Saturday 10 June 2023

Blue Force – Final Rating

by Alex
I am a slow writer. S-l-o-w. For a playthrough that began on October 25, 2022, I’m just getting to the Final Rating. I am as slow as Jake Ryan walking across Carter’s Marina for the 9,473rd time and there’s no way to adjust the speed, both in-game and in real-life. Yes, I’m that slow.

Now that you’ve accepted my apology, let’s get to the PISSED rating for Blue Force.

Puzzles and Solvability: 2

This rating may seem unfairly, punishingly low, but one thing I noticed while playing Blue Force is that there were precious few puzzles that required much intuition. Most of the time, it was a click-fest to find the thing you know you need, like the glass-puncher from useless Officer Harrison’s trunk to get the drunk guy out the screwdriver on the Future Wave to open the emergency box to get the flare (still mad I couldn’t take the whiskey).
Also, still laughing at the fact that this clown didn’t even know what was in HIS OWN TRUNK.
The puzzles, such as they existed, when they weren’t just “Go here and click this thing on that guy” (which is adventure gaming in a nutshell, I get it) were just kind of silly. Harrison not knowing what’s in his trunk? A random screwdriver in a pouch on the back of a seat? Playing “Let’s plug everything into everything else and see what happens?” Like I said at the time, I knew that I needed to smoke Bradley Green out of the Future Wave’s cabin, but (a) I found the diesel-soaked rag way earlier and seemingly randomly, and (b) the means of starting the fire should have been more logically placed. Overall, the puzzles weren’t much fun, nor did they provide a sense of accomplishment. At least when I caught a horse fart in a bag in Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, I had to work for that bit of equine flatulence!
Truly a work o fart.
The only puzzles I liked were using Jake’s father’s nickel to distract Mr. Carter so you could grab the keys to the Future Wave, and throwing a grenade at someone.
I’m going to be comparing this game a lot to the last Jim Walls-designed game I’ve played, Police Quest III. I gave that game a 3 for this category, lamenting that I couldn’t give it a 3.5. In Police Quest III, the puzzle quality tapered off near the end, but at first there was actually some amount of both logical and lateral thinking required, and the paperwork puzzles and other administrivia Sonny had to deal with made you feel like a cop. Blue Force is even more poorly designed than that: you get things you need for later puzzles well before they’re actually needed, which sort of throws the gameplay loop off. I mean, there is a certain intuition needed to notice the rare coins in Mr. Carter’s shop, and then going through your inventory to realize you have this rare nickel you picked up seemingly for no reason at all in the study at Jake’s grandma’s house. It never felt satisfying in a way that, say Conquest of the Longbow’s puzzles did.

And don’t get me started on visiting the marina first thing and getting inexplicably blown away by a mystery assailant who comes out of nowhere.

I cannot in good conscience rate Blue Force’s puzzles equal to even Police Quest III’s. Blue Force’s were either too easy or too annoying. Understanding developer intent and what they were going for is one thing, but it doesn’t make the puzzles any better.

Interface and Inventory: 4

I’m giving this a 4 solely for the command wheel that pops up when you right-click the mouse button. It freezes the game and gives you an opportunity to make your selection. This was a bit jarring at first for me, being more used to the mouse-driven interface in games by companies like Sierra and LucasArts, but it didn’t take long for me to not only appreciate it, but like it. If only this game presented real-time challenges where the time-stopping would have actually mattered.
Otherwise, the interface is pretty standard fare, with some things I noticed which prevent me from giving a higher rating.

First, there aren’t many things to click on and get descriptions of in each room. I contrast this with Sierra games, where a part of the fun was clicking every icon on everything and everyone in a given screen just to see what funny responses you can come up with. Second, while I like that the inventory is constantly displayed on the bottom of the screen, it does eat up a lot of real estate, and the descriptions are only bare-bones. Again to compare to a Sierra game, even a weaker entry like Leisure Suit Larry 5 has funny messages for every inventory object in addition to helpful descriptions. Things like this sound minor, but they add to the richness of the game world. Lastly, Blue Force doesn’t have a speed slider! Given how slowly Jake walks, this is particularly egregious. It made me not want to keep playing in the parts where I was stumped and needed to do the classic adventure gamer thing of revisiting every place to see if I missed anything. You should know better, Mr. Walls. Shame on you. Shame shame!
“Don’t make me come to your house again.”
Hey, at least there’s no driving minigame! That’s something nice to say about Blue Force!

