Wednesday 30 May 2018

Inspector Gadget - From Russia with Gadgets

Written by Joe Pranevich

Inspector Gadget isn’t a bad game by any stretch, but as I am inching closer to the end it is becoming… boring. The writing is still good (and occasionally brilliant), but the lack of care that the developers take with their settings and puzzles is making it difficult for me to want to keep playing. There’s been precisely one puzzle this entire game that required you to have Penny and Brain work together. None of the “disguise” puzzles have been more than just picking up the only objects visible in the room. I know I am not the target audience, but I am ready for this game to be done soon. I seem to have a knack for playing “occasionally brilliant but mostly just boring” games these days since I have been playing Icewind Dale and Quest for Glory V in my off time. I expect those are not popular opinions, but I keep having the same problem. If I wanted boring, I’d play The Bard’s Tale III...

As we start this week, Gadget and Penny have arrived in Moscow, only recently freed from the shackles of the Soviet Union. We have a decade until Putin, so what type of trouble can we get into in Yeltsin’s Russia? And I don’t just mean by the Bard’s Tale fans...

Sunday 27 May 2018

B.A.T. II - All Roads Lead to Roma

By Ilmari

Last time I had got the mission to check out the major deed holders of echiatone industry, but before that I wanted to take a tour of the town. I had just doubled my capital and I was convinced I had plenty to go with. I had 20 000 credits and one trip through the local “subway” would cost 300 credits - I could do plenty of journeys with my money.

Well, I boarded the express-via and it wasn’t really a subway.

I am flying through tunnels alone in this shuttle

After choosing my destination, I got to decide whether to use the express-via automatically or manually. Just for curiosity, I tried to do it manually. I did manage to get somewhere, but I had bumbed too many fellow drivers and had to pay extra 700 credits for it. I reloaded and did the same trip with autopilot. It turned out to mean automatic addition of 700 credits to the cost of one trip.

Isn’t this covered by insurance?

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Inspector Gadget - I Escaped a Crane Down in Africa

Written by Joe Pranevich

The voice of the people have spoken! Although I had considered fast-forwarding through the remainder of the episodes, you have convinced me to savor the events as they come. As such, I expect there to be three most posts before we get to the ending: Moscow, Hong Kong, and (presumably) New York. I could be wrong since I haven’t played this game before, but it’s probably a good guess. Part of me is looking forward to getting back to the Infocom marathon, especially as Hitchhiker’s Guide is next, but I can wait a few more weeks.

By way of warning, most of this post was written while running a fever so if anything seems more off the wall than usual, just blame the Tylenol. There’s also a major “political correctness” issue in this episode which I will want to talk about after the gameplay. I already know the pitfalls of bringing 2018 ideals into a 1992 game, but in this case I think there’s a good debate and I’m honestly curious for your views. I’m not quite as upset about it as the fake-Portuguese, but I’ll let you try to figure out what “it” is before I get to the end. Ready? Let’s save another U.N. ambassador!

Monday 21 May 2018

B.A.T. II - Fighting the Machine

By Ilmari

Last time I had just finished creating my B.A.T. agent, Andy Panthro, and released him in the planet called Shedishan, where Koshan trust was trying to get a monopoly for the production of echiatone, a valuable mineral. Based on intro, I had the idea that echiatone could be found only on Bedhin 6, a natural satellite of Shedishan, but I’ve since learned it can be found in small asteroids, created by a collision of Bedhin 6 with meteorites, and even on Shedishan itself, in craters created by former chunks of Bedhin 6.

The intro of the game had given me one simple task: find Sylvia Hadford, the other agent of B.A.T. This was pretty simple, since she was staying in a hotel nearby where I started.

What’s that thing hanging from your hair?

Sylvia gave me my next mission. I was to go to the Automatic Information Center in Minerva Tower and find out the most important deed holders for the echiatone industry of the planet.

And that was all the plot development you’ll get this time. Good night everyone!

But wait. How could I play the game for almost 20 hours and not get any further?

Saturday 19 May 2018

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - Final Rating

by Alex

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War was not planned. It was an afterthought, a bridge, a diversion based on the idea that Rakeesh and Uhura’s homeland and story was too interesting to just be mentioned in passing in Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire. It also had the added bonus of easing the Hero, and his narrative, into the decidedly more unfriendly and dangerous confines of Mordavia in the subsequent Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness. And so we got a glorious accidental gem of an adventure that stands proudly toe-to-toe with the rest of this venerable franchise.

In subjecting Wages of War to the PISSED rating system, I’m going to try really hard to perform a nostalgia-ectomy and judge the game on its own merits--and by the guidelines of the PISSED scale--instead of just going “OMG 10/10 FIVE STARS IF YOU DON’T LIKE THIS U SUCK!”

Pictured: a scene from my nostalgia-ectomy.

It will be difficult, but I can do this. I have you, The Adventure Gamer’s loyal readership to keep me honest here. Let’s do this, hero-style!

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Discussion Point: What kind of game deserves a high score in Puzzles and Solvability?

