Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb
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Critic Reviews 73% add missing review
MikroBitti (92 out of 100) (92%)
Silti seikkailun unenomaisuus, ihana fantasia, on kokemisen arvoista, ITEn läpipeluu on harvinaisen tiivis ja ilahduttava kokemus. New World on toki ennenkin tehnyt laatupelejä, mutta tällä kertaa se löi entiset ennätyksensä. Uskon, että Sierra ja LucasArts olisivat olleet erittäin ylpeitä ITEn julkaisemisesta. Nyt pieni yhtiö joutuu tyytymään suusta-suuhun kehuihin ja lehtien arvostelijoihin (öhöm) mainosbudjettinsa rajallisuuden vuoksi.Sep 1994 · DOS · read review
Amiga Games (92 out of 100) (92%)
Die CD-Erben stellen im Bezug auf die akustische Aufbereitung des Games alles bisher Dagewesene in den Schatten. Bei sooo viel ausgefuchster Sprachausgabe fehlen mir einfach die Worte...Aug 1995 · Amiga CD32
PC Loisirs (18 out of 20) (90%)
Sans hésiter, Inherit the Earth est réellement une splendide réalisation. Originalité, intérêt, facilité d'emploi, tout y est. Un seul mot : parfait.Sep 1994 · DOS · read review
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) (10 out of 12) (83%)
Grafisch kann sich EDE nicht mit LucasArts-Games messen, und so bleibt unterm Strich ein originelles, spannendes und - dank Jörg & Co. - witziges Adventure, das mit etwas mehr Eigenständigkeit in der Programmierung mindestens mit einem Hitstern im Gepäck abgeschnitten hätte. Aber das Euch nicht davon abhalten, Euch das Game zu besorgen. Für kleine und große Kinder wie mich ist es bestens geeignet.Sep 1994 · DOS · read review
Amiga Joker (82 out of 100) (82%)
Mag Erben der Erde auch keine allzu große Herausforderung darstellen, ein feines Spiel für jüngere CD-Amigos ist es allemal: Die kinderleichte Handhabung und die spannende Story in bildschöner Präsentation garantieren bestes Familien-Entertainment – auf wirklich allen Silberschleudern der Marke Commodore, wahlweise auch auf PAL-, NTSC- und VGA-Monitoren sowie bei Bedarf sogar im Multitasking-Betrieb!Aug 1995 · Amiga CD32
Amiga Joker (81 out of 100) (81%)
New World Computing sucht hier schlaue Füchse – für die Hauptrolle in einem wortwörtlich fabelhaften AGA-Adventure, das tierisch gut von PC auf den Amiga umgesetzt wurde. Dank Softgold selbstredend komplett deutsch...
Score (80 out of 100) (80%)
Grafika je OK, zvuk je OK, CD verze je velmi dobře namluvena, animace ujde, jednoduše řečeno - všechny sekundární průvodci hrou sedí v normálu. Takže to máme... moment.. ((OK+OK)-animace)+(zvuk/originalita)*IQ = 80%.Aug 1994 · DOS
High Score (4 out of 5) (80%)
Ett äventyrsspel som passar både gammal som ung. Helt utan våld, genial story och en del underbara personligheter.Aug 1994 · DOS
PC Joker (80 out of 100) (80%)
Aufgelockert wird das comicartig präsentierte Geschehen mit kleinen Logik-Puzzeleien (z.B. Tangram) und einigen Gewaltmärschen durch die Irrgänge der Hundeburg, des Rattenverlieses oder des stillgelegten Flughafens. Probleme verursacht dabei zumindest anfangs eher die hakelige Steuerung als das enthaltene Rätselangebot, welches geübten Abenteurern kaum den Nachtschlaf rauben dürfte. Dennoch kann man sich dem Reiz dieser auch akustisch hübsch herausgeputzten Tierfabel kaum entziehen, von der übrigens bald noch eine in Sachen Präsentation zusätzlich aufgewertete CD-Fassung sowie die deutsche Version „Erben der Erde“ erscheinen. Und die Moral von der Geschichte? Inherit the Earth ist zwar kein Spiel für die Ewigkeit, aber doch ein liebenswert gemachtes Märchen für abenteuerlustige Tierfreunde jeden Alters.Aug 1994 · DOS
Adventure Corner ( ) (80%)