Story and Setting: 3

This is a tough one, quite honestly, because the story of a rookie cop who joined the force to be like his deceased father is a good enough backstory for me. However, the tie-in to (SPOILER ALERT) Jake’s parents murder was very hackneyed. Further, the game’s, quite frankly, quaint and cozy feel didn’t lend itself well to the heavy plot involving murder and arms smuggling. The main villain came from out of nowhere. The best part of the story was Jake teaming up with his father’s former partner whom he, I guess, started a private detective agency with, Lyle Jamison.
Otherwise, romance subplots go nowhere, the characters aren’t particularly memorable, and even recurring antagonist Bradley Green is just a generic, hyperaggressive biker dude.

Albeit, with a live grenade.
As far as the setting goes, Jackson Beach, CA is basically the Police Quest series’s Lytton, CA. It’s a generic small American city with an overall small feel. In fact, the stakes of Blue Force felt small. There wasn’t much urgency, and the whole thing came off as a bit second-rate. In conclusion, there should have been fewer dinner dates and more grenades chucked in faces.

Sound and Graphics: 5

Blue Force’s graphics are generally on par with what else was out there in 1993. They aren’t eye-catchingly good; they don’t make you sit up and take notice the way, say Quest for Glory IIIs lush junglescapes and city streets did. But they portray a mid-sized American city the way it would have looked in 1993, and the beach environments are nice.
One thing I ask myself when I rate graphics is whether the game makes me want to actually visit its environments in real life. This is unfair to reality based games like Blue Force because I already live in such an environment. However, there is still room within such mundane environments to get creative through the use of perspective, player viewpoint, and things like that. Unfortunately, Blue Force plays everything relatively straight. It’s serviceable, it works, but it’s not worthy of anything higher than a 5.

The use of digitized actors in the cutscenes works better than the use of digitized actors for dialogue. Jake looks particularly derpy.
Ditto the sound. Ken Allen’s score and sound effects are fine, but there’s nothing memorable, though I do love that fuzzy Soundblaster sound. It tickles the ol’ nostalgia sensors of my brain. Otherwise, though, it’s not enough to bring this score any higher.

Environment and Atmosphere: 5

Do you find bowling alleys exciting? How about municipal offices? Jails? Warehouses? Maybe even living rooms and kitchens? Then I’ve got the game for you: Blue Force, by California’s own Jim Walls!
Wow! Just like real life!
Ah, but I am not merely using this as an opportunity to take cheap shots at Blue Force’s expense! The game’s environments and atmosphere actually do a perfectly good job of making you, they player, feel like you’re in a mid-sized American city. For that, it should be commended.
I mean, do you like marinas? Of course you like marinas. Everyone likes marinas. Because you’re going to be at this marina a lot. Oh boy, are you.
Blue Force also has a warehouse. We love warehouses, don’t we people? We do.

You get the idea. Blue Force sets the scene, and the scene is . . . kind of boring. But I cannot fault a game for doing what it set out to do. It created the vibe it was going for. A rating of 5 is eminently fair. It’s perfectly average, not too high and not too low. It’s there. Just like Blue Force.

Dialogue and Acting: 3

The writing in Blue Force didn’t have much personality to speak of, aside from the chick at City Hall:
She was the best.
The writing is cliché, the plot predictable, and the acting, as it is, unconvincing. It’s very hard to get worked up about Blue Force one way or the other because it’s almost aggressive in its mediocrity, which is kind of weird, because aggressiveness would imply some sort of personality, which contradicts the idea that the game is mediocre, and all of this just goes to show that I’m really running out of things to say about Blue Force so I’ll just show my favorite screenshot in the entire world again:
There. I feel better.

