Description official descriptions
The Age of the Great Guilds has arrived. Communities and states comprised of people united by a common trade were created. The Guild of Weavers has achieved such mastery in their trade that they discovered the secret of weaving the very fabric of reality. They were treated with suspicion by other guilds, who eventually accused them of practicing witchcraft and banned them to a secluded island, which they called Loom.
Bobbin Threadbare is a young man from the Guild of Weavers. He is outcast from the guild and blamed for the lack of prosperity in recent times, though he does not know why. On his seventeenth birthday he is summoned by the Elders of the guild, who intend to decide his fate. However, shortly thereafter all the inhabitants of the village except Bobbin are turned into swans. Bobbin finds out that he is the child of the Great Loom, found by Lady Cygna, who tried to use the loom's powers to save the guild. Bobbin's stepmother Dame Hetchel teaches him the art of weaving magical drafts, and Bobbin embarks on a journey to find the lost flock, and the answers to his questions.
Loom is an adventure game that sets itself apart from other titles in the genre through its unique gameplay system: the player character does not carry items around, but rather manipulates objects through the use of spells (called "drafts" in the game). The drafts themselves are woven by playing magical notes on a special instrument called "distaff". All the puzzles in the game are solved by learning and correctly applying these drafts.
Each draft is a sequence of four notes within one octave. The player learns new drafts by exploring the environment and interacting with it through a simple point-and-click interface. Once a draft has been learned, it may be applied in a different situation in order to solve a problem. Drafts range from simple general actions (such as opening) to more specific and complex commands, e.g. turning straw into gold. Drafts can also be "reversed", i.e. played backwards, in order to execute the opposite action (for example, closing something instead of opening). As the game progresses Bobbin learns to play higher notes on the distaff, allowing him to access more drafts.
The game features three difficulty levels, differentiating them by changing the way the interface works. The easiest level displays names of the notes as well as marking the correspondent areas on the distaff; Standard level features the distaff with the marks at the bottom of the screen, but no written notes; whereas Expert does not display the marks at all, requiring the player to memorize and play the drafts by ear.
The CD DOS version of the game has enhanced 256-color graphics, audio tracks, and full voice acting. However, it also removes a few close-up scenes and conversations. The FM Towns version preserves these scenes and includes similar graphical and musical enhancements, but has no voice acting.
- האורגים - Hebrew spelling
- ルーム - Japanese spelling
- 紗之器 - Traditional Chinese spelling
Credits (DOS version)
123 People (108 developers, 15 thanks) · View all
|A Fantasy by|
|Characters Designed and Animated by|
|Visual Effects Animation by|
|Conversion / Porting|
|Interpreter / Development System|
|Graphics / Artwork|
|Additional Graphics / Artwork|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 78% (based on 48 ratings)
Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 292 ratings with 19 reviews)
First, the VGA graphics (I played the CD-ROM version) were gorgeous, typical Lucasarts wonder.
The Music and voice acting were above par and fitted the atmosphere perfectly
The story, while not very deep, was cute and reasonably interesting
The gameplay was (and still is) really something new : an adventure game with no inventory, where you just have to cast spells by playing 4 notes of music on your magic staff. Now that's a great idea !
Well, as I said before, the story is not very deep and could have been digged a little more. But that's only a minor complain.
More seriously, the game was very(!) short. Expect to complete it in less than 10 hours ! Loom provides 10 hours of incredible gaming experience, but of course 20-30 hours is always better !
The Bottom Line
Despite its disappointing length, Loom is one incredible adventure game that will remind in your memory forever.
DOS · by Xa4 (300) · 2001
----First of all a little disclaimer. I played the Macintosh version. It's common knowledge that Lucasfilm's Mac versions of its early adventure games looked and sounded better than their pc brethren. The pixel jaggies were smoothed out, the music used a better library of sounds, and in general the experience was smoother. I'm not sure which PC version the mac version compares best to, but from what i've seen, it looked and sounded even better than the CD rom version. In any case, i assume this review applies best to the CD rom version. ----
I'm a sucker for spellcasting, and i'm a sucker for adventure games. At the time Loom was released, you know, back when "Lucasarts" was synanimous with "quality", it pretty much blew me away with its originality. Here was a game with only one inventory item, your staff, and where all puzzle solution was done by knowing what spell to cast and how (casting "open" backwards equals "close" for example). The game also featured a truly compelling world that seemed properly fleshed out, it had shades of both fairytales and postapocalyptic nightmares, characters who all seemed to have their own agendas, and a player character who inspired a lot of sympathy, especially through his voice acting, where he always comes off as an innocent.