'Erben der Erde – Die große Suche' ist ein gutes Grafikadventure, dass durch den innovativen Aspekt der anthropomorphen Tiere, eine gute Geschichte und solide Rätsel von Anfang bis Ende bei Laune hält. Die Gestaltung des Spiels ist mit viel Liebe zum Detail hervorragend geraten. Das reicht von der schönen Grafik und dem guten Sound bis zur toll gestalteten Anleitung, die den Ton des Spiels behält um die Mechanik zu erklären und mit Konzeptzeichnungen und Background-Info mehr Details zur Spielwelt liefert. An die Königsklasse der Adventures wie'LeChuck’s Revenge' oder 'Day of the Tentacle' kommt das Spiel allerdings nicht heran. Dafür bietet 'Die große Suche' einfach zu viele Lücken, die dem Spiel die Kohärenz nimmt und den Spieler auch dank fehlender Fortsetzung mit zu vielen Fragezeichen zurück lässt.Dec 26th, 2010 · DOS · read review
Adventure Gamers ( ) (80%)
There is an inherent limitation in stories that only involve humans. The problem is, humans are just so darn neutral. They can be good, they can be evil. They can be handsome and heroic, or repulsive and demented. If you were to be told while exploring a foreign land that you were approaching a "tribe of humans," you would realize how uninformative that was. Animals, however, are a different matter; even though they are not able to naturally communicate with us, we have assigned them certain characteristics. Coming upon a tribe of lions, you would be a little fearful, as lions are proud and protective creatures. A tribe of pigs, and your only fear would be getting mud on your cloak.Oct 2nd, 2003 · Windows · read review
Amiga Games (78 out of 100) (78%)
Sicherlich ist Erben der Erde nicht die große Adventure-Offenbarung. Trotzdem strahlt das Programm einen ganz eigenen Reiz aus. Aufgrund der Thematik und der leichten Bedienbarkeit eignen sich Rifs Abenteuer hervorragend für Kinder.Apr 1995 · Amiga
Play Time (78 out of 100) (78%)
Mit Erben der Erde ist den Schöpfern ein Adventure gelungen, das zwar keine Spannungselemente vermissen läßt, eher durchweg friedliebend daherkommt. Aufgrund des niedrigen Schwierigkeitsgrades und der Probier-Rätsel eher für Anfänger oder diejenigen unter Euch geeignet, die einfach einige Stunden geruhsamer Unterhaltung suchen.May 1995 · Amiga
PC Games (Germany) (77 out of 100) (77%)
Gegner brachialer Computergewalt können beruhigt aufatmen. Mit Erben der Erde erscheint endlich wieder ein Spiel, das trotz spannungsgeladener Handlung frei von jeglicher Brutalität ist. Und obwohl das Adventure offensichtlich für jüngere Computerfans konzipiert wurde, können auch Erwachsene durchaus Gefallen an den Abenteuern von Rif und seinen Begleiter finden. Es versteht sich von selbst, daß bei so viel Familienfreundlichkeit der Rätselgrad nicht besonders hoch ist. Geübte Abenteurer können Erben der Erde deshalb im Handumdrehen durchspielen. Für Einsteiger und Gelegenheitsspieler, speziell mit Sprößlingen im zarten Alter, ist dieses Spiel aber durchaus zu empfehlen.Sep 1994 · DOS
Gameplay (Benelux) (76 out of 100) (76%)
Inherit The Earth is een leuk, goed gemaakt en sfeervol adventure game. De graphics zijn niet echt spectaculair, maar wat ze missen aan SVGA detail wordt goedgemaakt door de leuke en goed vertelde plot. Sommige puzzels zijn redelijk pittig maar aangezien het verhaal niet lineair is opgebouwd, zal je nooit lang vast komen zitten.Aug 12th, 1994 · DOS
Amiga Games (76 out of 100) (76%)
Erben der Erde sieht in der AGA-Version noch schöner aus als in der A500-Fassung - die Grafiken wirken einfach feiner und weniger pixelig. Dafür muß man allerdings längere Rechenzeiten in Kauf nehmen, so daß die Wanderungen der Spielfiguren auf einem "normalen" A1200 schon fast zur Qual werden. Festplatte und Speichererweiterung sind für dieses nette Spiel dringend anzuraten!
