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BioForge

aka: Interactive Movie 1
Moby ID: 561
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

In the far future, a fanatical group of religious extremists known as the Mondites have begun a campaign of galactic conquest. They believe in the evolution of man through machine by cybernetic implants. You are one of the unlucky victims: a prisoner in a Mondite complex on a distant moon, with no memory of your former life. Your body has been turned into a hideous cybernetic nightmare by the evil Dr. Mastaba. It is up to you to explore the complex (abandoned and on the verge of nuclear meltdown), discover the secrets of the Mondites and the mysterious remnants of alien civilization they've discovered, and get out alive from this moon.

BioForge is an action game with puzzle-solving, technologically similar to Alone in the Dark, featuring polygonal (and textured) characters over pre-rendered backgrounds. The adventure elements involve the hero collecting items and figuring out puzzles in order to get to new places and discover the secrets of the complex. The action elements involve combat against foes robotic and alive, both with melee weaponry and with guns, though some enemies require trickery rather than force to defeat.

Numerous journals, documents and diaries are found throughout the game; these are all recorded and can be re-read at any time.

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Credits (DOS version)

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 55 ratings with 7 reviews)

Who are you and how did you get in here?

The Good
On the planet Daedalus lies a genetic research complex that is lead by a Dr. Mastaba. Mastaba belongs to a group called the Mondites who abduct people and subject them to cybernetic experiments. One of their latest victims is Lex who gets turned into a cyborg and thrown into a prison cell. He recovers shortly only to discover that he is made up of human and alien technology, and that his memory was wiped – he has no idea who he is and why he is there. If he escapes his cell, he needs to unravel the truth about himself, the research complex, the Mondite movement, and the alien civilization that once inhabited Daedalus.

Most of this information can be found by examining monitors scattered throughout the complex, and reading through logbooks that he picks up. If the information that he discovers is relevant, he records it in his journal. (He has no idea how he does this.) BioForge requires a lot of reading, but I found what I read interesting, as I read about experimental subjects losing their memories and are driven to the point of insanity. It makes the story flow on.

BioForge is an action-adventure game. Although you have the opportunity to explore the complex in full, and enter rooms that have advanced technology and gadgets that go clickitty-clak, there are situations that you have to deal with someone or something through hand-to-hand combat. An example of this is defeating the NurseBot at the very start of the game, as well as the marines that occupy the interior and exterior of the complex. By pressing the [Ctrl] and [Alt] keys, you can punch or kick enemies. Enough of these and you bring them down. An alternate to fighting with your limbs is using the blaster, which you won't pick up until late in the game. If you manage to pick it up, it can be used against the mechos that run up and down the corridors.

You may be faced with some puzzles in the game, but again, the hints on solving them are found in logbooks and on monitors. The puzzles range from getting a robot opening a door that requires a palm print to playing “mix-and-match” and open a sarcophagus. For me, they were not hard, and there were little times that I had to refer to a walkthrough because I had no idea what the objective is.

When Lex is hurt by an enemy, his body shows some blood to indicate that he has been damaged. If he takes several hits, he starts to limp when he walks. One more hit and he is knocked out. His health can be restored by collecting and using medical devices. The animations of Lex and his enemies are done with rotoscoping, which is one of the techniques that few games use.

Before I actually started playing BioForge, I read through the Personnel Files, which I found rather interesting. It is the personal log that belongs to one of the prisoners you meet in the game. Furthermore, it gives you an outline of what has been going on in the complex.

The Bad
During hand-to-hand combat, the two people (Lex and his enemy) exchange dialogue when they deliver a blow to each other. This dialog is boring, as the same conversations get repeated over and over again in the same fight.

