Tuesday, 26 July 2016

EcoQuest - Seagull and Dolphin

Written by Reiko

Adam Greene Journal #1: "The other kids here are so boring! I just wanna play with the dolphin and help my dad. These poor animals get trashed and it's up to us to fix them up! I love feeding the dolphin and playing frisbee with him to make him feel better. But today he started acting a little weird, and then he started TALKING! So cool! He wants me to let him out of here so he can go search for King Cetus in order to save his city. Should I let him out?"

Why would I want to go outside if I can work with a dolphin?

So I'm diving into the world of EcoQuest with Adam Greene, a spunky ten-year-old who loves the ocean and working with sea animals with his dad. When I start up the game, Adam is hanging out with his dad in their lab at a temporary research center for the "Ecology Network". Dad suggests Adam go play volleyball with some other kids, but Adam just wants to stay and help in the lab. Amusingly enough, the book that Adam's reading at the beginning is described as the hintbook for EcoQuest, but once the game starts, "Adam doesn't have time to look at the hint book. (Rats!)"

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Elvira II - Final Rating

By Deimar

I don’t think you really know how happy I am of finally being able to click there...

And the second Elvira game, the third for Horrosoft, is in the can now. Finally, I might add. I was reviewing my opinions of Elvira I, as comparisons between them are inevitable, and I can say that it is better than this one.

I thought that the first one was a game that didn’t know if it was an adventure game or an RPG. The second one tends more to its RPG side, but it is simply not very interesting. The spell system is almost completely useless; there is no reward for exploration (beyond looking at more brown walls); at no point you feel like becoming more powerful; and there are no opportunities to really role-play you character. And all of that goes in detriment of its adventure side, which is roughly less than one third of the game. And although I really like how it is presented, I can also see the sacrifices made to integrate the RPG side.

Summing up, Elvira II feels a bit disjointed. It wants to be an RPG but it is not. Let’s see how this affects its PISSED rating.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Interview with Mike Woodroffe

Introduction by Joe Pranevich

Head of Adventure Soft, Horror Soft, and Adventure International UK

A couple of weeks back, we posted a call for questions for an interview with Mike Woodroffe. And while he hasn’t been able to answer all of our questions, he has been kind enough to give us a peek into the thought processes behind one of the most important adventure game companies in Europe, if not globally. Here on The Adventure Gamer, we’ve still only scratched the surface of his catalog, covering Seas of Blood (1984), Robin Of Sherwood (1984), Elvira (1990), and Elvira II (1991). I know of at least ten more adventures that he created or was heavily involved in, several of which are already on the list for us to play in the future. Almost two dozen more were games that he helped shepherd to market in his role as head of several adventure game companies. He has made a terrific impact on our genre and I’m glad that he agreed to take some time to speak with us.

So without any more fanfare, here is our brief interview with Mr. Woodroffe, plus some bonus information from my correspondence with him over the last several weeks.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Heart of China - Curse of the Ninja!

Written by Aperama

First, I'd just like to apologise to everyone. I'm not going to make any real excuses or do anything more than just explain – ninjas attacked my computer. Oh, sure, it was a 'fixable' thing, but it was undoubtedly the work of black-clad people who broke into my house mid-way through the night. Smoke arose from my computer and it died – and we all know what ninjas do with smoke, after all. It's been so long since I got to talk about this game that you've probably all forgotten about it – so my apologies. Ninjas. What can you do?

Okay! I get the picture! Ninjas 'didn't' kill my computer! No problems, Sir!

Anyhow. For those who weren't paying attention last time around...

We even get a postcard!

I'm at a bit of an impasse which is rare for me in my time here on the Adventure Gamer – I had to stop because I didn't feel I'd be able to get enough information down in the space of a post, instead of wanting a break from the game. Heart of China is really quite fun! Dynamix is borderline amazing at managing to take a whole bunch of small things that really could irk (there are so many stereotyped characters and iffy dialogue spots that it would be out and out considered racist these days I feel) and still coming out with something that feels a bit more than the sum of its parts. Last I left the bunch of you, Lucky, Kate and Chi were all piled onto a plane and deciding whether they should try to rush back to Hong Kong and E.A. Lomax's safe arms.. or if, y'know, they should actually cure Kate of the poisonous cobra bite that was completely Lucky's fault.. or Chi's for not being willing to fight a cobra. Or even Li Deng's – why on Earth he thought 'surrounded by a pit of cobras' was a reasonable way of holding a hostage...

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Game 72: EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus - Introduction (1991)

Written by Reiko

EcoQuest will be my first "normal" adventure game for the blog. Castle of Dr. Brain was a puzzle game primarily, and Timequest was a text adventure with a few graphics. But not only is EcoQuest intended to be an easy game, since there's no way to die or cause an unwinnable state, but it's also a game with an agenda: environmentalism. So maybe it's not such a normal game after all.