Joystick (French) (75 out of 100) (75%)
S'il n'est pas inoubliable, Inherit the Earth vous fera néanmoins passer de bons moments.Sep 1994 · DOS · read review
Play Time (70 out of 100) (70%)
Erben der Erde ist kein Adventure für absolute Cracks und will es auch gar nicht sein. Wer sich sonst nur mit Komplettlösung an Sam & Max oder Simon the Sorcerer heranwagen würde, darf seine ersten Erfolgserlebnisse mit diesem Spiel feiern. Interessenten sollten sich aber unbedingt die komplett deutsche Version zulegen.Sep 1994 · DOS
Quandary ( ) (70%)
Though not a complex game it provided me with an entertaining diversion for a couple of days. My only disappointment was that the ending came with a rush and the animation took over and completed the game for me. As I said earlier, it's an entertaining fairytale-type story, ideally suited to players who are young enough -- or old enough -- to appreciate its delights. The denouement had a nice twist that left the opportunity for a sequel, unfortunately, it doesn't appear now that there will be one.Sep 1998 · DOS · read review
Power Play (67 out of 100) (67%)
Mir ist Fuchs Rif ans Herz gewachsen: Das fantasievolle Fabelszenario sucht seinesgleichen. Zusammen mit der farbenfrohen Grafik und der soliden Präsentation, verspricht die Suche nach dem Orb viel Spielspaß. Leider sind einige Passagen zeitraubend und nicht spaßig: Die isometrisch dargestellten Wanderung von Rif über den Jahrmarkt oder durch das Dorf haben noch einen gewissen Charme, aber spätere Labyrinthrennereien sind so unterhaltsam wie eine Schlammbad-Audienz beim Wildschweinkönig – in der Burg oder im Tunnelsystem werden nur passionierte Pfadfinder glücklich, die noch Karopapier aus seligen Bard's Tale-Zeiten besitzen. Versteht mich nicht falsch: Dies ist bedauerlich, aber kein Grund, Erben der Erde vom Einkaufszettel zu streichen. Wer ein originelles Adventure mit viel Atmosphäre sucht, darf sich mit Rif anfreunden. Auch wenn das Kontrollsystem von LucasArts plagiert wurde – Klauen liegt eben in der Natur der Füchse.Jul 1994 · DOS · read review
Retro Spirit, The (4 out of 6) (67%)
Tittelen er ikke særlig allmennkjent blant folk flest, men tro oss når vi sier at dette er et solid stykke spill som garantert vil få deg til å piffe opp eventyrlysten hvis dette er din type biff. Vi har gleden av å presentere spillet til akkurat deg, så benytt sjansen nå!Nov 9th, 2005 · DOS · read review
PC Player (Germany) (64 out of 100) (64%)
Die Qualität der sparsam verteilten Puzzles ist durchwachsen. Manchmal setzt die Logik völlig aus und die Lösungen beschränken sich auf das Abklappern bestimmter Orte. Größter Kritikpunkt: Das Herumlaufen dauert nervig lange, was mangels einer detaillierten Automapping-Funktion besonders reinhaut. Auf der Haben-Seite kann das Spiel die originelle Handlung mit einem Schuß Humor, putziger Grafik und schöner Musik verbuchen. Kein Knüller, aber ein leidlich unterhaltsames Abenteuerspiel light.Aug 1994 · DOS
PC Gamer (63 out of 100) (63%)
Beautiful VGA graphics; good voice acting; and an exciting new game world. Slow-paced with tedious gameplay and puzzles that just never seem to entertain. It has everything going for it, except the thing that matters the most--enjoyable game play.Aug 1994 · DOS
Adventure Classic Gaming ( ) (60%)
Inherit the Earth is a gentle, relaxing adventure. It may not leave an exceptional mark in gameplay, but it pleasurably passes the time with an interesting story and entertaining characters. The only annoyances are the overuse of mazes and the excessive navigation. It is a good game for young gamers and for gamers who enjoy fairy tales.Nov 21st, 2010 · DOS · read review
Svenska Hemdatornytt (60 out of 100) (60%)
Har du aldrig spelat äventyr förutär det här ett utmärkt nybörjarspel. Skulle man fastna någonstans kan jag försäkra att man snart kommer vidare ändå. Det är ett bra spel, men det bryter ingen ny mark. Är du förälder och orolig över allt snack om blodiga och våldsamma spel kan du lugnt vara säker på att det här är ett spel du kan ge till dina barn med lugnt samvete.Oct 1994 · DOS · read review
Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( ) (50%)
There is no denying that INHERIT boasts a thought-provoking story, and has been put together with a great deal of artistic flare and talent. It's ease of use and appealing presentation will make it a very seductive program for newcomers to adventure gaming. However, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the game's puzzles were given the least amount of attention, and that some of its many mazes were tacked on in order to extend its limited game play. This is an odd mix of a program, whose many qualities and merits are as difficult to ignore as its flaws.Aug 1994 · DOS
Good Old Days, The (staff reviews only) (2 out of 6) (33%)
Above the solid enough premise of indirectly telling a tale of the disappeared humans (which remains without true payoff in the end), Inherit the Earth doesn't have a lot going for it. On counts of game design, it is rather basic in its best moments and becomes plainly annoying all too frequently. Explicit plot and characters don't save anything, either. Inexplicable and sudden tone shifts throw the player out of the tiny bit of immersion the narrative may otherwise have provided. Unless talking, clothed animals by themselves constitute a value to you, you should consider skipping this one.May 5th, 2018 · Amiga · read review
A magical premise, improperly fulfilled
If you've read the initial press releases about the game, you know the 2 things that will weigh your appreciation of the game: first off, it's basically a sci-fi fable. Or a enfabuled science fiction game. Or a metaphysical display of a bunch of metaphors. (GET ON WITH IT!!!) Yeah, so there's these animals that can walk and talk and seem to have come out of a LaFontaine tale. And you play as a fox. The other thing that assures the uniqueness of the story is that the house who developed it (New World Computing) never developed another adventure game but this one. Not even a sequel - and, man, does this game cry out for one, unlike many other far-fetched game series, devoid of all thought and content. First things first. What really dazzled me in the game was the wonderful story environment; the concept of the story is one of the most original I've ever seen, and it does have its share of thought-provoking ideas. The human race has disappeared off the face of the Earth, leaving naught but some traces of concrete and ruins of buildings. The world is now populated by races of humanoid animal races, that can talk, have 2 arms and 2 legs - organized in more or less a vaguely pseudo-feudal tribal manner. Thus, we have the 'Fox' tribe, the 'Boars' tribe, the 'Elk' tribe, etc. so on, so forth. The social status is based on a very simple structure reminiscent of the Middle Age: first, the King, then, his court, then, his guard, and, last and definitely least, the commoners. Each tribe, and animal race, has his own special cultural niche; actually, this is just the exacerbation of qualities we associate with these animals. Cats, for example, are a mysterious race, with a deeply mystical sense and highly protective of their own (at least, that's what says here). Dogs are socially dependent and submissive, always adrift without a leader (or, in animal terms, an owner). Boars are aggressive, filthy, nasty beasts that are fiercely competitive and downright rude. Rats live in secluded communities, usually underground, avoid contact with other races, and are devoted scholars, dedicated to their libraries and scrolls (yeah right!). Foxes are smart, agile, furry and sentimental. And also excellent puzzle solvers (did I mention that you play as one? yes, I did...). All of these races are "ruled" (except for Boars, who have a long-time feud with the Elk) by the Forest King, the Elk king, who serves as a sort of impartial judge on matters between the tribes. I won't tell you the story just yet - this is one of the