Monday, 23 December 2013

Guest Game 1: Circuit's Edge - Introduction

Quick note from The Trickster: Since there's no possible way that I could play every adventure game ever made (any questions, speak to my wife), I've decided to implement a new feature. For any game rejected from the playlist, a companion can volunteer to play through it and send through posts to go up on the The Adventure Gamer. Zenic Reverie is the first brave adventurer to give this a go, with 1990's Circuit's Edge. This game was released between Conquests of Camelot and Earthrise, which is why we're doing this now, but I'll be playing through Earthrise at the same time. It should be an exciting and active time here, just in time for the festive season! As usual, feedback is welcome. The blog is and always will be about the readers. As a final note, you can assume everything in these guest blogs are straight from the guest, unless otherwise stated. In this case, the caption comments below are mine. So we begin a new era...


Marid wears his sunglasses at night so he can, so he can...

Hello all, I'm ZenicReverie, and I have the pleasure of presenting Circuit's Edge: an adventure-RPG hybrid initially rejected by The Trickster's criteria. The game was developed by Westwood Associates (later renamed Westwood Studios), and published by Infocom. Infocom by this time was little more than a shell of its former glory, nothing more than a publishing label used by Activision for its name recognition. Infocom, the development studio, was sold to Activision in 1986 after a bad investment in a piece of business software. Activision's strict requirements of the studio forced Infocom to release games before their time. In 1989, Infocom was moved to California, and into its new role as a publishing arm of Activision. They had a close relationship with newly budding development studio Westwood Associates. For anyone that also follows CRPGAddict, you should recognize the developer of such classics as BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception and Mines of Titan, a pair of games that fell short during their finales. Let's hope for a more complete experience with Circuit's Edge.



I think this is quite a cool cover. It manages to bring to mind the world of secret agents yet with a cyberpunk feel.

This game won't be the only time Westwood dips their toe in the adventure genre; previously focused on RPGs at the time and RTS shortly after, an adventure game doesn't seem too far from the mark. Still, they're best known for their Command & Conquer series released under Westwood Studios, but other notable titles are Lands of Lore, Eye of the Beholder, and Dune. Looking ahead we see The Legend of Kyrandia series, which have all been accepted onto Trickster's main list. It gives hope that this game isn't only an adventure in name alone.


Zenic, you better not smash those shades! We have a limited budget for this project!

Circuit's Edge is based on When Gravity Fails, a cyberpunk/sci-fi novel by George Alec Effinger. Based on the author profile and personalized introduction from the author it appears he was closely involved in the adaptation of the story. The manual, which I helpfully found at Museum of Adventure Game History (http://mocagh.org/) has a guide to the local characters, locations, and a glossary of terms compiled by Mr. Effinger, which I'm sure I'll need to reference. Both the game and novel follow the exploits of Marid Audran as he survives day-by-day in the seedy underbelly of an unnamed city somewhere in a Middle-Eastern backdrop. The area of the city where the action takes place is called The Budayeen. It's described as an entertainment district where anything goes. Marid is a freelancer employed by the local "godfather" known as Papa who convinced Marid to get his brain wired to accept personality mods and soft skills. Now, before we get to comparing this to Neuromancer, there doesn't appear to be any matrix to jack into.


I'm pretty sure we'd all be screwed!

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: Please note that the same rules regarding spoilers and hints that apply to games The Trickster is playing through apply to games guest bloggers are playing through. CAPs will be awarded for required assistance and taken away for any unrequested spoilers not in ROT13. Finally, since this is our first guest blogger, we're also having a guest sponsor! TBD has generously offered The Secret of Monkey Island from Steam to anyone that can predict what score Zenic will give Circuit's Edge.

29 comments:

  1. Is this game getting a guest PISSED rating as well? If so, I'm going 47. Manhunter territory.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's up to Zenic whether or not he wants to give the game a PISSED rating. Either way, there will be no prize.

      Delete
    2. What do you mean, no prize?

