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NiBiRu: Age of Secrets (Windows)

74
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  CBMan (219)
Written on  :  Apr 15, 2010
Rating  :  2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars2.67 Stars

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Summary

A highly typical, 3rd Person, 2D point and click adventure game

The Good

Nibiru is a highly typical 3rd Person 2D point and click adventure game. The phrase I just used, 'typical, 3rd Person 2D point and click adventure game' pretty much tells the entire story, especially if you put the word 'typical' in capital letters. It does it pretty well. I never really had any qualms with any of the puzzles (which are mostly inventory based with the very occasional Myst-style puzzle thrown in to open a locked door or the like).

The game is pretty long and covers a number of different, varied locations: urban Prague, an abandoned Nazi mine, a mansion in Paris and the Mexican jungle. Yes, Nazis and old Meso-American temples figure in the storyline; don't they always in 'typical 3rd Person 2D point and click adventure games'? Furthermore, your mentor and informant will also be murdered during the course of the game; don't you just hate it when that happens? Needles to say you will need to get into his safe in order to get the vital information needed to complete your mission. What is your mission? Actually, I was never quite sure...

The Bad

I started out by investigating an old Nazi mine at the behest of the fore-mentioned mentor and informant but he never really told me why and my character never really seemed interested enough to ask. He diligently and unquestioningly went from one location to another, simply because the other man asked him to. He seemed happy enough to do this, despite constant risk to his life, but personally I would have preferred a little more information... Even by the game's end I wasn't really sure what the purpose of the whole quest had been and the ending sure didn't provide much elucidation. But my character seemed satisfied enough that it had all been worthwhile... why don't I use the character's name? Actually, I don't recall it. He was such a blank cipher that he could have been any 'typical, 3rd Person, 2D Point and click adventure game' protagonist. He wore blue jeans, a red jacket, had brown hair and never at any point showed any discernible personality. He walked very stiffly and made light-hearted comments about matters which would have caused most men in his situation to become quite infuriated. Personally, all of this never quite satisfied me.

Too much of the game was set in boring locations. The pace is painfully slow at the start of the game, with the action (such as it was) mostly taking place in council buildings, offices, an apartment block... yes, really. Generally it is a good idea to open a game in an interesting location, or at least move to one fairly quickly. Spending two hours of gameplay early on trying to get a bureaucratic form signed (yes, really) wasn't the most intriguing way to begin my adventure. Things perked up when I finally got to the Nazi mine but then started to drag again with the slow rate of exploration, and by the time I was capturing a mouse in order to tie a stick of dynamite onto its back so that i could use it to blow open a secret door (yes, really) my interest was again starting to wane. By the time I finally reached Mexico and the Mayan ruins I’m afraid I’d almost entirely lost interest in my very vague mission. After all, in order to get there I had had to fetch a hot dog for a homeless lady not once, not twice, but three times in order to borrow her umbrella so that I could lower a fire escape and enter a hotel. Yes, really. This is a pretty good example of the passable, but boring type of 'typical, 3rd Person Point and click adventure game' inventory 'puzzle' I was routinely required to solve in this game.

The Bottom Line

There was nothing really 'wrong' with this game. The graphics were fine, the voice acting ranged from irritatingly unconvincing accents to fine, the inventory puzzles were mostly fine, the story was vaguely defined, but fine, the Nazis were ridiculous caricatures, but fine. The game length was value for money (I’m not so sure they were value for my time though) and it was clear that the developers really enjoyed 'typical, 3rd Person, 2D point and click adventure games'. So do I, but at times this game had me wondering just how much.