In 1986 Amblin Entertainment (Steven Spielberg’s movie studio) decided to challenge a certain other animation studio’s market dominance on animated anthropomorphic mice. Their champion was a movie about a jewish-russian mouse named Fievel Mousekewitz, who has to leave Russia with his family, to avoid persecution by anti-semittic cats. The Mousekewitzes decide to go to America after being told that there are no cats there. They manage to board a ship to New York (where else?), but before they arrive at their destination, there’s a storm, and Fievel gets washed overboard. Believing that he’s dead, the rest of his family continue on their journey. Fievel manages to hike a ride with a floating empty bottle and ends up in New York after all, where he sets out to reunite with his family.
|Ah, the play on words (tail/tale)|
In 1991 Amblin made a sequel, An American tail: Fievel goes west, in which the Mousekewitzes decide to travel west to seek better fortune (and fewer cats). While it was less well received by critics than the original, it still did pretty ok at the box office.
|A game of two titles|
I know I saw the original as a kid (though I don’t remember much of it), but I’m pretty sure I’ve never watched the sequel.
Well, in 1993 Capstone Software released the game I’m about to play. It was developed by Manley & Associates, inc., whom I’ve never heard of before. They were later acquired by Electronic Arts and renamed EA Seattle, but were closed down in 2002.
After spending a fair amount of time doing research, I’m still slightly uncertain about the correct title for it. Most sources seem to use the two subtitles The Computer Adventures of Fievel and Fievel Goes West interchangeably. Mobygames states that the game is based on both movies. To complicate matters, a SNES platform game was released in 1994, titled An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, which is totally unrelated to the 1993 one. We’ll of course be looking into the 1993 point and click adventure.
Ok, enough beating about the bush, let’s start the game up.
The intro is fairly short and simple, consisting of a couple of screenshots that detail the beginning of the story.
|And they lived happily ever after. The end|
|But no! The party get spoiled by…. cat-Cossacks?!|
|Um… have they not heard about Broadway?|
|It’s only the Atlantic ocean. How big could it be?|
|Will this be the first adventure game to have an in-world explanation for how you can carry around impossibly large objects?|
|As with Rome and the roads, all oceanic currents lead to New York|
According to the manual I will be able to pick up stuff at some point, and apparently Fievel’s hat can be used as a hint system(?!) Guess I’ll have to test that out.
Also, I’m not sure if I should watch the movie(s) before I start playing for real, or if there’s a chance of spoiling anything regarding plot or puzzles. It would also be interesting to know if the graphics were made specifically for the game, or if they were allowed to utilize anything from the movies. Maybe we’ll find out!