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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (41094)
Written on  :  Oct 24, 2019
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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Oh how much I would love to transport myself into a world like this

The Good

Tass Times in Tonetown is a nice little adventure game developed by Interplay and published by Activision. It is in the same league as Shadowgate and Deju Vu when it comes to game mechanics. The game’s plot sounds like it comes straight from a movie. Your beloved Gramps has invented a device which makes everything in his dreams come to life in an alternate reality. The device is eventually used for evil purposes as he ends up being kidnapped by Franklin Snarl and taken back to that alternate reality. Accompanied by his dog Spot, you jump through the device in an effort to save him.

On the other side, you realize that it just isn’t the same anymore. You are transported to Tonetown where words like “tass” and “dyeorama” have entered the dictionary. Spot has been transformed into Ennio, a journalist dog that seems to be able to detect traces of “snarlmeat”; everyone you meet has colored hair; the main currency is in the form of guitar picks; the rage in town is a band known as the Daglets; and the only threat here is Snarl himself and his “jawdawgs”. To reach him, you must scour woods, wetlands, mansions, and mushroom forests.

If you look at the front cover, you would know that Tonetown is a surreal alternate world seemingly based on a distillation of 1980s culture. The game comes on two floppy disks and the usual manual. Also coming in the box is a copy of the ‘Towntown Times’, which makes for interesting reading. It contains articles, ads, and even a classified section.

The interface of Tass Times consists of the illustration window and a series of icons next to it, the inventory icon, and the description/command prompts. What I like is that the user has choice, the choice of playing the game with the mouse or keyboard. You can use the mouse to select various icons on the screen, or as I mentioned, you can enter text-only mode by pressing [Return] so you can pull a Zork and just use your imagination.

I also pretty much enjoyed getting lost in Tonetown, and meeting the strange people there. From my experience, executing illegal commands generates some witty dialogue, so I suppose there is enough humor in the game. There are also plenty of humorous ways you can die in the game, with the most common way being to walk in Snarl’s vicinity or inhaling poison from the mushrooms. Death is why you need to save the game, so that you can restore later when something goes wrong.

The illustrations are good, and there are some brilliant animations in some of the scene. The only sound effects I noticed in the game, other than the clock ticking in the first scene and the hoop charging up. As for the music, the main one is the theme music that is no doubt composed with Activision’s own Music Studio. The same music is heard in the game, in a scene where the band is playing.

Finally, players may argue that Tass Times is quite short, but in my opinion, it depends on how many times you get stuck.

The Bad

There is nothing bad about this game.

The Bottom Line

Tass Times in Tonetown is an adventure game that is in the same league as Shadowgate and Deja Vu. You interact with the game world by either entering commands or selecting icons with the mouse, and you get to meet some interesting characters on your journey. Like many adventure games, death can come at you if you are not careful. Sound effects are good, but music is not much given that there is virtually only one tune in the game. Tass Times is a very good adventure game that Amiga adventure gamers should have in their library.