Torin's Passage

aka: Mas'otav shel Torin, Stranstvija Torina
Moby ID: 1228
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

Torin is a young boy who lives in a little country house on a planet called Strata with his parents and with his purple cat-like friend Boogle. One day he returns home, only to find out his parents were imprisoned in a magical spell. Apparently, the spell was cast by a sorceress named Lycentia. He must now travel to distant lands to find a way to remove the spell and confront the sorceress. What he doesn't know is that this journey will also help him to discover his true origins and his true purpose in life...

Created by Al Lowe of Leisure Suit Larry fame, Torin's Passage is a fairy tale-like humorous adventure with cartoon-style graphics and animations. Torin interacts with characters and objects in a point-and-click fashion, and can also use Boogle's special shape-shifting abilities. During their journey, Boogle will learn how to turn into a variety of objects, which is essential for solving many of the game's puzzles. The game also has many traditional inventory-based tasks as well as other types of puzzles. To facilitate the puzzle-solving, the game has a built-in hint system; using the hints will deduce points from the player's score.

Spellings

  • Странствия Торина - Russian spelling
  • מסעותיו של טורין - Hebrew spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

123 People (112 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 18 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 71 ratings with 5 reviews)

Yuck! Blergh! Blah!

The Good
I know that a lot of those who actually bought this game liked it very much. I have a friend that really enjoyed the humor and the graphics. As for myself, I have nothing good whatsoever to say about this game other than the fact that the music is quite good.

The Bad
I'm a big fan of adventure games, but this game did nothing for me. It's pretty much a strange version of the King's Quest-series. Firstly, the story really isn't interesting. Not the worst ever, but not good. Secondly, the graphics makes me want to puke. It is not the ugliest game I've played, far from it. But it is something about those mid-90's graphics that makes my skin crawl. The colours, the smooth surfaces and the fact that the characters just slide through the backgrounds like they were pasted on to the world rather than being in it... it makes me feel physically ill for some reason. Many games had graphics like this in the early age of the CD-ROM. The graphics are much like the graphics you could find in those multimedia titles with a lot of ugly rendered 3D with all too bright colours and terrible animations. I hate it. I really can't stand it. The rest of the game doesn't do anything to make it better either. The alleged "humor" isn't funny at all, just annoying. Especially that little purple jerk for a sidekick you have to put up with is very annoying and not at all funny. The voice acting is as bad as most of these old multimedia titles from that era, if not even worse. If it weren't enough as it is, the game also had a lot of bugs. It crashed constantly, especially near the end. A friend of mine even had to start over because the game crashed and corrupted his save-files. Not acceptable. As a last point: The interface. Although functional I just couldn't stand those green ugly crystal-things where you could put items to examine them more closely. Not only was this function more or less worthless and was only used a couple of time, but it was also ugly and it was there at the bottom of the screen the whole game, annoying the bloody crap out of me. This game made me doubt Sierra's judgment even more, considering they have released quite a few games that are utterly crappy. It's hard to believe that such a popular game developer can release both so brilliant games as, for example Gabriel Knight, and such utter crap like Torin's Passage.

The Bottom Line
If puke was a game this would be it.

Windows · by Joakim Kihlman (231) · 2004

Kids and adults need more options

The Good
Torin's Passage was produced by Sierra during that strange time period where technology was skyrocketing and gameplay was in crisis. At that time they were seemingly focusing more on visual presentation and exploiting the new multimedia possibilities than anything else.

Indeed, in terms of presentation and visual artistry, Torin's Passage is a quality product. The entire game looks and feels very much like a Disney cartoon, complete with lovingly designed backgrounds, contrasting colors, very pleasant music, and excellent animation. The latter must be the game's greatest appeal. Almost everything you do in the game is displayed as a snippet of cartoon animation. Sometimes it is used for comical effects (exaggerated reactions, funny jumps, etc), but even simply controlling the hero and watching him happily saunter around with his purple pet is a joy. All this is complemented by very good voice acting.