The first hour or so of the game is a real adventure. Learning how to wield your staff and your spells, seeing how many objects in the world you can alter to your liking can be a powertrip at times. From starting off with spells to alter colors and opening clams, to unravelling the fabric of reality itself. There's a lot of cool stuff to do here.
The graphics, for their time, were very very good. The game is essentially a showcase of pretty pictures, starting with the craggy outset island to the glass city, the iron city, the cathedral of the clerics.. Some very attractive pictures indeed. The character designs include some good if unoriginal concepts. Chaos, essentially a being of pure evil, looks purely malevolent, but also looks a lot like Maleficent from disney's Sleeping Beauty. This kind of derivative design is the norm for the game, sadly. But the craftsmanship is fantastic, and the end product is surprisingly adult.
It's obvious a lot of heart went into Loom, but that gives more reason to be disappointed. The story, which starts off poetically and with a lot of emotional drive, jumps to conclusions. There's literally no time at all until you're confronted with the villain, and only one more encounter is what it takes for the ending sequence to begin. The game is, indeed, painfully short. This shortness is only emphasized by the linearity and simplicity for the gameplay. It is in essence a 2 hour session of simon says with dialogue, and there is rarely any opportunity for wonder, as the game's plot is spoonfed to the player. The story is also wildly inconclusive, with an ending i can only describe as "cop out". Actually a lot of the game gives me the feeling that the developers evaded a lot of problems and simply wanted to get the story over with. There are numerous plot nuances that are simply left behind after being introduced, and the ending isn't even a real ending. The bad guys won, yahoo. Obviously a sequel was planned, but we haven't seen any yet, and i doubt we will. This kind of ambiguous ending can really hurt a game, as seen in the recent Beyond Good & Evil.
A much touted aspect of Loom is its music, but i can't help but feel disappointed. The soundtrack is for the most part based off existing pieces by Tchaikovsky. Considering the extremely talented musicians Lucasarts employed at the time, just going for classics doesn't seem very inspired. Tchaikovsky is good, but not for a game, i'm sad to say.
Another problem is how the game flops into melodrama a bit too often, and the apparent depth of the storyline is betrayed by the developers' constant wish to move along. You're never given the opportunity to wonder.
Overall, i think what disappoints me the most now is how bad aging has been to the game. You can pick up Monkey island or Day of the tentacle today and they will still be incredibly entertaining games, while Loom is simply short and plain.
The Bottom Line
It's definitely a game worth checking out, particularly if you've been following Lucasarts' evolution, but i would never pay full price for this today. It's simply too short and unsatisfying, even for its time.
DOS · by Andreas SJ (21) · 2004
What, you want me to be more specific?
Okay... the storyline is fantastic, a complete world is created that we just glimpse through enough to get interested in, but it leaves a lot to the imagination. The musical aspect is terrific, yet simple enough to appeal to players of every level. The graphics were awesome for the time (EGA only, but man, some people could work magic with 16 colors only. It's a shame that it has become a lost art). Also, the difficulty level was just right - it was one of the few adventure games that I could beat without consulting any kind of walkthrough, and I didn't feel empty when finishing it - far from it. The music is great, was great for the time if you had a Roland MT-32 and the add-on disk. Of course, now the CD version is out and the music got even better. I was completely immersed into the game, my character, and the story. Also, depending on your musical talent, there were varying levels of difficulty.
Nothing really. Could have been a bit longer. And there should have been made a sequel.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately a sequel never happened. It didn't sell too well. Monkey Island 1 - with VGA graphics, etc - came out a month later and blew the EGA Loom away. People did realize later though how awesome the storyline and idea was, and even today the game commands a healthy sum on eBay - a true collector's item if you can get the 1990 original with Dolby Stereo cassette, etc. Nowadays, of course, there are compilations with like 10 LucasArts adventures or so and it's not all that hard to get, but well worth the effort. On a side note, I feel that Zelda - Ocarina of Time (for the Nintendo 64) borrowed quite heavily from Loom as far as the musical aspects are concerned.
Two thumbs up! I would give more, but that's all the thumbs I have...
DOS · by Gothicgene (66) · 2001
|freeware ?||Wormspinal (619)||Feb 7th, 2008|
1001 Video Games
Loom appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Contrary to popular belief, the LOOM sequels were not abandoned because LOOM didn't sell well. LOOM has sold more than half a million copies in various formats since it was published in 1990. The reason the sequels weren't made is because I decided I wanted to work on other things, and nobody else wanted to do them, either.