By The TAG Team

It’s certainly easier to make a bad than a good adventure game, and therefore it is no wonder that we’ve seen a lot more examples of the former than the latter. Indeed, our reviewers feel that they have no problem deciding when a game deserves a low score in some category. On the other hand, since we have less examples of good games, it is more difficult to say when a game deserves 9 or even 10 in some category. Thus, we’ve decided to do a series of six discussion points, each dealing with a simple question: what would a game have to be like to deserve a high score in this particular category?
Puzzles and Solvability

Monday 14 May 2018

Inspector Gadget - Deja-Vu in London, Too

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome back! We’ve been traveling around the world so much we will soon need to hire Rockapella. (What? Is that reference too dated?) In the last two weeks, we’ve rescued one U.N. environmental ambassador from a life making “secret sauce” for a fast-food restaurant in Los Angeles and another from a similar life creating toothpicks down in Rio de Janeiro. Thus far, the game has been fun, if a bit simple and aimed at children. The humor has been well-done and the animation is better than I expected, but all the same the plots are feeling a bit repetitive. This week, I am crossing the Atlantic to rescue another U.N. representative in London.

What do I mean by “repetitive”? Last week, I discovered that this game appears to follow a set pattern for each episode: Penny and Brain are kidnapped, Brain escapes, Penny discovers where she’s been taken, Brain rescues her, they go to a final puzzle at a different location to rescue the U.N. ambassador. I’m going to see if that holds up a third time.

Saturday 12 May 2018

Game 96: B.A.T. II – The Koshan Conspiracy (1992)

By Ilmari

I am afraid I am in the difficult position of a vocabulary apprentice replacing two very able wordsmiths. Firstly, we usually let a single reviewer do one series so that through cumulative experience they will see whether a game has improved on its predecessors or not. Unfortunately, Aperama was so put off by what can only be described as the inherent Frenchiness of the first B.A.T., so we struck a deal that I would do the sequel, if he would do this nice fun game called Eternam… look how well that went. In any case, Aperama is spending some well-earned time off, so he isn’t even available for this game.

I guess this is far greater adventure than any Computer’s Dream could make up

My only hope was that Chester Bolingbroke, our much appraised colleague working under the alias CRPG Addict, would one day also review this game, like he did its predecessor, thus making up for my frailties. Then I happened to read Mr. Addict’s take on B.A.T. and to my great consternation I found out he wasn’t even considering doing Koshan Conspiracy, because it was categorised as an adventure/strategy -hybrid by Mobygames.

I am truly alone now

Thursday 10 May 2018

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - With A Little Help From My Friends - WON!

By Alex

Please note that the above bit of artwork is an unused asset from Quest for Glory III, but it’s such a good picture that’s so representative of the game’s end sequence that I had to put it in.

But let’s back up a bit. When we left off, war had broken out between the Simbani and the Leopardmen, thanks to demonic influence at the peace conference that I helped set up.

Dead bodies . . . dead bodies everywhere.

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Inspector Gadget - Send in the Clones

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome back! Last week, we successfully helped Inspector Gadget rescue our first UN diplomat, Caroline M’Bega, who was trapped in a life of making secret sauce for an tofu-but-evil fast-food corporation. We also learned an important lesson about… er… polystyrene containers? Smog? Fast food? Something? I’m pretty sure we learned an important lesson, but I can’t remember what it was now. I ended last week saying that my next stop would be New York, proceeding on the map from west to east. When I arrived, I was essentially told that there was nothing going on there (yet) so I picked my next destination instead, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! For the soundtrack to this post, I recommend that you stick with my childhood memories: “Welcome to Rio” from the 1979 album, “Mickey Mouse Disco”. For no discernable reason, the tracks on this album have stuck with me for nearly four decades despite only hearing it a few times while sleeping over at a friend’s house. You can listen to this enjoyable tune while reading here:

Last week, a reader asked if Caroline M’Bega was a reference to… wait. Hold on a second. I just noticed the signs. The first sign is “Aero Puerto” which you are probably thinking is just fine, but no. That is the Spanish word for “airport” and here in Brazil, they speak Portuguese. The correct spelling should be “aeroporto”. Do the developers not know the difference between Spanish and Portuguese? Or is this the real way it is spelled in Brazilian Portuguese? Even worse is the “U No Parko” that is just an offensive parody of the language. I believe in Brazil they used a crossed-out “E” symbol for “proibido estacionar”. Will we have to deal with offensive caricatures of language in every country we visit? Sorry. Maybe no one cares about this stuff, especially in a kids game, but this is practically offensive.

Wednesday 2 May 2018

Quest for Glory Retrospective

By TAG community

There’s something magical in Quest for Glory series, and generations of gamers have been put under its spell. With this retrospective we want to commemorate the series and honour the golden memories of people who enjoyed it. Yes, memories. Before we look at the individual games of the series, let’s listen to the story of one Quest for Glory fan.

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - Scheming Demons Dressed in Kingly Guise

By Alex

“So Alex, what did you do in Tarna today?”

Oh, you know, just:
  • Dispelled an enchanted Leopardwoman; 
  • Won the Simbani initiation rite and became a Simbani warrior; 
  • Got married; 
  • Found the Leopardmen, returned their Magic Drum, and took the Spear of Death back to the Simbani; 
  • Arranged a peace conference between the Simbani and the Leopardmen before King Rajah of Tarna and the Council of Judgment; 
  • Inadvertently caused the outbreak of war; 
  • And even got a little reward for my troubles, if you know what I mean. 
Not to mention I defeated a few timing-related bugs that threatened to deep-six this entire adventure.

That’s right people, it’s time for another thrilling episode of Wages of War!