So how does Blue Force measure up? Let’s crunch some numbers!

(2 + 4 + 3 + 5 + 5 + 3)/.6 = 37. I had to round this up from 36.66666666666667).
A 37! Wow! Very deep. Very meaningful. There is some serous numerology involved here. The number 37 is creative and daring. According to the Internet, modern-man’s Sybil, it gives off “celebrity vibes” (I wish I knew what that means). Surely, such a low rating actually redounds to Blue Force’s favor! Only commenter Vetinari guessed right. Good job, Vetinari! You get a gold star!

In order to figure this out, let’s look at the historical context of Blue Force’s monumental final score. I’m trembling with anticipation here so badly I can hardly typoearkldfd fa;sdf; ljasdfljk asfj;ls

Whew. I’ve calmed down. Moving on.

A 37 rating places Blue Force in the company of Shadowgate (35), Altered Destiny (38), Questprobe featuring Spider-Man (36), Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood (34), Cruise for a Corpse (35), Geisha (36), Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (35), Bargon Attack (34), Seastalker (35), Starcross (37), Enchanter (37), Hook (37), Suspect (38), A Mind Forever Voyaging (39), Oo-Topos (37), Cyborg (37), The Worm in Paradise (35), Humbug (38), Borrowed Time (38), The Archers (37), The Institute (35), Hollywood Hijinx (35), An American Tail: The Computer Adventures of Fievel and His Friends (37), and Last Half of Darkness (35). What a strange assortment of games. I’m sure there is some deeper meaning to have been gleaned from listing all of the games within a ± 3 or so points to Blue Force, but it’s lost on me so alas, this entire paragraph was merely an exercise in post padding. As if I’m not long-winded enough.

Oh, but wait. Wait wait wait. Going back to my introduction post from way back on October 25, 2022, what did I type about Blue Force’s critical reception at the time?

“Unfortunately, Blue Force was not well-received. According to my sources (Wikipedia):

Computer Gaming World‘s Charles Ardai in 1993 stated that Blue Force ”is simply not as strong as Walls’ previous games”. He criticized the game world (“prop-up facades”), “abysmal” dialogues, “appalling spelling errors and factual inconsistencies”, and slow speed. Ardai concluded that “Walls and Tsunami both have better work in them ... they have nowhere to go but up’.

In 1996, Computer Gaming World declared Blue Force the 37th-worst computer game ever released.”

The . . . 37th . . . worst computer game ever released.
Thanks to Computer Gaming World Museum for the scans.
This is big, my friends. Massive. GARGANTUAN. Never before in the history of The Adventurers Guild has there been such an amazing coincidence (or is it???) between game rating and game ranking. This confluence of events has so confounded me and commandeered my attention that I am convinced, caterwauling all the way, that there must be some sort of catastrophic calamity this message has been sent to counteract and contradict. Crazy!
So what does it mean? Damned if I know. All I do know is that Charles Ardai’s review in Computer Gaming World issue 112 is hysterical and hits most of the same points I did. A few highlights:
  • “Having ‘acquired’ Jim Walls, the ex-cop who created the Police Quest series of games for Sierra . . . .”
  • “Not to worry though: in the end, Jake’s private investigation ties into the domestic violence call he was sent on at the start of the game. A neat, little, improbable package—what more could one want?
  • “A coherent story, to begin with, I suppose; and, second of all, a story over which the player has some control.”
  • “. . . a trip to any location other than the one the computer wants the player to see is a waste of time. The player will only find a locked door or an empty room when he arrives, or an admonition from the computer and nothing else. Try to take Jake to the ‘Bikini Hut’ while he is on duty and the computer says, ‘NO time for pleasure.’ Try to take him there after hours and the computer says, ‘No time for pleasure.’ It sinks in slowly: the computer is just not going to let Jake in, ever.”
  • Eventually, one realizes that many of the locations in the game simply don’t exist except as prop-up facades . . . After a while, it becomes clear that Tsunami hasn’t even bothered to simulate a game world.”
  • “Opening the box on the right reveals some flares and a spring-loaded punch . . . if he tries to take the flares he is told, ‘You have no need for the flares.’ [Alex’s note: But you do later in the game! Why can you take a stupid nickel or boathook when you don’t need it, but you can’t take the flare here?]. Why put them in the picture, then?”
  • “When one clicks on objects in Blue Force, one is lucky to get a description at all.”
  • “In the amount of time it takes for Jake Ryan to walk across a screen, a real cop could have arrested a perp, beaten him up, and stood trial for brutality.”
  • While playing Blue Force I was reminded of Capstone’s Stephen King-derived game, The Dark Half, which loyal CGW readers will recall I deemed the worst adventure game of the past ten years. While Blue Force is not in that category, that’s a little like saying that pneumonia is not as bad as cancer—true enough, but one wouldn’t want to get either.
Blue Force: Hey, at least it’s not cancer!
My enjoyment of Blue Force waned as I played. This was disappointing because I can tell that the game was created with a lot of heart. Care did seem to be put into the presentation and the story. It had a naïve earnestness which I appreciated. Unfortunately, the story just wasn’t very interesting. Cardboard characters (Hayley aside) and lame jokes like the twins Barry and Larry (basically a lazy labor-saving corner-cut) didn’t do much to liven up Blue Force. Jake is a do-gooder which I like, but do-gooders don’t have to be boring.