      Delete
    3. I couldn't expect you to sponsor prizes for the guest games as well Lars-Erik. Unless, of course, you wanted to!?

      Delete
    4. It makes sense that for a guest blogger we should have a guest sponsor. I'm happy to guest sponsor this game.

      I'll have to skip the King's Quest collection though because it's region locked on Steam and the GOG version doesn't include the 1990 remake. I can offer the winner a copy of Secret of Monkey Island on Steam though!

      Delete
    5. I'm a bit behind on the blog (If you think I'm bad here, you should see how much further I am behind on Chet's blog!) so I haven't accepted my prize yet; I'll donate it to whomever gets the right score on this game.

      Oh and 46. Who says I can't enter my own contest?

      Delete
    6. Eh, hadn't really thought about it Trickster. Although it seems like you're well covered with prizes this round, so I guess we'll pick it up next time. ;)

      Delete
  2. Sure! I could probably go with a PISSED rating. Feel free to submit guess and bets if you like. I'll use my personal CAPs for rewards unless Trickster wants to give them out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no need to use your own CAPs Zenic. After all, you're doing a good thing for the community.

      Delete
  3. I like this guest-reviews-for-rejected-games idea!

    Fun to see another cyberpunk game. The Neuromancer review inspired me to re-read that book, and I'm now on to Count Zero, the second in the Sprawl trilogy.

    On the subject of Neuromancer and cyberpunk games: Shadowrun Returns released while I was re-reading Neuromancer, and it was interesting to see just how strongly the Shadowrun universe was inspired by Gibson's Sprawl world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm betting 68. Eons ahead of Manhunter, IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't think I've seen this two-part interview with Noah Falstein posted here yet.

    https://www.develop-online.net/interview/not-making-star-wars-games-was-a-godsend-the-early-days-of-lucasarts-part-one/0187107

    http://www.develop-online.net/interview/we-didn-t-know-what-was-possible-until-we-tried-it-the-early-days-of-lucasarts-part-two/0187133

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll lowball it and guess 40, on the assumption that it was rejected because nobody found it interesting enough to spend CAPS on.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Certainly sounds interesting... I'll have to go with a 56 for the final score.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This one doesn't look like it will break the fifties barrier. I will guess a 44.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yay, more adventure gamer to read.I think I'll go with 52 as I know only what is written above about this game. Have fun Zenic.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice to finally see a guest blogger! I have no idea what score this will get, so I'll randomly pick 45.

    ReplyDelete
  11. BTW Trickster, would it be possible to set the Recent and Future Destinations up so that we could see not just what game you are currently playing, but what game is being guest blogged?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow... pretty underwhelming, you guys. For the 1st adventure/RPG game that features drugs and hos, it's a rather cold reception. XD

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hmmm. Cyberpunk, ah the genre I have the most love-hate relationship with. That said, I just finished Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams, and would love to read parts 2 and 3 if I can ever find them. Not a GREAT novel, but a very solid middle-of-the-road cyberpunk novel that remembers the core of cyberpunk (High tech, low life).

    On to this game: MAN those aviators make it feel out of date. Is that just me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course it's just you! Them aviators are the bomb! Probably has some kind of visual-neural interface feeding additional info to the brain via some kind of daddy mod implants.

      Delete
    2. I still prefer the glasses from say, The Matrix (Though that is now 15 years old!) or Deus Ex: Human Revolution to aviators.

      Delete
    3. Well... it's evolution. You can't get those stuff in the 2000's without these here shades from the 90s.

      Delete
  14. Since it wasn't found accepted within Tricksters rules, I'd guess it won't fare well in the PISSED system either. 48 perhaps?

    ReplyDelete
  15. If you want to play along, Circuit's Edge can be streamed from Archive.org at: https://archive.org/details/msdos_Circuits_Edge_1990

    Note that you can't save in the streaming version of DOSBOX they use, but if you want to give it a go with zero set up, give it a try.

    ReplyDelete