At the time Loom came out for the PC, it was pushing the edge of what could be done with graphics cards. Many people bought it primarily to show off what their fancy new graphics card and SoundBlaster could do.
Loom was actually translated and released in Israel in a Hebrew version, which unfortunately did not include the 30-minute audio cassette.
Loom came with the "Book of Patterns", a beautiful booklet containing description and history, drawings and a place to write the notes, of many "drafts", meaning spells. Many of the drafts in the Book of Patterns do not appear in the game at all, such as Folding, Waterproofing, Blessing and Aphrodesia.
The manual has a passage that reads:
We believe that you buy games to be entertained, not to be whacked over the head every time you make a mistake. So we don't bring the game to a screeching halt when you poke your nose into a place you haven't visited before. Unlike conventional computer adventures, you won't find yourself accidentally stepping off a path, or dying because you've picked up a sharp object.
We think you'd prefer to solve the game's mysteries by exploring and discovering, not by dying a thousand deaths. We also think you like to spend your time involved in the story, not typing in synonyms until you stumble upon the computer's word for a certain object.
This is possibly a not-so-subtle jab at most Sierra adventure games published up until the time this passage was written.
The original Loom (not the CDROM re-release) was packed with a 30 minute drama on cassette, adding much depth to the story.
The three elders who appear in the beginning of the game are named after the three Moyras of the Greek mythology - Kloto, Athropos, and Lachesis.
References to the game
In the game Monkey Island, another game created by LucasArts, if you enter the bar at the beginning of the game one of the pirates is wearing a button with LOOM written on it. All he says is "Aye," but if you talk to him about Loom, he will give you a lengthy and rather blunt advertising plug. This is another example of LucasArts off the wall humor.
The seagull seen eating a seashell in Loom has made several appearances in later LucasArts games, such as The Secret of Monkey Island (on the dock outside the Scumm Bar's kitchen) and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (on the top of the pile of maps).
Loom was parodied in Space Quest IV by Sierra. Roger Wilco browses games at the store, among them are one called "Boom" with the following description:
The latest bomb from master storyteller Morrie Brianarty, BOOM is a post-holocaust adventure set in post-holocaust America after the holocaust. Neutron bombs have eradicated all life, leaving only YOU to wander through the wreckage. No other characters, no conflict, no puzzles, no chance of dying, and no interface make this the easiest-to-finish game yet! Just boot it up and watch it explode!
Still got a copy of Loom lying around somewhere? Have you been desperately wanting to play it, but can't get it to work on modern systems? If so, check out a program called ScummVM, an ingenious program that lets you run Loom and other classic LucasArts (as well as a few other) adventure games. It's free and 100% legal as long as you use an original copy of the game.
There is a bonus cutscene that plays near the end of the game (when you return to the island). This scene only plays if you are playing at expert proficiency mode.
Apparently an ultra-rare Japanese re-arrangement of the soundtrack was sold by Brian Moriarty on eBay for $238.03. According to the seller:
Here's the story behind this unusual disc: In late 1990, the Japanese record company Meldor approached Lucasfilm. They wanted to produce a pair of soundtrack CDs based on Lucasfilm games. The first disc was to be a collection of songs from Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken and a few other titles. The second disc was to be devoted entirely to Loom.
Engineers arrived from Japan, made copies of the game soundtracks and disappeared over the Pacific. Months passed. Eventually, a handful of sample CDs was delivered to the game designers at Lucasfilm. This auction is for one of those sample discs. No other copies are known to have escaped from Japan!
An enhanced soundtrack (with an added overture not heard in the original version) for Roland MT-32 was written by George Alistair Sanger (The Fatman). As of 1999 it could be downloaded from Lucasarts' website.