Having everything tie back to Jake’s parents’ murder also had the emotional impact of a flaccid noodle slapping tepidly against the wall (what?), mainly because it was so obvious that the theft of arms from the armory would tie directly into said double homicide. Cliches don’t have to be boring. You can play around with them, even subvert audience expectations to at least give them something they haven’t seen before. If your game, or story, or whatever, is so predictable that anybody could have written it, you need to go back to the drawing board and dig a little deeper. I get that time- and budget-constraints are thing, but imagination is free. I’m not going to bother including any more contemporary reviews of Blue Force because nothing can top what I’ve already discussed.

And that is the most egregious failing of Blue Force: its lack of creativity. It treads the same ground that the Police Quest series did, but without the novelty or the tight plotting of the first two games. There is nothing in Blue Force to make it worth your time over playing other games, old or new. Or reading a book. Or getting outside, having a few drinks and laughs with friends. Or playing with your kids. Or doing your taxes. And so on. You get the idea. In fact, if it wasn’t for this blog, I’d never have played Blue Force. It kind of makes me regret volunteering to write for this blog in the first place. If only I knew that eventually I’d have to play Blue Force . . . And speaking once again of Capstone, at least it’s not L.A. Law: The Computer Game.

Blue Force: At least it’s not L.A. Law: The Computer Game!
Another few hours of my life I shall never recover.
. . . but on the other hand, at least L.A. Law: The Computer Game was so egregiously bad I had plenty of stuff to write about. L.A. Law: The Computer Game is the videogame equivalent of the really bad movies I love watching more than I even love watching really good movies. There’s so much material to work with. Blue Force is like a C-level made-for-TV movie where it’s competent, but just a rehash of stuff you’ve seen done better many times before. Sort of like this review.

CAP Distribution
100 points to Alex
  • Blogger Award - 100 CAPs - For blogging through this game for our enjoyment
30 points to PsOmA
  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing along Blue Force with Alex
  • Fan Theory Award - 10 CAPs - For some innovative readings of Blue Force
20 points to LeftHanded Matt
  • True Companion Award - 20 CAPs - For playing along Blue Force with Alex
10 points to Vetinari
  • Psychic Prediction Award - 10 CAPs - For guessing closest to the score for Blue Force
5 points to Corey Cole
  • Behind the Scenes Award - 5 CAPs - For revealing details on former Sierra employees


  1. Is there a link to the full list of that "50 worst games of all time"? I'd love to know what else made the cut.

    Having Blue Force in there seems a touch harsh, it really just comes across as a very mediocre game with a few neat touches that just don't go anywhere.

    The police badge interface thing was I suppose it's only forward thinking element, given that Curse of Monkey Island and a few other games would use a similar system (but maybe better).