I don't know if it is my fast system, but there are situations that I think rely on the timer. For example, I have to shut down the reactor and a voice says “The reactor will reach critical state in 30 seconds”. I don't get a chance to shut it down in that time, as you hear “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, etc.” in five seconds. Another is trying to drop a bomb near a steel door. You are constantly reminded of the seconds you have. When you have plenty of time, you know that you are safe for the time being. But when you decide to drop it in the wrong spot shortly after, the timer counts down to its last seconds, making sure that you are blown to bits.

The ending for the game is rather disappointing, and it raises a few questions that I had. It deserved a sequel, whether it sold poorly or not.

The Bottom Line
In conclusion, BioForge is a game of exploration. You move Lex around the research complex, admiring the rooms and the technology that they contain, looking at monitors and logbooks, and finding useful information that may or may not be recorded in your journal. Once you obtained the most important information, your next task is to escape Daedalus. The game required a 486-33 with 8MB RAM, which were hefty system requirements at the time that the game was made. However, newer systems can run it if they can boot into MS-DOS. BioForge has great graphics and animations, and also contain puzzles that are easy to solve, depending on what you have learned so far.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2006

Fantastic sci-fi adventure in the survival horror vein.

The Good
The story is intricately constructed and reveals much over the course of the game through some pretty elaborate data files, (that's books to you and me.) It also develops very nicely, with you, initially being thrown right in the middle of it and wanting to find out what the hell's going on. The graphics were amazing at the time, Bioforge was one of the first games to feature texture mapping and damage skins on the characters with your character even going so far as to limp when wounded or collapse when near death. The puzzles are very well balanced and are nice and challenging so adventurers should be kept happy. The combat is also complex and once you get the hang of it, it can be quite fun...

The Bad
...The combat is also a little sluggish and often leaves you wide open for attack when it counts a double tap as two performances of the same move. The sound and voices are a little tedious because of repetition and lastly, the story doesn't finish properly and there was sadly no sequel so we never really get to discover what happens.

The Bottom Line
A highly underrrated action adventure with a sci-fi feel to it. It's story and puzzles should keep players occupied for quite a while. That is, if you can locate a copy.

DOS · by Sycada (177) · 2001

A great game, similar as the description says to Alone in the Dark

The Good
This game has excellent graphics, even in this day of 3D accelerators. I mean, even at 320x200 the graphics ROCK! Also, the sound was pretty good. Nice voice acting, and the "Ping!" everytime you had an entry added to your journal (another big plus!) was very helpful. Challenge was great, almost too great at times.

The Bad
Sometimes difficult to see your enemies because of the fixed camera angle. Also, some precise character placement is needed or death will occur (DN you slime! :) )

The Bottom Line**
A great game, like an "interactive movie." If you like to talk to your enemies (if you have any) while you beat the crap out of them, this is the game for you.

DOS · by EazyCheeze (25) · 2000

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

BioForge appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

BioForge Plus

Origin started work on a special edition of BioForge, entitled BioForge Plus. This new version of the game had extra sections, continuing on from where the original version left off. This is the description from the Origin catalog:

The work of research archaeologists has been interrupted by the machinations of the scheming scientist who plans to use the advanced alien technology for his own ends. Only your advanced skills give you hope of survival.

As the moon, Daedalus, explodes, you discover the Black Raven - a ship sent by the Ministry of Security to spy on the Mondite base. It's going to be that kind of day - it's a good thing you're still angry. The adventure is far from over.

Features: * Automatic Tracker - shows locations of most enemy lifeforms * Better Energy Source * More Powerful Weapons * Improved Combat * New, Superior Ship * Gauntlet Feature

Unfortunately, BioForge didn't sell as well as EA wanted, so BioForge Plus was cancelled.

Identity

The game's manual came with a dossier of several registered "patients" and the player is offered a chance near the end of the game to access the main medical computer to find out who they actually are. It is said that this depends on how the game was played.

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #100 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1996 – Best Action-Adventure in 1995

Information also contributed by WildKard

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  • MobyGames ID: 561
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Alan Chan.

Windows added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: xroox, Sciere, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added December 11, 1999. Last modified February 19, 2024.