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Bad Mojo (Windows 3.x)

Be yourself - be a cockroach

The Good
We all knew what adventures had to be like in 1996. You had a point&click interface, steering around a human guy lugging tons around in his invisible inventory. Then "Bad Mojo" crossed our way and everything changed.

Not only that you aren't human (you're a cockroach), you also do not have an inventory (you're a cockroach). Now what? You don't know why you became a nasty insect, nor how to change back to your human body. But when you start to figure it out, things get freaky. The designers managed to let you see the whole small world of your apartment with the eyes of a cockroach. And suddenly crossing the bathroom becomes dangerous, a cat turns into an invincible monster and everything you plan may become obsolete with a brick in your way.

The Bad
You will be steering your little insect using the keypads, which makes it sometimes difficult to get exactly where you wanted to go. This is a pity, because some puzzles need precise steering. (E.g. you will be required to sneak past a sleeping rat - a dangerous animal, once it's awake) Another thing is the use of 16 Bit Quicktime videos within the game. This might cause serious problems on newer systems, since Apple's not really always downward compatible.

The Bottom Line
"Bad Mojo" is very different from other adventures because it requires you to think along lines you wouldn't have normally. You don't ask yourself usually whether this would be a cockroach's approach to a problem, do you?

By Isdaron on February 4, 2023

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Skyworker (DOS)

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Captain Zins (DOS)

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Dunkle Schatten 2: Im Netzwerk gefangen. (DOS)

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Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure (Windows)

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Assassin's Creed (Director's Cut Edition) (Windows)

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Grand Theft Auto (Windows)

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The Last Express (Windows)

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Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle (DOS)

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Prisoner of Ice (DOS)

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Novastorm (DOS)

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Shenmue (Dreamcast)

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World Soccer: Winning Eleven 7 International (Windows)

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Energie-Manager (DOS)

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Das Erbe (Amiga)

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Bi-Fi Roll: Action in Hollywood (DOS)

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Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (Windows)

A broken sword fixes the adventure Genre

The Good
When I discovered that the Broken Sword series would go into its third iteration, I was enthusiastic, only to become depressed, once the game makers made clear that it wouldn't be a classic adventure.

So what did they deliver instead? It's a puzzle focused narrative with action elements. Sounds like they stuffed a lot into that one, eh? And you're right: The best about Broken Sword 3 is probably that it relies heavily on storytelling. It is one of the most intriguing plots within all games of the past few years.

Moreover, the graphics are quite good, while sound and voice acting is as professional as in the first two parts of the game.

The Bad
Broken Sword 3 changes camera angles quite often to push suspense. However, the controls react depending on the camera angle, not depending on the player. This can get quite on your nerves, because you have to rethink the direction controls all the time. And it will surely kill you a few times in time critical situations...

The puzzle design is usually logical and interesting, while not very hard. From time to time (and much too often) the game features box moving puzzles. These are clearly designed to stretch the overall playing time. Although in most cases you will be able to figure out how to solve these puzzles in a matter of seconds, you'll have to move boxes around for another five...

The Bottom Line
In the end, Broken Sword 3 is an interesting approach to renovate the adventure genre, blowing quite some dust of it. I'd love to see other games follow this approach with a strong narrative, good graphics and voice acting, thoughtful puzzles, but with better controls and fewer boxes.

By Isdaron on January 5, 2004

Mafia (Windows)

By Isdaron on September 16, 2003

Fortified Zone (Game Boy)

A frustrating gameboy experience

The Good
The game handling is quite good, the top-down perspective works very well for this shooter. It is also a nice idea to have two characters, between which you can switch. They don't differ in ther abilities, though.

The Bad
Fortified Zone gets extremely unfair over the game. Since you're not allowed to save and I don't remember if there is a password function, you are sure to spend hours and hours in front of the tiny screen.

I also didn't like the setting very much. The rather strange alien/human enemies mix-up has not really a storyline behind it

The Bottom Line
Fortified Zone i a top-down shooter with rather good graphics and an innovative character switching option. On the other hand it is rather frustrating. You might want to try it out, if there are no better games left to play...

By Isdaron on May 26, 2003

Runaway: A Road Adventure (Windows)

Reviving the adventure Genre? Yes and No

The Good
Runaway appeared on the games market in a time where everybody wondered: Will the graphic adventure genre survive? It made a bold statement by winning dozens of awards in the computer gaming press for being a fun game with smooth comic graphics and good voice overs. (I can only speak for the German version here).

The Bad
But Runaway has a major downside and that is its pixel hunting puzzles. In every chapter of the game there are at least two puzzles that require you to find a grey item on a grey wall. You can either spend hours searching the locations with your nose glued to the screen, or refer to a walkthrough.

The Bottom Line
Nonetheless, the game is worth its money. It is almost a classic comic adventure with fresh characters (a physics nerd and a femme fatale). It features a relatively intriguing story and keeps you motivated with good in-game animations.
Adventure fans should definetely give it a shot. Everyone else might want to check out the demo first.

By Isdaron on February 24, 2003

Goblins Quest 3 (DOS)

By Isdaron on June 9, 2002

Blackthorne (DOS)

By Isdaron on May 29, 2002

DreamWeb (DOS)

By Isdaron on May 26, 2002

Quarantine II: Road Warrior (DOS)

Fight your passengers

The Good
The Quarantine series has been among the first games I know to present a huge 3D open air environment - an entire city.
The graphics weren't even up to date when the game came on the market, but they were fast. And it was amazingly thrilling to ride a hover-cab through a dark future city, blasting everything out of the way.

The Bad
"Road Warrior" is the sequel to Quarantine and it doesn't change gameplay a bit. I was very disappointed, when I found out that it looks like the first part, sound like the first part and plays like the first part of the series. In fact, it is more a mission disk than a new game.

The Bottom Line
Quarantine is a dark future cab-simulation. It offers guns, passengers and 100s of mini quests, which are all very similar (drop someone off somewhere, shoot someone/something or take on another passenger). It's not among my classics, nor is it among my top ten of worst games ever. Maybe among the top 20.

By Isdaron on May 24, 2002

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