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Imogen (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.5
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5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Drunk on power after defeating a terrible dragon, an enchanter's mind snaps and for the good of himself and the community he is imprisoned in an insidious donjon, each chamber containing a more whimsical challenge than the last. Maybe, the villagers hope, by the time he cools off and gathers his senses enough to successfully run the gauntlet, he'll have become sufficiently rehabilitated to reintegrate into human society without posing a threat to anyone - except perhaps the next dragon that comes along.

An enhanced Windows remake of Michael St Aubyn's Micro Power 1986 game of the same name on the BBC Micro B/B+/Master and Electron, this game will keep Jill of the Jungle fans up with 16 levels of polymorphic platform game puzzle-solving; an object-using wizard can shift to the forms of a climbing monkey and a leaping cat to evade foes, cross obstacles and devise unconventional uses for peculiar objects, all toward the goal of recovering the spell fragment at each level's end and, ultimately, escape from the gaol when all sixteen fragments are collected. Like the three specialist-heroes of The Lost Vikings, all these abilities will be called into selective use in every level; where it differs (more akin to Infocom's Arthur) is that as a shapeshifter, only one body manifests at a time.

Experimentation and trial-and-error are the key, but not too much; while it is impossible to die in this game, Imogen the wizard is saddled with a tight limit on the amount of transformations he can undergo (150, across 16 levels) -- and when that well runs dry, there's no replenishing it. A small margin of wiggle room is built in (31, a walkthrough claims), but you may want to replay occasional transformation-expensive reflex puzzles to ensure you'll have enough to not only pass the level, but pass ALL the levels and finish the game.

The levels are played in what amounts to a random sequence, each featuring a wacky or punny name (eg. Baboonacy, Hamster-Jam), so if the player is unsuccessful at solving a particular puzzle, it's still possible to explore the rest of the game. Since there is only one solution for most of the puzzles, replay value is minimal beyond the speedrunning-style challenge of how-few-transformations-can-I-get-away-with-using.

Screenshots

Imogen Windows Save/load screen
Imogen Windows Introductory background text
Imogen Windows The cat is eager to solve Time Flies
Imogen Windows This puzzle in Balloonacy exposes the violence inherent in the system

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A Real Hidden Gem Andrew Brudenell (6) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

The Press Says

Abandonia Reloaded Sep 14, 2005 3.5 out of 5 70
The Freehare 2006 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70

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Trivia

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Related Web Sites

  • Imogen Instructions, original release (Instructions from packaging of Electron release)
  • Imogen remake homepage (Contains not just the full, /free/, download of the enhanced Windows remake, but also a PDF manual and reams of historical material (remarks, used and unused character and level sketches, hand-written code excerpts) from the original designer's development of the game back in the early '80s.)
  • Imogen Walkthrough (Thorough (step-by-step) instructions for completing every level.)
  • Review of Imogen remake ("aschultz" provides a thorough review of Ovine by Design's remade Windows version of Imogen.)
  • Solution for Imogen - level codes and tips (Vague (most levels get only a sentence or two) suggestions by John Berry toward completing the original BBC Micro release.)
Pseudo_Intellectual (43912) added Imogen (Windows) on Dec 24, 2004