The music heard in Loom is actually taken from Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Swan Lake" -- a pretty appropriate choice, considering the part swans have in the game's storyline. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, a romantic ballet composed in 1875 and 1876, consists of over 50 movements. As a shortcut for those keen on hearing orchestral renditions of the Loom music, here's a list of the in-game pieces (in order of appearance) and the movements they correspond to:
Loom Theme Act 1 No. 4: Pas de trois: I. Intrada: Allegro The Elders' Council Act 4 No. 27: Danses des petits cygnes: Moderato Crystalgard (The City of Glass) Act 2 No. 13: Danses des cygnes: IV. Allegro Moderato The Shepherds / The Dragon Cave Act 1 No. 6: Pas d'action: Andantino Quasi Moderato The Blacksmiths' Guild Act 1 No. 4: Pas de trois: IV. Moderato The Cathedral Act 1 No. 4: Pas de trois: II. Andante sostenuto The Loom (Finale) Act 2 No. 14: Scene: Moderato
This is one of many wonderful early CD games where the audio is stored onto a Redbook audio track. If you drop the Loom CD into your CD player, you can listen to the dialogue and music. It's especially fun to hear all of the little one-liners from Bobbin back-to-back: "I guess that isn't a draft," "That thread's too high for me," "I like the view from the cliff better," ad nauseum... :)
The CD version of the game, in what was an apparently limited edition, included a much higher quality version of the original audio casette with (apart from the story itself) also included additional instrumental music. The dialogue varies quite a bit between the CD-ROM and original diskette versions of the game. It had to be rewritten in order to condense it enough to fit onto one CD-Audio track. During two sequence later in the game, blood and corpses were removed.
Loom was also ported to a Japanese computer called FM-Towns, it had the graphics of the VGA version and the dialogue of the EGA version (cue heavenly angels singing...). It was released in two languages--Japanese and English. Be warned, next to impossible to find. It version had all of the music from the 16-color version in CD quality (and able to play indefinitely). It had no voice acting, but all art from the disk version (including character close-ups) was in 256 colors and used in-game. The original dialogue from the disk version also remained. During one sequence later in the game, a puddle of blood was removed.
Loom had one console port: a PC Engine SuperCD (Turbo Duo in the U.S.) version. Although the PC Engine version was a CD based version, it isn't a port of the PC CD-ROM version. Instead, it's a port of the floppy version (all of the dialogue and everything is straight out of the floppy version, in fact) with enhanced CD music. There's no spoken dialogue anywhere, but that doesn't stop the fact that it was one of the better LucasArts console ports.
The 30-minute Audio Drama that was included on audio cassette was ALSO included on specially marked boxed-editions of the CD-ROM, as a second CD. The audio drama is presented in reference-quality stereo sound on the second disc.
The Windows CD version, to accommodate the size of the speech files, heavily rewrote and condensed the disk version's dialogue. Also, a lot of animation from the 16-color version was not used in this one (including the close-ups, which are still in the resource files on the CD.) In addition, music did not play over long periods like in the disk version, but only occurred briefly, during cutscenes.
The original 16-color diskette version of Loom had several lengthy music tracks from "Swan Lake" and closeups of the characters' faces in cutscenes.
There were actually two different 256-color versions: a VGA CD port for the FM Towns computer in Japan (in English and Japanese), and the more familiar CD version for Windows with full speech.
- Amiga Power
- May 1991 (issue #00) - #72 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
- Computer Gaming World
- September 1990 (Issue #74) – Special Award for Artistic Achievement
- November 1996 (15th Anniversary Issue) - #81 in the "150 Best Games of All Time” list
- Power Play
- Issue 01/1991 - Best Graphics in 1990 (DOS version)
- ST Format
- Issue 01/1991 – #7 Best Adventure Game in 1990 (Atari ST)
Information also contributed by -Chris, Adam Baratz, Apogee IV, ArtfulGamer, ATMachine, Bizboz, Ingsoc, Mickey Gabel, NatsFan, PCGamer77, Satoshi Kunsai, Seer, Swordmaster, Tomer Gabel, Trixter, Unicorn Lynx, weregamer, willyum and Zovni
Related Sites +
Hints for Loom
These hints by Robert Norton will get you through the game without spoiling it for you.
LucasArts' Secret History
A multi-article feature about the game by the LucasArts news site, The International House of Mojo. The feature article includes an unscored review, short responses written by members of the site's community, trivia, downloads and other such resources, a feature article arguing for an interactive fiction understanding of the game, the reflections of a few of the developers, and a narrative walkthrough.
supports Loom under Windows, Linux, Macintosh and other platforms.
Unused Graphics from the DOS CD version
Images from the DOS CD version of Loom that are not used in the actual game but are still in the resource files.
Walkthrough for Loom
All actions needed to complete Loom - step by step and all at once.
article in the open encyclopedia about the game
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Eurythmic.
Windows added by Picard. Amiga added by POMAH. Linux added by click here to win an iPhone9SSSS. Atari ST added by ektoutie. Macintosh, CDTV, TurboGrafx CD added by Kabushi. Antstream added by lights out party. FM Towns added by Terok Nor.
Game added July 22nd, 1999. Last modified August 21st, 2023.