Thursday 29 June 2017

Missed Classic 42: Leather Goddesses of Phobos (1986) - Introduction

What can I tell you about Leather Goddesses of Phobos? Let's check in with wikipedia...

Leather is a durable and flexible material created by tanning animal rawhide and skin

A goddess is a female deity in polytheistic religions

Phobos is the innermost and larger of the two natural satellites of Mars

Well, that explains it.

Leather Goddesses of Phobos are female deities from a moon of Mars who are made from a durable material.

But that's not the image I get in my head when I read the title.

THIS is closer to the image I get in my head, but that's Space Quest IV clearly referencing this game

Read more to find out about the game everyone is talking about

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Game 87: Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel (VGA Remake) (1992) – Introduction

Written by Alex

Alright people, let me fire up my computer, have I got a treat for you. You see, I’m finally going to get out of Sierra Land and talk to you all about a cool little game called Lure of the--

Oh brother, who’s at the door now? Maybe they’ll go away if I ignore them. Where was I?

Lure of the Temptress is a point-and-click adventure developed by Revolution Software, a British company also known for—

I guess they won’t go away. Looks like I’m going to have to go give whoever this is a piece of my mind.

Hold on a second.

*gets up to answer door*

Look here pal, I’m trying to do a review oh my God!

“Slight change of plans, buddy!”

Monday 26 June 2017

Hook - Won!, Final Rating, and More

Written by Joe Pranevich

The final battle begins!

Last week, Peter Pan got his groove back: we were able to recapture his old memories and remind him of his happy thoughts, his family. This allowed Peter to reclaim the leadership of the Lost Boys from Rufio and he reclaimed his sword before flying off to Pirate Town to rescue his kids and confront Captain Hook.

Before we start, I mentioned last week that I had read Peter and Wendy, the original 1911 novel, and was considering watching either Disney’s animated Peter Pan or the actual Hook film. Since this post won the game, I skipped the cartoon and went straight for Steven Spielberg’s Hook. I did not watch the film until after playing and writing down my rating so I promise that it didn’t interfere with the score. I’m going to conclude playing the game, talk about the movie briefly, and then finish up with the score.

Friday 23 June 2017

Kyrandia - Snakes on a Tree

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Brandon’s journal - entry #2 : Okay, I know have a perfectly useless amulet and Brynn seems to have disappeared somewhere! I certainly hope the other mystics will be able to help me. First I have to go see Darm and Brandywine, then I’ll try and get access to these darn caves…

We’ve left Brandon at the entrance of the Timbermist Woods. The first screen after the entrance leads to a big hut which seems to be the abode of Darm and his pet dragon Brandywine. Maybe they’ll be able to help me…

Worst roommate ever

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Missed Classic: Lords of Time - Won! (With Final Rating)

Written by Ilmari

7) Scifi zone

It’s a pity that this time zone has just a picture of my time machine

I ended my last post by complaining how repetitive the time zones had become and by wishing that something new would appear in the last three time zones. The seventh time zone taught me that I should stop wishing for things, since in worst case my wishes could come true.

Sunday 18 June 2017

Hook - Island of Misfit Boys

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome back! Last week, our lawyer-turned-hero had two of his teeth pulled, drugged a pirate with cocoa, and stole pirate clothes all to gain access to the famous Jolly Roger, Captain Hook’s ship, to rescue his kids. Making it there wasn’t enough: Hook easily defeated me but Tinkerbell argued that she could get me into fighting shape in three days. Hook let me go so he could have more of a challenge but still forced me to walk the plank. It’s been a fun adventure so far, but I am curious where this will go next.

As I was playing and working on this post, I also tucked into Peter and Wendy, the original Peter Pan novel from 1911. (The play came first but it was modified many times in its theatrical run.) Honestly, I do not think it will help much and puts me in a strange position where I am catching the obscure references to the original book but have no idea of even the big connections to the Hook film. Depending on how things go, I will try to either watch Disney’s animated Peter Pan or Hook for next week’s post. My first observation: this book is much darker than I expected, very focused on topics like death, memory, and the role of parents. It’s a fun read, but somehow I didn’t expect a book that would make me think so much. More on that in a bit. For now, I think I have to help Mr. Banning to stop drowning…

Friday 16 June 2017

Kyrandia - Romancing the Stones

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

Brandon’s journal - entry #1 : Damn Malcolm! This monster has turned my grandfather Kallak to stone! And now the wooden wall of his hut starts talking to me telling me about my destiny and how I’m supposed to fight this jester devil and save the world! Now if I could only find a way to read the magic note that I found on grandfather’s desk? Maybe Brynn will be able to help me…

Note : having experienced a tragic MacBook crash, this post will be shorter than usual in order to be able to release it (somewhat) on schedule. Sorry about that guys, I promise you a full-length post for next week! -Alfred

First of all and without further ado : playing Kyrandia nowadays is still a blast! The MIDI music and the low resolution graphics are still as beautiful and enchanting as it was before. Pixel art is still what’s holding up best, especially when you compare it to digitized graphics or early 3D ones! But enough of this for now, let’s try and figure these puzzles out…

Pretty hut, and with a natural elevator to boot!

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Missed Classic: Lords of Time - All Caves Look Alike

Written by Ilmari

3) Flintstones Era

I landed on a prairie, with large animals grazing around me - dinosaurs. I particularly ran into one allosaurus and one tyrannosaurus, which both started to follow me and finally had me for a lunch, if I happened on the same screen with them. The obvious answer was to lead the allosaurus to the tyrannosaurus and watch the two take care of each other.

