All that is to say that I do not know yet how I will cover this game. I’m just going to start playing and start typing and we’ll see what happens.
|The Chief gets no respect!|
I admit that I enjoyed this brief introductory sequence. The graphics and animation are surprising good for 1992; all of the characters are drawn very large and with plenty of cartoon-accurate detail. This style of graphics also tend to hold up pretty well over the years, compared to some of the atrocities of the early 3D era. Plus, the joke was pretty funny! If this keeps up, I might enjoy it after all!
|Go-go gadget minimalist interface!|
|But can it run Linux?|
|Metro City, USA. Coastal city with convenient commute to evil lairs.|
|One “D”: Evil Organization; Two “Ds”: Good Organization|
|What seems to be the problem officer?|
|Best not to think too hard about this.|
|When did Brain change out of his police uniform?|
|Oh no! They stole New Zealand!|
With no real strategy, I am going to go west-to-east starting in Los Angeles. I expect a kids game won’t make you solve them in a specific order, but there could be puzzle objects or similar that we have to take from one to another.
|Limo directly on the tarmac?|
|That’s what I said.|
I explore the interior of the car, but there are not too many options. There’s a car phone (quite a luxury in 1992!), but the only place we can call is a pizza restaurant and they refuse to help. We turn on the TV instead and the driver gets frustrated by all of the noise. Seeing the approach, I turn on the stereo as well and the driver literally starts to pull out his hair in frustration. Maybe he should have brought earplugs? He parks the car and comes into the back to yell at us, but Brain uses that moment to escape. Penny is not as lucky and she is thrown into a cell.
|At least there’s TV.|
|And I thought I was in the M.A.D. coffeeshop.|
|Microphone, speaker, … what’s the third wire for?|
|This does not particularly look like L.A.|
|But at least M.A.D. labels their warehouses!|
|That is awfully convenient.|
On the way out, the room with the robots is now littered with burger boxes. Is that garbage brought back by the scientist? In any event, he is nowhere to be seen. That must be our clue and it’s time to go back to “O’Ronald’s Burgers”.
|Actually, tofu burgers sound like they could be pretty good...|
Without having too much else to do, I hand Gadget the “Gadget Flashlight” that we discovered in the warehouse. That triggers an event where a waiter comes and delivers Gadget all the wrong food. He storms off to find a manager, leaving us all alone. I can now switch to Brain and pick up the uniform smock and hat from the ground, disguising him entirely unconvincingly as a restaurant employee. We can now enter the “Employees Only” door at the back of the restaurant.
|A photo-realistic picture in the game? Who is that?|
|I might be eaten by a grue?|
|Another inventory system!|
|Dead end job. Low wages. No benefits.|
|Better than ranch.|
|Gadget’s “flashlight” looks an awful lot like a gun.|
Time played: 1 hr 25 min
Gadget Inventory: Flashlight
|It’s like a magic school… book.|
One neat and completely overlooked feature of the computer book is that it has several topics that you can look up (lower-left hand icon) based on the area you are exploring. In this case, I can look up entries about Los Angeles, its smog problem, and the environmental challenges of polystyrene. These days, polystyrene containers are rarely used and banned in numerous jurisdictions in the United States.
|L.A. is a beautiful city.|
All in all, I do not find the game so far to be particularly effective with an environment message, no matter how much it tried this week. I’m curious to see how (and if) the game tries to keep up the educational subtext and to what extent it succeeds. For now, I’m off to New York to see what environmental catastrophe this game throws at me next.