    While this may have been something that wasn't always an enjoyable experience for you to play, it is one of those games I'm glad to read about on this blog, it's why we try and cover as many games as possible! It gives some context to the really good ones.

    1. We'll see that kind of interface again a lot sooner than Curse of Monkey Island. I think Full Throttle is the next game to use it, and after that maybe Normality.

    2. You're absolutely right that Blue Force doesn't deserve a place on a Worst Games Ever list. Its faults lie not in doing anything particularly bad, but in just being thoroughly bland in all aspects.

    3. I don't think you can have a meaningful list of "worst games ever" that doesn't have a tight list of qualifications. There's just so much "Broken/unplayable/clearly a 12 year old trying to learn BASIC" out there that the list would be in the thousands before you got to anything anyone had ever heard of.

    4. That being true, the list does seem to list games that made you pay a meaningful amount of money for, and as PsOmA points out below this was not even a budget-price game.

      And great review again Alex, thank you for the entertaining write-up!

    5. Underneath the image is a link to the magazine issue the best and worst list appear in. It's an interesting list, and not one exclusive to adventure games. While it does have some then modern games, some of which could be considered more faddy games rather than true classics, compared to a modern list it feels a ton more balanced. Red Baron is apparently their favorite action game at #4, beating out the usually listed classics of Doom and Wing Commander. (Civilization is #1)
      The adventure games on the lists:
      #13, Zork
      #17, Gabriel Knight 2
      #19, Monkey Island
      #34, Day of the Tentacle
      #42, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Oh, come on!)
      #58, Suspended
      #69, Leisure Suit Larry (Again?)
      #73, Quest for Glory
      #74, Monkey Island 2
      #81, Loom
      #83, Rise of the Dragon
      #88, Alone in the Dark
      #93, Fate of Atlantis
      #94, King's Quest V
      #95, Sam & Max
      #96, Star Trek: Judgement Rites
      #99, Under a Killing Moon
      #103, Eric the Unready
      #104, Deadline
      #108, Neuromancer
      #120, Trinity
      #134, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
      #139, Mean Streets
      #12, Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller (really?)
      #14, Ringworld
      #15, Indy's Desktop Adventures
      #16, Martian Chronicles
      #18, Inca II
      #19, Sex Vixens from Space
      #24, Aliens
      #25, Treasure Quest
      #32, Isle of the Dead
      #37, Blue Force
      #43, Labyrinth of Time
      (there are other lists, but they don't really matter as much)
      Honestly, some of the worst titles here feel completely bizarre. This is the same magazine that considered The Dark Half to be one of the worst games they ever played at the time and I couldn't find it there. It's not just the adventure games, some of those titles I'm left scratching my head at.

    6. It's a little unusual that they put Secret of Monkey Island higher than LeChuck's Revenge, but what gets me is the huge gap in between the two. I wouldn't have put Gabriel Knight 2 higher than either. Suspended 62 places ahead of Trinity?? Fate of Atlantis just one place ahead of King's Quest 5? Leisure Suit Larry, better than Loom? I'm mystified by some of these. (Not trying to be a LucasArts purist here - I'm a fan of Infocom and Sierra and have played 16 of the ones listed under best. Of the worst... I think I played Inca II but don't quote me on it; I might be misremembering Inca, which I definitely did play.)

    7. By "I've played 16" i mean of the ones in this comment - I didn't go look at the full list.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. I finally decided to create an user and my first message will be to defend Inca 2.

      Inca 2 has 2 big problems: the silly plot and a puzzle in a scenery which looks like the Moon which includes a red herring and a confusing audio clue.

      A third issue, much less problematic, would be the general lack of difficulty of the rest of the adventure parts, but they're still enjoyable.

      The game is probably the best blend of graphic adventure and 3D space shooter... out of the total 4 released (the 2 Incas and the 2 Star Treks).

