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The Space Bar (Windows)

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78
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.3
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  monkeyislandgirl (8626)
Written on  :  Sep 19, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Intriguing, imaginative and one of a kind!

The Good

I really liked this game so I'm very surprised at its low ratings. It is so different from the usual point-and-click adventure games I'm used to but still retain all the crucial elements with a LOT of added innovations.

You play as Alias Node, a police officer. While going to the Thirsty Tentacles to make an investigation incognito, your partner Maksh, who has given you more than an arm and a leg in the past is captured by a Shape-Shifter and you must find him before time runs out. To do that, you will have talk to different suspects in the bar and use your special Empathy-Telepathy (emp-tel) ability to figure out the real identity of the Shape-Shifter.

This game is all done in a first-person perspective. This is very interesting because when Alias uses his emp-tel powers, he will dig into the suspect's memory and "become" them. That means you will see the world, the suspect's world, in their eyes. I thought that's one of the most fascinating feature of the game because of the different aliens you get to play get to be exposed to different views and have access to different abilities.

Some of the characters you get to interactive with/as is an alien who lives in a jar and needs a bigger, dumber alien to do things for him and a tree-like alien trying to "drop" her first fruit.

The graphics are great and the controls are very simple to use, even when they look different for each character you play as. .

Besides the side-missions your main focus is to solve the mystery and save your friend. Every now and then you will receive tips from Maksh and your captain and also threats from the Shape-Shifter. Remember, you are under a time limit so you better make your every move count!

The Bad

I've never been a big fan of time-limits and this game is full of them.

There's a time-limit overall for you to save Maksh and there are time-limits within each individual flashbacks. I think with a game that offers such rich characters, backgrounds and environments, the player should be allowed to explore everything as they please without worrying of making too many moves and ending the game too abruptly.

I guess one way to counter that is to make a LOT of saved games so you can keep going back and trying different things until you are ready to move on in the story.

The Bottom Line

This game is made by Steve Meretzky who is accredited to other classics like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Leather Goddesses of Phobos so you can expect similar the same kind of humour and quality.