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Written by  :  vicrabb (7291)
Written on  :  Jun 04, 2008
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Rob Blanc, hero-to-be

The Good

Rob Blanc is a game created by the well-known Yahtzee and was one of the first games to use the AGS Engine, a freeware for making adventure games in the old way like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Yahtzee is also the author of the quadrilogy Chzos Mythos with 5 days a stranger, 7 days a skeptic, Tribly's Notes and 6 days a sacrifice.

AGS Engine was also used by Grundislav Games for its series Ben Jordan. And well, I couldn't not to mention Ben Jordan because it's the door which I entered the AGS world by. That's also why the gameplay was familiar to me.

Rob Blanc 1 is narrating the first mission of the new defender of the Universe, a young chip shop worker from England, Robert Blanc. He's been chosen by the High Ones, sort of peacekeepers in the galaxy (they reminded me the Imperial Guards from Star Wars), too much occupied by telling each other some jokes than preventing Armageddon... Somewhere, they decided to make Rob an hero... even if he's coming from a primitive planet (according to them) called Earth. Rob is sent into a Remman ship in order to investigate what happened to the crew. Notice also that High Ones have a great humor and a singular view on our species. So, there you are, in a very coloured ship (bright green) lost somewhere in space, for a kind of test.

Anyway, you have to walk, speak with... what can still speak, pick up objects, using them and well, trying to know what could have happened in this vessel. As it's the AGS Engine, if you played Ben Jordan till the third case, you'll be used to the four icons and the inventory. For walking, you have to select "walk" (a little man), for picking objects or interacting with your environment, you have to select the icon hand, for speaking, use the (!) for opening the dialog box at the bottom in order to choose your sentences and for looking, use the magnifying glass.

The graphics are made by MS Paint as it was a earlier version of AGS but still, they're really good if you don't mind these kind of graphics. Anyway, it's still clear what you have to do for progressing... well, if you're not doing like me, forgetting that a droid can talk.

The Bad

I read reviews about the game. It's saying clearly that Rob Blanc has an upbeat soundtrack. Well, it seems that my computer couldn't find the sound file, even after trying all the configurations proposed in the setup file. Have I downloaded a corrupted file? Well, I've done it on the AGS website, I don't think that the problem is coming from there. Even Fully Ramblomatic website points to the AGS one...

Another problem for me, being used to Ben Jordan in a small window (I choose the option), is that Rob Blanc was running full screen and well, the bright colors seemed too much for my eyes. It would have been better to have a small windows but again, I think that it's the AGS version that wasn't allowing it. Also, if you can't stand MS Paint graphics, you'll be disgusted by Rob Blanc.

Rob Blanc is very short. Well, I beat the game in 30 minutes (because of forgetting to speak to the droid) but it could end in 20 minutes. If you need a break, it's like the first case of Ben Jordan, Rob Blanc is what you can play in a short amount of time. But as announced in the game (and well, being in 2008, we know that Rob Blanc is a trilogy), there is a sequel, probably much longer and more elaborated.

Because it's a test, there is no real plot in this game, no complex story. I mean, you have only 12 areas to explore with a few items to find and with only two things to talk with. So, you don't really have a surprise in the end, as what caused the crew's death can be seen from little windows. And it seems also that Rob Blanc was also a test for the author.

The Bottom Line

Rob Blanc 1 gave me the feeling of something good. But it gave me also the impression that it was just for testing the engine. The most problem for me was the lack of soundtrack (present in the game but not playing on my computer). That's why the rating isn't a four stars.

So, did I recommend the game? Yes, but only if you're searching something short for a pause and if you stand MS Paint graphics. If you need something longer, you can try the others AGS games, like Ben Jordan or the quadrilogy of the Chzos Mythos, or download the two others games in the Rob Blanc Trilogy.