are great. The voice acting isn't great, but it's passable. However, I do wish their had been more attention to cinematics in the cutscenes. The story is dramatic, but slightly lessened when it's introduced to you by clicking on a stiff, still man, which then progresses immediately into a closeup 3 minute explanation (before dying). Actually, a lot of characters seem to die right after talking to you in this game. After that, you have freedom of movement. Well, somewhat. You can look 360 degrees, and of course move where you are permitted. I have to say, I absolutely love the animation of travel in the game. You really get an amazing sense of movement and like you're actually in a little machine travelling across the water. The sound effects are also very well done. Music, where available, is nice.
The BadSome people may not like the fact that you're on your own for the most of the time. There are only four or five characters, and only two which are still alive when they're done talking. Also, some things aren't explained and seem to only exist for the sake of being there, making the game seem more like a game than actual places. For instance, in a village, once you have ingredients, you see a woman in her shed. Somehow, without communicating, she knows exactly what you need and performs the ritual. In another area, some freaky Rhino steals your grapnel. It's too fierce to directly take on, so you wander aimlessly through the forests - and happen to come across a tranquilizer gun. But even though I'm bashing the game here, overall, it's an enjoyable experience, if you can get these little oddities.
The Bottom LineAmerzone is not a game for everyone. People with patience will enjoy it, action lovers will hate it. It's puzzles are relatively easy, but total newcomers may become frustrated with it. The cutscenes are excellent, the story is decent, and the extras - journals, letters, the like, are well done, although I only read the first page of each of them, then promptly never looked at them again for the entire game. I'll repeat, it's a good game for newcomers to this genre, or if you're just looking to escape your boring apartment for a wild exotic jungle. For my final rating, I'd award Amerzone, a 3 out of 5.