Starship Titanic

aka: Raumschiff Titanic
Moby ID: 1374
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

It seemed like a normal day. Sit back at your computer, put in a new CD-ROM and relax... unfortunately the galaxy had other plans. Without warning, a loud crash introduces you to the Starship Titanic: The Ship That Cannot Possibly Go Wrong. As the galaxy's most most prestigious, most impressive, largest and therefore most expensive interstellar liner, the Starship Titanic should be the flying treasure of the universe. Unfortunately something has, quite obviously gone wrong, or at least gone unexpectedly. The ship's main computer, Titania, has been sabotaged and gone insane. As a result, all the artificial personalities that manage the ship are also affected. You'll need to deal with a DeskBot, a BellBot, a BarBot not to mention a sarcastic parrot, a proud elevator and a stupid bomb. Without time or consideration to any other options, you find yourself quickly shanghaied aboard the Titanic, given an cheap, economy-sized room and put in charge of fixing the puzzling situation aboard the ship.

Starship Titanic is a 1st-person adventure game, described by some as a fusion of Myst if it had been conceived by Douglas Adams (author of Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy and creative force behind this game). With a basic set of navigational controls, the player must explore the starship's many rooms, obtaining and manipulating objects and conversing with many different characters in an effort to get better lodgings and set things right along the way. Conversation with these characters is done trough a parser system that recognizes key words that the player must input. At times, you are able to adjust dials which control various attributes of a robot character's personality and general usefulness.

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Credits (Windows version)

180 People (119 developers, 61 thanks) · View all

Story, Game Concept and Script
Software Engineering
Game Authors / Additional Design
Positronic Robot Brains Engineered By
Dialogue Support
3D Artwork and Animation
'Pet' Interface and 3D Game Object Graphics
Production Designers
Game Outline
Post Production and 2D Artwork and Animation
Velocitext Conversation Engine
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 65% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 4 reviews)

An unexpected disappointment from Douglas Adams

The Good
Just about everything except for the gameplay in Starship Titanic is good. The first thing you'll notice is how nice the graphics and music are. The animation is good, and there are transitions when you walk from one scene to the next, unlike most 1st person adventure games. The music is also of high quality. But the best part of the game has to be its characters. The things the characters say are funny and the voice actors did a good job as their roles, especially Terry Jones as the parrot. While the conversation system isn't particularly useful, it's still fun to play with.

The Bad
The main thing that drags down the quality of Starship Titanic is the gameplay. The conversation system was hyped a lot and like I said earlier, it isn't particularly useful. In fact, it's almost completely useless and only needed a few times. There is almost no plot and you wander around for a while until you find out what you're actually supposed to do (find the parts of Titania). With the puzzles being the most part of an adventure game, it's a shame that they're only mediocre. While most of them aren't too hard, there's one that's almost impossible to solve unless you look on the box for the solution or you look at a walkthrough. Plus they aren't very good, they usually just require you to find a piece that is missing, and just put it in the empty slot.

The Bottom Line
Starship Titanic has a lot of good qualities. It has good music and graphics, and the characters of pretty funny. Unfortunately, the gameplay, the most important part of a game, is of low quality. The puzzles are unoriginal and uninspired. And the most hyped part of the game, the conversation system, is almost useless. Starship Titanic is a disappointing game coming from a great author.

Windows · by LeChimp (3191) · 2023

Bad, Bad, Bad.

The Good
Douglas Adams has had more than his fair share of really great ideas. There was a throwaway line in one of the Hitchhiker's books about The Starship Titanic, and eventually the idea was resurrected (coincidental with a big project by James Cameron... hmmm...) and the hype started writing itself. Assuredly the computer game technology had come a long way since Adams helped with Infocom's Hitchhiker's text adventure - the potential for a great game was there.

The Bad
But they didn't write a great game. They wrote Starship Titanic.

The puzzles were terrible. Many of the puzzles took the form of a malfunctioning piece of machinery standing between you and some goal. Which (as other reviewers have said before me) makes sense in a ship that has all gone wrong.

What I find most offensive was the machines that were working as designed, and yet were presented as puzzles, which means that you were presented with interfaces that no intelligent being (human, alien, or robot) would ever have deliberately created except to make their users miserable. This even made exiting back to Windows 95 pleasant for once.

There is a point where you need to find two secrets from two characters who are murderously opposed to one another. Surprise - the secrets are in plain sight, and what strains credibility more than any of the other puzzles in this game is that these two people who would each go to insanely convoluted lengths to dispose of the other seemingly cooperated in placing these secrets together in one place. And somehow the obvious advantages of using these secrets never occured to either of these characters.

In addition to implausible puzzles, the overall story was unsatisfactory - I was convinced to do something catastrophic early in the game, and I now suspect that that was mandatory to continue the game past that point, but I still was left feeling that I was stupid to have done the action, thus dooming the game to a marginal ending at best.

And the technology wasn't any great shakes, either. A bunch of hot spots on the screen, with blurry movies connecting mostly still scenes. When standing in one location, I might be inclined to look to my left. Click. Wait for the movie to start. Wait. Ok, watch the world spin around my head. Ok, now I can see the view off to the left, and maybe I want to click on the lamp doodad, which I know has a hotspot. But the hotspots - for some inexplicable reason - took over a second to load after the interstitial movie finished, which led to one of the inexcusable sins in a find the pixel game - if the player clicks on a part of the screen and gets no response, there ought never to be a requirement that the player click there again without motivation.

Between fighting with the bad interfaces inside the game that were called puzzles and the bad interface that was the game, I was furious that I had purchased this game. I keep it now just to remind myself how terrible a game you can make in spite of gorgeous graphics and expensive voice talent.

The Bottom Line
Like being poked in the eye with a hot poker made of salt while simultaneously having teeth pulled without any form of pain killers unless you count the repeated kicks received in the sensitive parts of the lower body.

Windows · by Davedog (89) · 2001

Where is the story?

The Good
The speech was hyped to the point that i bought the game. It turned out to be better than anything i'd played before but no way near as good as hyped. I did really enjoy the typing-speech though.
The characters responses were often funny. "I'll keep saying banana until you talk sense" and the following "banana"s that followed are a favourite. The parrot was the classest character and down the chute was hilarious. And, the actual voice of the chute was funny. The visuals are superb and keep you hooked on the game because you want to see every animation and every room because they look so nice.

The Bad
The lack of plot and the lack of a main aim. I spent virtually all my time asking myself what is it am I trying to accomplish so spent ages wondering around doing nothiing.

The Bottom Line
The conversations with NPCs were hyped as the best thing since sliced bread and the graphics drew you in, but where was the story and the involvement?

Windows · by Julian McKenzie (160) · 2000

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Included in the box were a pair of 3D glasses and an in-flight magazine from the Starship itself.

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  • MobyGames ID: 1374
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ola Sverre Bauge.

Linux added by Foxhack. Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Julian McKenzie, Jeanne, Shoddyan, Zeppin.

Game added April 27, 2000. Last modified October 4, 2023.