really cool surprises about the game. As graphics go, the game is very well designed: a user-friendly interface, really simple and elegant - divided into verbs, following the then standard adventure interface. The graphics are enchanting, if a bit on the 'quiet' side - which seems to be one of the main problems of the game, but more on that later... When playing, you switch to a isometric 3D engine that is reminiscent of the Ultima VII games. The perspective is a bit too oblique, though, and so objects tend to hide the background, sometimes with irritating effects. The AI pathfinding is excellent, though, and the game works wonderfully well, no bugs, fully automatic. Now the main score for the game: the story is wonderful; I've seen reviews claiming that it isn't original - but I've never seen anything quite like it. Although there are some plot-holes, and the dialogues sometimes are a bit dry (not on the excellent intro, mind you), the sheer conjunction of this fascinating world should appeal to gamers of all ages. I was only 14 when I first played it, and the game still remains one of my fondest source of PC memories since then. The characters are also endearing, which helps to make a "connection" to the game. The music is also very well done, adequate to each scene; I wouldn't call it as memorable as, say, Dune's (Cryo's original game) or Kyrandia 2's soundtrack, but it still hangs on its own pretty well. Sounds are far and few in between, and boring at that, but the game has, in addition to its unique premise, another thing going for it, and probably even more unique: excellent dialogue actor speech! Back in 1994, this was rare - and still is - but this game sets new standards. Even though I never got my hands on the CD-ROM version, the intro has full speech and it's absolutely great, done with great professionalism; the voices come out clear, we feel the characters personalities coming alive and the voices are just plain hilarious. If you ever have the chance to play the CD version of the game, you're a happier man than me.
But not everything is peachy-daisy. The story, although unique, seems to be over-simplified, and the ending, while still mysterious, leaves a door open for continuation that leaves us with a certain sense of frustration. Because there is NO sequel (nor will we ever see one, probably). And, of course, the gameworld, although full of potential, ends up being a bit 'dry', because there is a lack of true interaction. Sure, there are plenty of tribes and characters, but you often feel like you are being pushed along the storyline, and although there are many characters running around in the game, you can speak to much less of these than you would expect. Also, there are NO alternative solutions in the game - so everything comes off too linear and objective.
The Bottom Line
I've seen this game marketed as a game 'for the family'. Personally, I hate it when a game I like gets classified like that; this isn't some Saturday matinee that you can sit down and get the kids to drool at. It's a serious story, but told in a light and entertaining manner. All taken, the game excels in storytelling and concept, and fails in true interaction and long-term value. But, what the heck - I still find myself playing it with true joy, and there's enough of a roller-coaster ride and funny situations to make it worthwhile for serious adventurers and as enchanting as ever for younger people. And don't worry about that mud - it'll come off your fur quite easily. ;-) Highly recommended.
by Silver Light (3) on Jun 18th, 2002 · DOS
The end has come... and now Furries rule the earth!
The only adventure game ever released by New World Computing (of Might & Magic fame), Inherit the earth was a stylishly yet doomed effort from the get go. As time has proven, few people ever heard of it, and fewer still got their hands on it. A shame really since there are some really good elements to the game. The best one among these being the premise behind the gameworld.
