Friday 29 March 2019

Curse of Enchantia - 20000 Leagues Under Quality Game Design

Written by Alfred n the Fettuc

One of the greatest things about The Adventure Gamer blog is that we have the opportunity to find out exactly how good the games we didn’t play back in the day actually are. Sure, it’s always great to read more about Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis or Monkey Island, but it’s the unknown games that really get my attention. Sometimes you can find a diamond in the rough, some unknown great game. For example, it’s thanks to this game that I finally got around to play Gateway and I don’t regret one second of it, it was a great game! Sometimes, time has just forgotten excellent games that you never took the time to actually play.

And sometimes not. Sometimes games are forgotten because they are utterly horrible garbage.

Please tell me you’ve come to release me of my misery

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Gobliiins - Final Rating

By Ilmari

Gobliiins is one of those games, which definitely have flaws, but still manage to be, on the whole, charming and fun to play. It will be interesting to see whether the good parts will manage to outweigh the weaknesses or not.

There’s something immensely enjoyable in scenes like this

Sunday 24 March 2019

Game 107: Curse of Enchantia - Introduction

Written by Alfred n’ the Fettuc

The English game development studio Core Design is first and foremost known for the Tomb Raider series, being the creator of one of the biggest franchises in video game history (and solely responsible for the rise of Eidos Interactive, their parent company, that would still be active as far as 2009, where it was purchased and absorbed by Square Enix). However their story begins much earlier than that with another cult classic: Rick Dangerous. This Indiana Jones inspired platformer was one huge hit during the Amiga golden days (and one game I really loved despite being utterly incapable of going past the fifth screen or so). Also responsible for other (less cult) classics such as Impossamole, Heimdall and Chuck Rock, the studio saw the rise of adventure games as an opportunity, and basically decided to get their shot at the genre that was printing money for Lucasarts and Sierra in the 90s.

Art by Rolf Mohr, who would become the concept
artist for the Telltale
Batman series, among other things.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Missed Classic: Spellbreaker - The Incredible Shrinking Man

Written by Joe Pranevich

Welcome back! Last week, I was able to puzzle my way past a splash-down with a hungry fish, bring a statue to life just long enough to steal something from its mouth, shrink a snake, and insult The Phantom Menace. As I have mentioned before, the game seems very random with sequences of puzzle vignettes that are connected through teleportation rather than a contiguous world. In all of this, I was able to snag my fourth cube and I am approximately 1/4th of the way through the game. I will have to pick up the pace or you will be reading about Spellbreaker forever, but it is a hard game to rush. Besides, if this is the final “original” Zork game, I want to savor the experience… or at least to give it the best possible shake.

I know I was a bit down on this game when I started, although it may have had as much to do with my own mental place while playing as anything else. I’ve taken a pause and a reset and am approaching the game with refreshed eyes. I’ve replayed the entire game up to this point and can better see the connective tissue. We’ll see how it plays out as I approach the finish.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Gobliiins - Into the Fire

By Ilmari

Statue of Serenity - made by Joss Whedon?

Or maybe it is a statue OF him?

Thursday 14 March 2019

Missed Classic: Spellbreaker - Romancing the Stone

Written by Joe Pranevich

A few years back, I spent some time studying Shakespeare. I’m not going to claim some amazing insight into the bard, but as I read each play I was always struck by a moment of realization when I saw what he was up to. It’s not fair to compare Infocom with one of the seminal writers of the English language, but most of their games has similarly featured a moment of realization when you discover exactly what kind of game you are playing. For Spellbreaker, I think I hit that point in the last post. Here’s my prediction: we’re going to spend the game visiting largely disconnected regions and solving puzzles. In each area or so, we’ll find a white cube which will propel the narrative forward to another area. I don’t quite see the endgame yet, but some magic will allow us to access the blocked exits in each of the cubes to solve a final puzzle which will end the series. Let’s see how off the mark I am.

Honestly, I’ve already been off the mark once in this game. I expected it to be more of a chase as we constantly nipped at the heels of the orange-smoke assailant, exploring regions and solving puzzles as a means to get closer and closer to him. That hasn’t turned out to be the case, but I suppose there is still plenty of time to catch up to him.

Last week, we ended as I snagged a second white cube off of a hermit who lived on top of an avalanche. I climbed the rockfall by pausing time at just the right moment and scaling the boulders in flight. I magically fixed his hut and was rewarded with the cube. That led me to a “Soft Room” which is where I will start today. Let’s go!

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Gobliiins: Underneath a Carrot Patch

By Ilmari

I had managed to get in wizard’s house, but then I had no idea what I was expected to achieve. Time for plan B, that is, random clicking around. What I soon found out was that the big skeleton was very ticklish and dropped a skeleton key, if I used a feather on him. I couldn’t take the key right away, because the skeleton was guarding it.

And he was mightily pissed

Monday 11 March 2019

Rex Nebular - Final Rating

Written by TBD

It seems weird to make a big deal about your manual being written by an award winning game designer when he had nothing to do with the game itself.

So let's get to rating Rex Nebular and the Cosmic Gender Bender. I'll start with some general thoughts. I was really surprised (and rather pleased) that the game didn't contain a whole heap of sex-based jokes. That type of humour can very quickly become repetitive and boring so well done.

Having said that, I enjoyed the game a lot more at the beginning. I was wondering if it was just that the humour got stale after a while, but I really think it's more because much more effort was put into the beginning of the game than the late game. More items seem to have unique and detailed descriptions earlier whereas later in the game there are a lot more generic or shorter responses.

Wednesday 6 March 2019

Missed Classic: Spellbreaker - Avalanche!

Written by Joe Pranevich

Wow! It’s been a while. How have you been? Family good? Any of you have children who grew up, went to college, started a family, and then had children of their own still waiting for a Spellbreaker update? I am sorry about that, but life has been a bit extra challenging these last few weeks and writing needed to take a back seat. The other issue is that this game isn’t really “singing” to me. It’s good and all, but I’m not really getting drawn to the story or the puzzles in the usual way for Infocom. I’ll discuss that more in a bit and in upcoming posts, but the end result is that not having enough time, plus having to force myself to play and write when I did have the time, made for a longer than usual time between posts. I’ll try to do better with the remainder of the series now that real life has settled a bit. I apologize for my tardiness.

Where we left off last time, I had just survived (somehow) an attack where all of the elders of all of the magical guilds in the world were all turned into frogs. Why was I not affected? That remains a core mystery. I chased after the assailant, but he teleported away in a cloud of orange smoke, leaving me only with a white cube left in the middle of the street and a new spell in my spellbook. When I cast that new spell on the cube, I was transported away into a dark room. That’s all we’ve done so far, so let’s see what happens next!

Sunday 3 March 2019

Gobliiins - Collecting Reagents

By Ilmari

Happened last time: the goblins were asked to collect three magical reagents - Airain’s Mushroom, Arachnide’s Elixir and Bald Plant - which the wizard needed for curing the goblin king.

I hope his ears are waxless

In this level the obvious goal was to get past the Igor wannabe. The basic solution was pretty simple.

No, it did not involve the monster mask lying on the path

Friday 1 March 2019