Sunday 11 June 2017

Hook - (Won’t You Take Me to) Pirate Town

Written by Joe Pranevich

Clap if you believe in faeries!

Our game begins in a town full of pirates. If you missed the introduction, our protagonist is Peter Banning, a boring and career-obsessed lawyer with two kids. While visiting London, his kids are kidnapped by the evil Captain Hook and taken to Neverland. Mr. Banning learns that faeries are real and that he is actually Peter Pan, grown to middle-age and without his memories. Tinkerbell flies him off to Neverland and they land right smack in the middle of pirate-central. Why there and not with the Lost Boys? I have no idea! In fact, the only reason I know this much is because I vaguely remember the movie as the opening cinematic is sparse on the details. If I will need to recall the film to understand key plot elements throughout the whole game, I may get into trouble quickly.

My first impressions are not too bad. The opening area that I find myself in has a good respect for the Peter Pan mythos: the Crocodile, Hook’s ticking nemesis, stands stuffed in the center of the square as a sign that the pirates have won in Pan’s absence. The whole town seems to be made of parts of ships pulled together, perhaps from a long history of shipwrecks on the Neverland shores. Tinkerbell is my constant companion, hovering around Peter’s head, but the pirates don’t seem to pay much attention to either her or me. What am I supposed to be doing?

Friday 9 June 2017

Game 82 : Legend of Kyrandia - Introduction (1992)

Written by Alfred n’ the Fettuc

Aaaaah, Legend of Kyrandia. One of my all-time favorites! I don’t know why but the first game has always evoked images of my childhood, be it the wonderful music, the lush colours, the zany characters, the thoughtful puzzles… Needless to say I’ll be wearing huge rose-tinted glasses on this one, or I’ll find some detail point that annoys me and isn’t as good as I remember (fireberries, anyone?) and I’ll flay this piece of crap. Only the next few weeks will tell, but I’m certainly curious about playing through this one again all these years after.

That’s what I call a cover that screams adventure and danger. There is even Tinkerbell in it!

Thursday 8 June 2017

Missed Classic 41: Lords of Time (1984) - Introduction

Written by Ilmari

When it comes to Missed Classics, it's obvious that Joe's huge formerly-just-Zork-and-now-probably-whole-of-Infocom-Marathon is the main attraction right now. Because Joe is currently doing another gig in the Main Game Division (Hook), it's time for another warm-up show with a game from the company known as the British Infocom, Level 9. Braze yourselves for Lords of Time.

Why exactly does Father Time carry a scythe?

Monday 5 June 2017

Game 85: Hook - Introduction (1992)

Written by Joe Pranevich

Other than text adventures, if there is one thing I might be becoming known for here on TAG, it is playing licensed games. It was not deliberate! Yet, as I sit down to play my tenth licensed game (from James Bond to Star Trek)-- and am on the hook to play several more in 1992-- I am optimistic. Sure, these titles haven’t all been gems but our recent playthrough of Gateway proves that a licensed title can be one of the best games of the year. Even Consulting Detective, for its flaws, was a tremendously influential title. I know absolutely nothing about Hook. Will it be a surprise success? Or will I be pulling out my fingernails? Only one way to find out!

Hook does not have a deep adventure game pedigree. Published by Ocean Software (later to be bought by Infogrames and now branded as Atari), it is one of dozens of licensed games produced by that company since the early 80s. Nearly all of those were action games of one type or another and off our radar. Of the key credits, designers Bobby Earl and Kevin Oxland plus producer Jon Woods, only Mr. Woods had ever worked an adventure game before: a 1985 text adventure based on The Neverending Story. Of course, there is a first time for everything and by 1992 there were many fine examples of adventure games for new designers to take inspiration from.

Saturday 3 June 2017

Fascination - Final Rating

Written by Ilmari

We reviewers have rarely explained in detail our methods of deciding the individual scores for each category. I am sure there are as many ways to do it as we have reviewers, but personally I like to pick a few games to compare with the game I am rating. If the game is part of some series, I’ll choose an earlier part of the series, just to see if there has been any progression or regression. Even if the game is a part of a series, but especially if it isn’t, I’ll also take as a reference point a game that has something similar to the game I’m rating, but which is otherwise not related to it. Finally, I want to choose game reviewed by another person, just so my ratings would be in line with what the other reviewers are doing. Thus, when I have rated games by Level 9, I have made comparisons to my own earlier reviews of their games, but I’ve also checked what ratings Joe Pranevich has given to Infocom and Sierra Hi-Res games with similar themes.

In this particular instance, I’ve chosen to compare ratings of Fascination to my own ratings of the earlier Coktel Vision erotic adventure, Geisha, and their slightly better game, Legend of Djel, but also to the ratings of another Coktel Vision game, Bargon Attack, reviewed by Alfred ‘n the Fettuc, and to ratings of a French adventure game from a completely different company, Eternam, reviewed by Aperama. Let’s see what will be the result!

Contestant number 1: Fascination

Contestant number 2: Geisha

Contestant number 3: Legend of Djel

Contestant number 4: Bargon Attack

Contestant number 5: Eternam

Thursday 1 June 2017

Dark Seed - Final Rating

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

This is going to be a tough one. Dark Seed is a game that’s particularly average on a lot of points, be it writing or puzzle design. However, the universe and ambiance is kinda compelling so it lasts in your mind after you’ve finished. This game as a sort of je ne sais quoi (pardon my french) that partly explains its cult status despite all its shortcomings, but I’m not 100% sure it will show in the PISSED rating. Without further ado, let’s begin the judging!

A little shower and we’re off.