The gameplay has its bright sides. In fact, the designers really did a good work with the meager means they had at their disposal: there is only so much you can do when you are forced to interact with the game world with a pitiful cursor and a few hotspots. There is decent variety in the puzzles: while inventory-based tasks are pretty tame - to the point of being elementary actions performed when the game hardly gives you any choice - the stand-alone puzzles are pretty good. The head-assembling in the second chapter or the leprechaun-conducting in the next one are among the better examples. Also, the idea of using your pet as various tools needed for specific tasks is great; it is a pity it was so blatantly underused.

The humor is mostly a mixed bag. Frankly, I expected more from the creator of Leisure Suit Larry; but I understand this game was conceived as a children's product, so they couldn't make any adult jokes. Then again, it is a bit too sophisticated for kids, some of the humorous situations being much more suitable for an average teenage audience - which, naturally, could have also enjoyed a slightly more mature style. As it is, Torin's Passage is neither innocent enough to charm us, nor humorous enough to make us laugh. That said, I did like some of the jokes, characters, and situations in the game; I just think they could have done more with them.

The Bad
Unfortunately, Torin's Passage suffers from the very same disease that plagued King's Quest VII: simplification. The very same company that first combined text input with third-person navigation, and later developed a wonderful icon-based interface, decided to throw it all out of the window and replace interaction with a "smart cursor", read: the death sentence to adventure games.

The gameplay process is thus mostly reduced to clicking on hotspots until something happens. Granted, there are puzzles, but they are nowhere as challenging and as interconnected as in, say, Myst, which could get away with lack of interactivity thanks to the sheer complexity of its mechanical tasks. There is so little experimentation involved that much of the experience feels almost on-rails, your progress being impeded only by occasional obtuse task or low pixel-hunting skills.

These gameplay-related deficiencies undermine the game's value as a comedy as well. Much of the classic Sierra humor came courtesy of game interfaces, which allowed experimentation with the environment leading to all sorts of amusing text feedback. Here, all we have are scripted jokes; some of them are funny, while others are less so. The point is, even the funniest jokes lose much of their value when they are forced down our throats in a game, instead of being subtly integrated into the gameplay process. Case in point: the TV sitcom in the second chapter, a veritable gold mine for humor, is reduced to a harmless gimmick with a few scripted sentences; the entire set is non-interactive, which means that the player is not allowed to trigger any humorous comments by himself.

Another problem of Torin's Passage is its unbalanced structure. First of all, I don't understand why they let players start from any chapter. This kills the suspense and turns into legitimate cheating when you know you are near a chapter's end and just want to jump to the next one without wrecking your brains over the final puzzle. Second, the chapters themselves are very uneven in size and quality. Only the second chapter has a more or less open structure; the others take place in small, confined areas with little to do. The third chapter, for example, is just a series of fairly contrived puzzles without any exploration whatsoever.

The Bottom Line
Torin's Passage is a nice game, but the way it cuts down interactivity and exploration is a symptom of an alarming simplification process Sierra took part in those days. For a much more fulfilling example of a cartoon adventure by that venerable developer, try Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail.

DOS · by Unicorn Lynx (181794) · 2015

Al Lowe Humor, Family Style

The Good
It's a fun adventure game with some pretty good puzzles. Your shapeshifting sidekick, Boozle, was a good sidekick, although his puzzle potential was underused. The humor is typical Al Lowe material (but with less sex), so you can interpret that however you want to. The music from the game was particularly memorable.

The Bad
The plot was your standard fare, so not much was left to the imagination.

The Bottom Line
A fun adventure game that the whole family can play together.

Windows · by Adam Baratz (1433) · 2000

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Cover art mix-up Sciere (921288) May 18, 2007

Trivia

Al Lowe's daughter designed the maze puzzle in the volcano area.

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  • Hints for Torin's Passage
    If you're stuck playing Torin's Passage, these question and answer type hints give you the solutions gradually.

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  • MobyGames ID: 1228
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Derrick 'Knight' Steele.

Macintosh added by MegamanX64.

Additional contributors: Adam Baratz, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Solid Flamingo.

Game added March 29, 2000. Last modified January 23, 2024.