      Overall it's a pretty fun experience and it has, for example, superior music and space combat compared to the Star Trek games. It's not even among the top 5 Coktel Vision games (which would be Lost in Time, Fascination, Ween and Gobliins 2 and 3), but it's more enjoyable than Sam & Max, The Dig and half of Sierra games (the Police Quest series, most Larry games, King's Quest if you like me dislike medieval fantasy...).

      So yeah, it's far, far from "the 18th worse computer game in history". Describing the game as "An indescribably incoherent action/adventure blend, with uneven graphics and ridiculous premise", is way too cruel. Why not adding some Les Manley game to the list instead, or maybe Larry 2? You can find multiple worse games without even changing genre and only going back 2 or 3 years... And imagine if you start counting "The Kristal" and all those impossible adventures where you can also attack other characters.

      Also, Coktel Vision games have "something" special: their stories suck, but they're still enjoyable in a so-bad-it's-good way and they're so trippy mixed with the cool music and the impossibility to die (generally), that in the end you ironically end up getting more pseudo-invested in the shitty story than in other games such as Larry!

    10. The thing about these lists is that they're often put together by committee, and not uncommonly during a visit to the pub. So there's horse trading and compromises and people shouting over each other, and the longer it takes the less coherent everyone's thinking is and eventually the thing has to be done with so everyone can go home.

      As for the gap between Monkey Island 1 & 2 - well, a lot of people didn't like the ending to 2, and an unsatisfying ending tends to stick with you...

    11. TBH, I can't really comprehend most of the games listed under worst to begin with, even ones not in the adventure genre feel somewhat pulled out of a hat, and even after a while the team writing the descriptions just gave up. The Indy game, Aliens and Treasure Quest feel like pretty harsh placements of games that aren't really in the same category as everything else, being a simple desktop time waster, an interactive comic book and a game that was really about the contest it entailed. I guess Sex Vixens could be awful, but considering what it is, it better be truly awful to be worse than games which aren't adult. Isle of the Dead fits, but that and Inca 2 bring up a good point that why the heck not The Kristal? It was sold in North America, after all. Everything else there feels like, maybe they weren't great, but that bad?

  2. I'm glad to see this post, the same way that one turns their head when driving past the scene of an accident to see the carnage... and now we can continue down the road to our next destination.

    I'm glad my score guess was, in a way, correct. I said my guess of 42 was generous, and it was.

  3. The score range you mentioned more or less seems to correspond to games that were good in one aspect but flawed in others. At least from the ones I recognize. Rarely, it seems, is that score given to games that just seem boring like this one.

    That said, I for one am glad we've been cutting down these mainline games that have been hanging around like a bad smell. Now the near future is nothing but interesting titles, or outright trainwrecks. Hopefully LSL6 won't give you as much trouble as this one did.

  4. As always Alex review was funny and great read. Other reviewers are also doing great job, don't get me wrong, but Alex is by far my favorite - I smile at every Mr. Walls joke. Keep up good work!

    1. I absolutely second your comment. Every rewiever is great (my other favourite is Joe) but Alex's reviews aleays make me laugh (Conquest if the Longbow being my favourite)

    2. Yeah, I agree with you, Joe is great, too. Reiko, Ilmari, Will... so many great reviewers!

      I also love Missed Classic subseries. When I discovered this blog (it was looooong time ago, when that was Trickter's solo project) I was disappointed there will be no lesser known adventure games, no Infocom, no text adventures (or interactive fiction). I'm big fan of some of this obscured or ancient games (I think Scott Adams is kinda underrated these days) and I was hoping this blog will turn to something like CRPG Addict blog... So I think Missed Classic is one of the greatest ideas of AG crew. I love reading about behind the scenes stuff, about old days, when you could make good game in your basement etc.

      And yes, Alex's Conquest of the Longbow is funny (and I really like this game, so it's great combo), but my favorites are Police Quests reviews, hands down (and I'm one of forty people who really love first two Police Quests ;) ).

  5. Congratulations Alex on arriving at the end of this trainwreck!
    And... told you that it was this bad.

  6. Now that you've seen what Jim Walls could (or more often couldn't) do without Police Quest, you should be ready to properly appreciate what Police Quest did without Jim Walls. Though maybe "appreciate" isn't quite the right word to attach to Open Season.

