It’s Not That It’s Bad...**
BASED ON DEMO
It’s just that there’s not enough of anything. This is a very basic game on all fronts, but it’s greatest and only real crime is its slow pace, created by the absence of things to do. There are few actions needed in each location, even fewer items to sort through in each of the HOP scenes, and few choices to make about our next move. It makes what would otherwise have been an okayish game dismal.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
To describe the game is to list the things it doesn’t have. There are no cut scenes to speak of, no voiceovers, almost no story. No widescreen or aspect correction. Graphics that are dark but bearable, with no animation most of the time. Music with insufficient variety, only the most rudimentary sound effects. With the result that, even with the music on, it feels like we are wandering through a silent, static world, empty of movement of any sort.
But there should be movement, because there are things happening and other characters, but they are totally simplistic in depiction, character and dialogue. The English is a little stilted, but mostly accurate. Reading it with a blank and inanimate face renders it deathly though. Which would have been alright if it had all been done on purpose... But I don’t think it was.
Not a bleeding lot, actually. We are in a post-apocalyptic Earth, alone in our shelter, but apparently we have some contact with others, and one of them insists it is necessary to leave the shelter and find the “Mysterious Oasis”, a modern myth of a small bastion of civilization in the midst of destruction and anarchy. So off we go, our mighty sword (wait up, SWORD? In the immediate future of the 21st century? Let’s not even go there.) in our hand. During the demo we make a slow kind of progress in the direction we may be needing to go – no clues about the oasis’ whereabouts yet, leads me to assume we are trying to get to our friend.
The one moment of moment is the appearance of the Spirit Of Nature. It being the only excitement, I’ll let you find her, and what she’s got to do with our story.
Again, basic. HOPs are the predominant kind of puzzle, and they are invariably interactive lists in almost empty scenes. The hint requires you to choose an item to be pointed out and there is a click penalty (on both difficulty levels). At least we only seem to visit them once, that would have been unbearably tedious, otherwise. The scenes are for the most part static, although we managed to find healthy active flies in the dumpster – maybe this is realistic after all! The interactions are logical, although not always obvious immediately.
Outside HOP scenes, hint is directional, but needs to recharge after each direction. Not fun. The notes give us basic story information. There is, of course, no map. And gameplay is unfortunately too linear, we rarely have any real choices about what direction we choose to follow next. With only two or three moves required in each location, with a HOP in each one and maybe a very simple puzzle every few locations, there is no challenge in this game, and it isn’t even much fun in terms of mindless gaming, because there’s just enough adventure skill required to force you to pay attention and use the brain.
As I say, it is a game with very few glaring flaws, but no good points at all. Treble the amount of activity in each location, and this would have been a nice little standalone SE. The story had real potential too! Sadly,
I can't recommend this game!