From what one can piece together, in a far future the humans managed to genetically create sentient humanoid versions of every animal species out there, but then after some catastrophic event, vanished from the face of the earth leaving it for their mutant offspring. These mutants (the "morph" as they call themselves) evolved on their own without human intervention, and the game presents them to us in what could be their medieval period, complete with a feudal society with kings, princes, etc. all arranged around different "tribes" representing each animal species.
Their memory of the humans has faded, and only exists as some sort of mythological ancient race along with the leftover ruins of their cities. What's even better is that all this information is presented to you as legends, myths and supported by the eventual discovery of human technology, uncovering little by little the truth behind the world and it's origins to the player. There's no denying then that the game's main appeal lies thus in exploring the gameworld, watching as the characters try to make sense of completely alien technology like telescopes and batteries, all within a "ye olde" medieval-themed landscape. I know that looking at the box cover gives no indication of it being a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story, but that's really the core concept behind the game, concept that really kicks-in in the later stages of the game as instead of exploring villages and castles you have to descend into abandoned military stations complete with Twilight Zone-esque "Evacuate" signs and assorted gloomy signs of human inhabitants.
Also regardless of the sweet-n-happy feeling you might get from seeing furry animals in medieval clothes there's some dashes of mature content here and there, not enough to make it a "mature" title per se, but enough to make you understand there were some adults behind the title aiming a little above kiddie-stuff (have fun discovering the [rather obvious] closet lesbian!).
Finally, in order to illustrate this wonderful world, the developers resorted to a combination of classic 2D hand-drawn sprites over backgrounds as well as pseudo-isometric tile-based scrolling areas that represent villages and larger locations you can freely roam and explore. To complement this a really effective soundtrack of midi tunes sets the mood for each location correctly (making a superb transition from the happy-sappy "Medieval Times" tunes, to the eerie sci-fi moments later on).
Unfortunately there's a lot of stuff wrong in Inherit the Earth, a lot of it can be attributed to "first time jitters" and lack of experience, but it's still enough to justify the poor fame of the game.
First of all one of the cornerstones of an adventure game is missed: The story is really mediocre. Basically it all boils down to a bad guy stealing the title's Orb and you (as Rif the fox) getting tasked with finding it for some reason (you gotta love the morph's legal system: Rif is competing at a puzzle gaming convention when all the shit hits the fan, but wait! He's a fox! So yeah... That sounds guilty to me! And of course since he stole it, the only thing we can do is kidnap his girlfriend and send him out to find the orb with a couple of guards because it sounds like a fun adventure.... and of course our own police forces are...uhmm doing something else... right...). Anyway, regardless of that stupid premise the story eventually starts incorporating different sideplots that promise a lot, like a conspiracy between some tribes to start a war, and even higher webs of conspiracy, but all is left hanging amidst sore plot-holes and stupid resolutions. The end of the game seems horribly rushed so as to quickly wrap everything up under a "happy" ending, and none of the promising elements in the story manage to live up to the potential exhibited in the gameworld.
Moving on, the puzzles are really amateurish in the sense that they fall under that dreaded "gotta guess what the designer wanted me to do here" state, or become Fed-Ex moments where a character has something you want but won't give it to you unless you give him this and that and whatever... Prime example of first-time adventure development mistakes.
Finally you have the rather lame design flaws, which kill some of the game's promising additions and manage to annoy you immensely. What I'm talking about here are the pseudo-isometric bits and the mazes. Why make large tile-based maps for you to get lost into when all there is to explore in a village, fair or whatever are 2 or 3 hotspots? All other doors leading into the same empty generic rooms and all characters acting as clones of one another?? Why? It only makes it more annoying to find and get to the places you really want to go! And speaking of annoying.... who wants some mazes? Yeah!! That's what adventure games need! Stupid, pointless mazes to stretch the gameplay when the developers just can't think of another "fetch me the golden wazaboo" puzzle.
