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Bad Mojo (Windows 3.x)

By Bullyt on February 4th, 2023

Sid Meier's Colonization (Windows 3.x)

By Bullyt on May 5th, 2019

Of Light and Darkness: The Prophecy (Windows)

By Bullyt on April 22nd, 2012

Lighthouse: The Dark Being (Windows 3.x)

By Bullyt on April 6th, 2012

Lighthouse: The Dark Being (Windows)

By Bullyt on April 6th, 2012

Lighthouse: The Dark Being (DOS)

By Bullyt on April 6th, 2012

Gray Matter (Windows)

By Bullyt on March 11th, 2012

Sid Meier's Civilization (Amiga)

By Bullyt on March 11th, 2012

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (Amiga)

By Bullyt on March 3rd, 2012

Paris 1313: The Mystery of Notre-Dame Cathedral (Windows)

By Bullyt on January 1st, 2012

The 11th Hour (Windows)

By Bullyt on June 2nd, 2011

The 11th Hour (DOS)

By Bullyt on June 2nd, 2011

Egypt II: The Heliopolis Prophecy (Windows)

Historically accurate but empty piece of edutainment

The Good
Egypt 2: The Heliopolis Prophecy is part of Cryo's 'Historical Adventures' series, and was developed under the scientific direction of Isabelle Franco, Professor at Kheops Institute and Ecole du Louvre, and Jean-Claude Golvin, Director of Research at CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research). The cities with their architectural details, the clothes and everyday objects are reconstructed based on the best archaeological evidence available. No wonder that the game offers a nice walking tour around the ancient city of Heliopolis, depicting a working-class part of the city, a temple and a governor's mansion as they could very well have been during the reign of Amenophis (Amenhotep) III (14th-century BCE). Hypertext documentation inside the game contains brief but entertaining and well-written information on Egyptian society, religion and other related subjects, including a section on the position of women in ancient times. Lastly, the main character -- a priestess of Sakhmet called Tifet -- is almost on par with the strong female protagonists that ruled the adventure games at the turn of the millennium, such as The Longest Journey and Syberia series.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the game looks good only for as long as nothing moves on the screen. The animations are unnatural, especially the people who move around as if they lacked some indispensable muscles on their hips. It is a blessing that Tifet herself is seen in cutscenes only, and that rest of the time a first-person perspective is used. In this mode the camera can be moved up and around without arbitrary limitations, enabling the player to turn the point of view in every direction. Movement is, however, limited to pre-set steps along the alleys and courtyards of the city. Interaction with the environment is fairly minimal. The biggest problem is the story development. Although the premise of unknown disease is interesting and Tifet a great lead, the tale comes off as if painted with too broad brushes: all the tricks of storytelling are in place but the execution is at the level of a sketch. It is hard to establish characters if they are going to say less than a dozen sentences in all, and most of these are variants of 'you-have-to-go-and-fetch-me-something'. The rich Egyptian life that the hypertext documentation speaks of is simply not present in the story.

As an adventure game, Egypt 2 contains some irritating design decisions. We are on a mission to save the city and we need some help. Can you help me? Yes, if you get me a thing from the other side of the game world. (The sound of a hundred mouse-clicks.) I need a thing to get the help of someone else. Can you give me the thing? Yes, if you fetch me some other thing from far away. (The sound of a hundred mouse-clicks.) Finally, I have fetched some other thing to obtain a thing to gain some help in my urgent mission to save the whole of Heliopolis. Reach the next person and repeat -- not particularly difficult but dull and time-consuming. To be fair, there are some good puzzles thrown in occasionally, even a minigame where Tifet has to play drums, a clever move that requires just a little bit of rhythm to establish the correct pattern of play.

The Bottom Line
Egypt 2: The Heliopolis Prophecy exhibits Egyptian architecture in urban setting in 3D, and contains interesting information on life in ancient Egypt. The story designed to motivate the walking amidst the streets of Egypt is uninspired, however, and the gameplay is, for the most time, extremely bland.

By Bullyt on February 26th, 2011

DreamWeb (DOS)

By Bullyt on February 8th, 2011

The Dig (DOS)

By Bullyt on January 5th, 2011

Curse of Enchantia (DOS)

By Bullyt on December 5th, 2010

9: The Last Resort (Windows)

Myst-clone not delivered by the presentation alone.

The Good
The presentation is top-notch throughout the game, with characters voiced by the likes of James Belushi and Christopher Reeve, with Cher as a seer offering the services of saving and loading. The mouse-driven interface is smooth and intuitive, and the surreal, slightly horror-influenced graphics give the Last Resort the feel of an amusement park gone bad. The game has its own distinct character, and is occasionally able to draw the player firmly into the story.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the story practically ends at the entrance to the resort. When the dust eventually settles there are only puzzles left to solve with minor interaction with the few characters present. The puzzles come in three varieties: simple and irritating (e.g. memory game with sounds), arcade-flavoured (e.g. shooting rats with the mouse), and amazingly complicated coded sequences with no hints to speak of, particularly the end game puzzle(s) involving playing the organ. The back of the game box states that the player needs "divine inspiration to complete" and that is a fact: without a walkthrough I could never have managed the feat.

The Bottom Line
9: The Last Resort is a true curiosity from the middle of the 1990s, especially due to the people listed in the credits. Professional in technical aspects it falls flat with its puzzle design, the one component a Myst-clone has to get right.

By Bullyt on August 17th, 2010

Armaëth: The Lost Kingdom (DOS)

By Bullyt on May 16th, 2010

Angel Devoid: Face of the Enemy (DOS)

By Bullyt on May 16th, 2010

Alien Virus (DOS)

By Bullyt on May 16th, 2010

Alien Incident (DOS)

By Bullyt on January 16th, 2010