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Chemicus: Journey to the Other Side (Windows)

69
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Jeanne (75604)
Written on  :  Jul 15, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars1.71 Stars
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Summary

Chemical Myst

The Good

Chemicus is a Myst-like point and click adventure in which you are virtually alone in a world full of strange puzzles. Everything you encounter in this game is related to chemistry rather than the workings of more traditional machinery. You do need to work with scientific machines and equipment, though most of them are in perfect working order. So, think chemical engineering rather than mechanical engineering.

The world environment is realistic and nicely rendered, although not visually as breathtaking as other games of this type. You will be spending most of your time inside the various buildings. You are free to explore almost everywhere at any time with lovely music playing in the background.

Chemicus ships with 2 discs, and I was pleased that the only time you need to swap discs is at one certain place in the story. When you exit and return again, the game continues where you last left off. Restoring your saved games (which are only limited by your harddisk space, by the way) can be accomplished from either disc. Since there's no one to talk to, the unchangeable subtitles feature is for the inventory items and on-screen interactive spots.

The Bad

I didn't like this game for quite a few reasons.

The gameplay as a whole was good, but I experienced stuttering sound clips and sluggish screen changes (probably because it uses QuickTime).

The story didn't flow smoothly. Most of the time I had no idea what I was supposed to do next or where I was supposed to go. The game's linearity compounded the problem. The only way I solved this game was by using a walkthrough from almost the beginning. Objects and locations are scattered too far apart, and there is no in-game map to help. Half the fun is getting there ... not.

The knowledge base content is extremely good - but finding what you need inside that encyclopedia is trying at best. I found navigating the pages tedious and frustrating. (Don't expect it to give you the answer to the specific problem at hand, for instance. You must figure those out yourself.)

I bearly squeaked by high school Chemistry class over 25 years ago, and I haven't had the need to use it since. Needless to say I was rusty. That's not the game's fault. The advertisements imply that you will learn Chemistry while playing it. I didn't - I was frustrated and confused - not taught and not entertained.

The Bottom Line

Unless they teach Chemistry in elementary school these days, I think Chemicus is for high school aged children and above - definitely for a scientific mind. Don't expect it to actually teach you Chemistry. You must be at least interested in the subject matter and have a basic knowledge of it.

It was an interesting experience ... but I didn't particularly like it.