Finally while the art is really good, the animation is just terrible and the same sprites are used for all the poses of the characters, making them have the same perspective even when the background switches from 2D to isometric. And while this game can go down in history as one of the first early GOOD voiced-over titles, the same cannot be said of the sound effects, which get particularly annoying in the later stages when you have to put up with continually deafening waterfalls, bird chirps and bees.
The Bottom Line
Inherit the Earth is one of those offbeat titles that has a good gameworld, interesting premise and tackles the whole thing with a distinct sense of style that complements the package. Unfortunately by falling in most key aspects to the pitfalls of a genre they had no experience at, the developers managed to lose all their potential.
Regardless of how much are you willing to put up with the game's flaws for the sake of discovering this fantastic gameworld your impression of the game may vary, but make no mistake. There's a reason Inherit the Earth never was and never will be a hit. Of course, if you are a "furrie" this game is like a dream come true for you...Sicko!!
by Zovni (10513) on Nov 26th, 2004 · DOS
Inherit the Earth is a point and click adventure game in a quasi medieval world full of walking talking animals wearing clothes. Not quite your usual suspects when it comes to adventure games and that’s what makes it stand out.
The setting of the game is very imaginative and original. It’s not a true medieval world at all, but what it appears to be is a chain of islands with various tribes of animals who have been specially created by humans to have intelligence, walk on two legs, and talk like people. The introduction makes it clear that they’re products of science through beautifully illustrated cave paintings showing how it was all done and how the humans were forced to leave due to a plague or epidemic of some sort (as symbolized by them being chased away by what appears to be a giant microbe), or maybe they were driven to extinction even, we don’t know.
One really great thing about the setting that this world takes place in is how bizarrely, yet perfectly logically, all makes senses. You have the various animal groups who live by the stereotypes of their species, but all with a twist. The elk are magnificent, but also decadent, the boars are messy and boorish, but also very stalwart and strong, the ferrets are very rigid in thinking, but industrious and hard working. Even the rats have a mythology that they assisted humans in scientific research, which is true, but with some horrific implications that they don’t realize they were tested on and millions of their ancestors died in experimentations. They’re stuck in this medieval system and have never advanced an inch technologically in hundreds of years, which is not even what happened in the Middle Ages… but it all makes perfect sense as to why they’re stuck in time.
There are these things in the games called the Orbs. The denizens of the world don’t really know what they really are, other than they serve some specific purpose. They really are portable voice- activated computers left behind by the humans. There is the Orb of storms, which is what this game revolves around, that has the ability to predict the weather with perfect accuracy, which is something that any farmer in the past or present would give their right arm for. What this allows, from a technological perspective, stagnation in a lot of areas because when they are able to get decent harvests every year, the need for technological innovation is considered by many. The second Orb in the game is the Orb of hands, which basically is a ‘how-to’ encyclopedia that can tell people how to make things. So why don’t they have cars, steamships, and guns? It’s because the Orb needs very, very specific statements in order to give the instructions, and those instructions are said in a very technical manner that is usually above the understanding of the people who hold the thing.
It is simple touches like this that add the brilliance of the setting. They don’t feel the need for more technology because A: They have no concepts of the things we take for granted and wouldn’t ask the Orb of hands on how to build them, and B: They have enough food and what they consider basic necessities, and as such don’t feel the need for more stuff, especially if they don’t have a concept of it.
The main character definitely plays the part of a cunning fox to a T and it’s always funny to see him outsmarting his adversaries, and the game has some legitimately funny moments peppered throughout. Some of the content is decidedly towards adults, such as a wolfess showering and showing slight signs of… umm, side boob, for the lack of a better term. At the beginning of the game there’s even a feline fortune teller who, in no indirect manner, tries to tempt the main character into staying for a little something… extra.
The graphics and the way the world is portrayed is very stylish and beautifully done, and the music is fantastic. I remember when I first saw this game in 1995, the music in the opening scene definitely sent chills down my spine. It really is a very beautiful game when it comes to graphics and music.
