AMBER: Journeys Beyond

aka: AMBER: Journeys Beyond - Death Is Not The End, Amber: Reisen ins Jenseits
Moby ID: 2430
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

AMBER is an adventure game presenting a horror ghost story and following the guidelines of a Myst-like first-person adventure, yet, at the same time, offering some unique features of it's own.

AMBER is short for Astral Mobility by Electromagnetic Resonance device invented by a promising scientist in the field of paranormal activities, Dr. Roxanna. In order to conduct the experimental testings of the device she secludes herself into an abandoned mansion, rumored to be haunted by ghosts and spirits. In her research Roxanna confirms those rumors, however, fails to respond on numerous phone calls. Her friend, Joe, presumes that something might has happened to her and asks you, the player, to investigate.

In order to help Roxy and the spirits of the house, you will have to use the AMBER device, that will provide you with the ability to experience ghost's stories in form of the lucid dreams. Each dream will be presented in the unique stylistic presentation. For example a sequence involving the death of the girl living in 1940s will be presented in black & white with lots of period music in the background. Once you've investigated the cause and the circumstances of each spirit's torments you finally will be able to help Roxy herself.

Although, the game does require player to solve as inventory-based puzzles so as the Myst-like mechanical and mathematical puzzles, the emphasis is more on the exploration and presentation of the story. For instance, all "ghost" parts of the game have neither inventory nor items to collect. So the key element of the gameplay is exploring environments in order to advance the plot by revealing crucial information as to the reasons of ghost's bond to the world of the living.

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

52 People (36 developers, 16 thanks) · View all

Creative Design
3D Modelling and Animation
Paint Effects and Sound
Programming
Music
Chromakey Photography
Roxy Videography
Domain Videography
Lighting Design
Period Costumes
Art in Roxy's House
Radio Announcers
Cast
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 20 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 22 ratings with 2 reviews)

Myst-like ghost story

The Good
Amber uses the Myst point and click slide show method to tell an interesting ghost story. A psychic researcher has moved into a haunted house and is developing technologies to interact with the "residents." Unfortunately, she hasn't been answering the phone and you are the closest to the house. It is up to you to investigate the house, learn the machinery, and assist the missing researcher by learning the reasons why the different ghosts haunt the house.

The benefit of the Myst style interface is that it allows for photorealistic graphics. A Quicktime plug-in, also allows for animation. So if you click on a rope, it grows taut, etc. Also, this style offers high performance for low end systems. The house's interior and the exterior grounds look great. Also, the Quicktime animations really come into play when you acquire a device that allows you to spy in rooms where hauntings are occurring.

I really don't remember ambient sounds as being that impressive, but a section of the game that takes place during an earlier part of the house's history features a radio that plays several different channels of contemporary music.

Voice acting was good except for once instance I'll mention below.

There weren't too many puzzles, but the ones that were there seemed logical.



The Bad
The Myst style interface has several drawbacks. First, because you are navigating through mouse clicks, the suspension of disbelief is diminished. Of course, this game was developed for older software. Still, one of the main problems is that it is easy to overlook an area-- often having to make a three-point turn, and that you can only look up and down in certain areas.

Voice acting was good overall, but very poor during the section that takes place on the lake.

Finally, I'm from the school of thought that computer games should tell stories. This one deals with a very interesting story, but tells it poorly. The reasons for the hauntings are readily apparent, rather than being slowly unfolded. Also, I believe the ending is supposed to contain a twist, but it is so apparent from the beginning of the game that I'm unsure.

The Bottom Line
This was probably very entertaining in its time, but would now offer less than $5 worth of gameplay. Few puzzles and limited area to explore, combine to make this a short game. Not particularly scary or challenging.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5397) · 2001

Decent adventure game. Earns a gold star for bizarre technical achievement

The Good
The creepy, haunted house atmosphere that this game creates is very effective. Most of the QuickTime FMV cut scenes are very well shot and well acted. Contains some very cool scripted sequences.

On a technical note it is worth mentioning that this game was developed entirely in Macromedia Director, which is a tool frequently used to make interactive business presentations. This may not sound impressive now, but when this game was released in 1996 Director was a far less suitable tool for game making than it has since become.

The Bad
Due to the inherent limitations of the game engine (i.e. Director), the transitions seen as you move about the game world are extremely choppy.

Like almost all first person perspective adventure games of this type, there are no characters to interact with in the game world. After a while, you start to feel a little lonely.

Puzzles are mostly of the variety that require you to root through your inventory until you find the correct item to use.

The Bottom Line
Worth a look if you loved Myst or you managed to play more than five minutes of Temujin without hurling your mouse out the window. Well written, engrossing story accompanied by mediocre gameplay.

Windows · by Kurt Sample (1071) · 2001

Discussion

Subject By Date
For Sale - Unopened New Product Dan Brown Nov 29, 2007

Trivia

Development

Amber was created and designed largely by husband and wife team Frank and Susan Wimmer.

Awards

  • MacWorld
    • 1996 - Adventure of the Year

Information also contributed by rstevenson

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Beyond the Invisible: Evening
Released 2015 on Windows
Beyond Divinity
Released 2004 on Windows, 2013 on Macintosh
77: Beyond the Milky Way
Released 2010 on PSP
Shock Wave 2: Beyond the Gate
Released 1995 on 3DO
A Sound of Thunder
Released 2005 on Game Boy Advance
The Travels of Marco Polo
Released 2015 on Windows, Macintosh
Beyond: Two Souls
Released 2013 on PlayStation 3
Beyond the Wall of Stars
Released 1992 on Windows 3.x, Macintosh

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 2430
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by ClydeFrog.

Macintosh added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: Jeanne, Xoleras, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 17, 2000. Last modified July 8, 2023.