    1. The lesson is that a ghost-writer is important to have around the game company. PQ1 had wit and charm from Al Lowe, and PQ3 had the well-guided hand of Jane Jensen cleaning up his mess. Tsunami apparently only stole programmers from Sierra and not enough of the creatives.

    2. Yeah, I believe Jim Walls was never a good game designar, but at least in Sierra there were other guys to polish his work. Tsunami's games seems to be made with a good heart and effort, but sadly, they just didn't have it on them and Ringworld is another example.

    3. And yet Police Quest II, arguably the highlight of the franchise, was just Jim writing by himself by the looks of things. Unless there's an uncredited writer on it.

  7. And there goes our last Jim Walls game! (Although he provided some design assistance on Westwood's Blade Runner in 1997). I'm going to miss his judgemental advice.

    Another great write up as ever, Alex. I'm definitely warmer to Blue Force than you are, but it's not a strong game at all. Is Leisure Suit Larry 6 up next for you?

    1. It almost wasn't the last for Officer Walls, but his Kickstarter failed miserably for a new police game. I'm not sure it would have appealed to me, but I would have played it for pure kicks...

  8. Wow, my guess was 21 points higher that your rating. This must be my worst guess since the beggining of this blog. Shame on me

  9. Hey man, we totally get it... life has an annoying habit of getting in the way. Had your posts been dry, witless regurgitations of uncreative tat then we'd be questioning the delay, but they never cease to bring a smile to the dial and provoke thought - so we patiently wait.

    I think I guessed 43 after the intro post, and after completing the game I ran my own ratings through PISSED:

    4+4+3+5+3+3 = 22 / 0.6 = 36.67 = 37

    So... views don't get much more aligned than that! I actually thought there were a couple of clever puzzles in there (guessing the computer password had me patting my own back) = +2, but didn't quite relate with middle America as much so there's my -2.

    Like I said on the WON post, had this been a $15-$20 budget title, I would have been really happy with the experience. But charging full price in an evolved market is a little audacious.

    Thanks for sharing the journey Alex.

  10. Truly a work o fart.




    2. My favorite Monkey Island Discord pretty much all lost our minds yesterday.

  12. Since Inca 2 has been mentioned in the comments, I'd like to use this opportunity to talk about Lost in Time, which will be reviewed soon.

    Firstly, it looks like the game was initially released in 2 parts in France, and the 2 part version has "extra content" in the form of some text that appears at the end and beginning of each part.

    Secondly, Lost in Time and other Coktel Vision games MUST be played in the floppy version to avoid the usually much worse CD sountrack, which strangely has totally different songs than the (great) floppy soundtrack.

    And lastly, the last part of Lost in Time, the Caribbean island, is terrible, looks bad and fortunately plays easily, so I hope the reviewer tries to forget this clearly "disconnected" part from what I want to believe it's the actual game in the boat and the house. Probably a case of the developers running out of money, disk space, time and ideas by the end of the development stage, something that affected even Monkey Island (which has what could be described as a slightly abrupt ending despite of the "combat").

    1. I played the CD version of Lost in Time and had to figure out how to get redbook audio to work. Only game I think I ever played that used redbook audio for voice acting.

      I did enjoy the game, but it's got some... rough edges. Years later I was impressed by how many of the FMV clips are cropped to avoid showing anyone's mouth, presumably because they weren't up to the task of making the dubbing look even slightly convincing.

    2. The CD edition of Loom (used as the basis for the Steam version) uses CD audio for voice acting, too.

  13. Other game which will be reviewed soon, Wayne's World, is... very bad. I tried finishing it, but had to stop playing because not even brute force was helping me. I read that the 2 character gimmick is only used in ONE of the puzzles, so maintaining a separated inventory is... a terrible idea. I recommend the reviewer to quickly use a walkthrough if he gets stuck more than a coulpe of hours.