The setting was very original and unique, and very inventive, but the plot… I regret to say this, is quite flawed, and some other parts of the game, such as the puzzles, just seems too easy and convoluted.
I want to make some things clear, the plot was obviously intended to be more mature and deeper originally, but because of the meddling by NWC, this would never have been realized. The plot is basically that someone stole the Orb of storms and ran off with it for reasons unknown, and our hero, the Fox is blamed for it because… because… well, because he’s a fox! Of course! All foxes are thieves. And he has to bring it back, or else his girlfriend will die.
The opening is highly contrived and frustrating, and the mentality of the people is just incomprehensible. They continue to blame the Fox even after it becomes painfully apparently that he’s completely innocent. By far the dumbest part of this whole ‘blame the fox’ is the ending of the game, when despite being proven beyond the shadow of a doubt innocent, and risking life and limb in the attempt to bring the Orb back, there was a single character in the background who claimed that ‘he must be punished’! What manner of bizarre logic were these people running on?
The setting was intended to be more mature, with murder sub-plot, a bit more sexuality and sensuality in the plot and characters, and even violent encounters. It was also intended that your character could die a la Sierra Adventure Game style as well. Every single one of these concepts was hacked up by the executives, who insisted that the game must be child friendly because they didn’t take seriously the concept of cartoon animals being used in a serious, mature story and setting.
The results are obvious, not only in the plot and remnants thereof (the ruins at the end of the game provide some very ominous clues as to the humans’ demise, as well as hints that the world would be engulfed in a deadly war), with the villain’s defeat being played for laughs while his motives were very sinister. The ending of the game is the biggest let down of them all, I won’t spoil it, because it is really, really dark and no one could possible consider it ‘child safe’. The game needed a sequel, but due to Executive meddling and a very poor marketing campaign, the sales never justified one, even though it was intended as a trilogy.
The main character’s sidekicks… let it be said that there has never been a more useless duo in all of gaming history. Although they’re supposed to be there to provide support to the hero (as well as ensure that he doesn’t escape, which would become needless as he proves his intent to recover the Orb very early on), they never do anything to prove the existence of their worth, the only puzzles they help with wouldn’t have required their aid if the game was intended to be more challenging. Speaking of which, the puzzles in this game aren’t really all that difficult, they’re just too easy even without a walkthrough or hint book at your side. That’s another downside to the game, the puzzles are a bit too easy and the logic behind them is not to try to think through what might work in a situation like that, but simply to try to guess what the developer wants the player to do.
One other negative part is a maze sequence in the game. My God do I hate needless mazes in the game. It isn’t actually that hard, but it is annoying enough that it makes you wonder why they put a maze in the game in the first place. I would be willing to tolerate a maze in an adventure game if A: There was a reason for it, and B: There was a way of figuring out where to go with an item or something to help show the way (that way, the puzzle is finding a guide or item as opposed to pure guesswork and manual mapping). This game has neither.
Most of these negative points wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for executive meddling, but sadly they had to destroy it and not allow for a good, mature story to be told with cartoon animals, which would have made it very unique in gaming and probably have made Furries more accepted in such circles.
The Bottom Line
This game has a very unique premise and had the potential to be a great trilogy if it wasn’t for the meddling by higher ups and poor marketing that sadly ruined it.
For all that however, this game still has a dedicated following, both from adventure gamers like myself, and a small part of the Furry Fandom. In fact, Furries would find this game especially interesting since this game was made by old-school furries and much of the artwork (both in game and conceptually) was done by Furry artists, many of which are still active and working in the fandom 19 years later.
by Salim Farhat (68) on Mar 5th, 2013 · DOS
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by shphhd, robotriot, Alsy, Patrick Bregger, Rebound Boy, Sun King, Tomas Pettersson, Scaryfun, deepcut, Wizo, Cantillon, Trevor Harding, Thomas Helsing, Mr Creosote.