    1. Perhaps the only good thing about Wayne's World is that it's not as bad as the other "gem" of the company, The Dark Half, which likes to send you into unwinnable situations by not picking up a paper from the trash bin before the cops come or not writing something for no reason before going to bed.

  14. And speaking about bad games and games I would never play, I'm finding this blog is very good to learn about games that I would never play for multiple reasons:

    1) Cop-based graphic adventures: I will never play one of these because I find them a mixture of "boring" and "offensive". But I like the graphics, sound and involuntary humour on them.
    2) Games with RPG elements: I don't have the patience for RPG elements, so I simply read about them here and, when they look like Quest for Glory and not like BloodNet, watch some minutes of gameplays online.
    3) Games that are too bad: The Dark Half, Darkseed, and multiple other games are just too bad to suffer, so it's best to leave the bloggers play them so we don't have to.
    4) Medieval fantasy games: I'm torn on these ones... I still "have" to play both Simon games, and all King's Quest games (abandoned V and VI, never tried the other ones). I keep telling myself that one day, I will be in the medieval fantasy mood. Hasn't happened for now.
    5) Text adventures: I don't mind to type, but these games usually have a lot of weird puzzles.

    So that's it! Keep up the good work and let's play our way up to Myst.

    1. Yes, I like that this blog is playing a lot of games that I just wouldn't be interested in having a go at myself (notably text adventures). It's much more fun to read about them.

      There are some GREAT games coming up that I'm really looking forward to, and it will be good to play along with them. Myst, Leisure Suit Larry 6, Star Trek: Judgment Rites, Sam & Max, Kyrandia 2, Gabriel Knight, Innocent Until Caught. Some of those I haven't revisited in years, some are completely new to me.

      Interesting to see on the master list that 1994 seems to have a lot fewer games than other years. Is the selection just not finalised yet, or was that just a sparse year for adventures?

    2. I wouldn't feel too bad about the medieval fantasy games, I always find myself disappointed with games in those settings, because they always feel like some generic theme park version. Mind you, it's worse today than in the '90s and '80s.

      @Matt, according to a not kosher site I use, there are about 80 adventure games released in '94. This includes a lot more shareware level titles that are unlikely to be included when the actual year comes around plus some titles that are hybrids. Dunno when Ilmari last did it, but the previously agreed upon method of adding games to that list was Wikipedia, plus a certain amount of people who played the game on Mobygames, and then for either of those, the consideration that the game was actually an adventure game. There have been changes to the Wikipedia list of that year since then...some of which might create some interesting situations.

    3. Yes, the selection is not finalised yet. I've usually done only one year at a time, around the time, when the previous year is about to end. So, the list will definitely change at some point in the future.

    4. @LeftHanded Matt: 1994 just seems to have been a sparse year for adventure games, the anomaly is seen in other places too. The Wikipedia list has only 21 games in 1994 versus 35 in 1992, 41 in 1993, 53 in 1995 and 44 in 1996. This analysis of the Adventure Gamers' top 100 notes a dip in 1994 as well, and speculates that Myst caused everyone to turn their efforts to building infrastructure to compete.

    5. @Laukku - oh wow, that's pretty fascinating. I had never realised that 1994 had such a reduction in output. It does seem to track that the adventure developers took time out to refocus themselves on embracing technological jumps. Myst was a turning point in so many ways (arguably for good and bad!).

    6. And the companies responded poorly, unintentionally. Myst brought new people into the genre, but many of them had different tastes than the existing crowd. The companies tried to make their outputs fit the tastes of the old customers with the new tech, so not all the new players stayed around. And the old people also weren't as happy, because the things they found important weren't always the focus going forward. At least, that's how I saw it.
      Biggest complaint, after this time: tech became overwhelmingly more important than story and content. Myst was beautiful, even if I found it lacking in satisfaction. People demanded that going forward.

    7. I wouldn't necessarily say that the focus on tech was done thanks to Myst. The '90s in general saw a large focus on technology for good and ill, and both FMV and true 3D efforts were already being worked on; Myst and other games like it around that time just showed you could do things with pre-rendered 3D.