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Incline First Person Perspective (FPP) Adventure Recommendations

Darkozric

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Adventures. An old and important genre. From the rich text-based worlds, to 2D point n' click beautiful sceneries, to complicated immersive FPP 3D worlds. Every style has much to offer.
A genre so important as RPGs. Many fags here would say, "who gives a fuck about adventures", I'd answer to them, niggas, you've already played adventures in your fav RPGs.

I didn't have the chance to indulge on text-based stuff since I was an Amstradfag in the mid 80s, but a few years later, Sierra and LucasArts (early years) had my attention completely for a long time.
Many great games with iconic characters and a huge variety in themes. Most of them in TPP. In the early 90s, I was also addicted to Eye of the Beholder and M&M3.
This style of gameplay was very appealing. Exploration and puzzle solving inside labyrinths, what's not to love here. FPP clicked strongly on me.

During that period, 2 Legend Entertainment titles fell in my hands, Death Gate and Superhero League of Hoboken.
You can imagine my enthusiasm when I realised that both games offer a FPP, accompanied by beautifully drawn sceneries and UI.
I knew that I had something special in my hands, and had a lot of fun with those games.

Until one day, 2 prestigious brothers decided to release Myst. The foundation was laid for what was to come.

I was always fascinated by games that contain overly difficult and cleverly designed puzzles that take a long time to finish.
Even better, when the worlds are more complete, where the culture you're relocating to, has its own language and numerical reference.

I was thinking for a long time to create a dedicated thread for FPP adventures, but I was always being lazy. This period I have a bit of extra time, and I'm in a nostalgic mood. So it's now or never.

A recommendation thread for both old and new codexian meatbags.

There are a few more games that are left out of the list, but that's something for later (depends on the laziness).
Also, there are few that I finished recently. I'll probably include them to the collection at some point.

For now, I'll post a few of my all-time favorites.



Myst (1994) Cyan

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The legendary adventure that unwittingly spawned countless of clones. While nothing in common plot-wise, it is clearly inspired by Jules Verne's Mysterious Island.

A game with an impact so huge, that in 1997 its sales numbers were second to Diablo! Armed with rich lore, beautiful sceneries, clever puzzles,
and last but not least, a melancholic OST combined with the mesmerizing sound effects of running water, waves, wind, doors and levers.

Myst left its mark in gaming history and to a lot of us. it's hard to believe that there are codexers who haven't even tried it yet.



Riven (1997) Cyan

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Myst spawned many clones. And as it always happens in those cases, some of them were good, some, uninspired shit.
Fate brought the Miller brothers to push the limit to the next level, again.

In contrast to Myst, Riven's islands were interconnected and coherent.
It also had a greater puzzle logic where you slowly came to the realization that the Rivenese people's numeric system was based around a specific number,
and that helped you to solve other puzzles and understand the world as a whole, better. It felt organic, like role-playing an anthropologist.
As for the atmosphere, it is still unsurpassed. Its OST is one of the best that ever existed in the genre imo.

Riven is the epitome of thinking, and it's probably the only game that is based on the premise that most people just see stuff but do not notice them.
The only bad thing about it, is when you experience its perfection, it's hard to be satisfied again in the same way.

I'll close with the words of the great Dutch artist M.C. Escher that fit perfectly here:
"I doubt if the public will ever understand, let alone appreciate, the amount of mental gymnastics that has preceded the construction of such an image"

It goes with out saying that this is A MUST play adventure.



Myst 3 (2001) Presto

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I admit that I approached Myst 3 with skepticism. Coming from Riven and not made by the Miller brothers, concern was a logical reaction.
Presto was the one that took the rein to create the 3rd game. Presto is also the company that gave us the Journeyman Projects 1-2-3. They had experience with the genre,
but it was their first time undertaking such a large production. Did they succeed? The short answer is fucking yes. I liked it even more than the first game.

Myst 3 is a great game, it doesn't reach the perfection of Riven but it's only a few steps behind.
It's similar to the first game, with different worlds, and starring the amazing Brad Dourif as Saavedro.
Plot-wise, the story-telling elements are different than Myst. What they tried in Myst 3 is to keep the tension high and constant.
The supposed "villain" is presented from the beginning, and then they made sure you had frequent contacts with him throughout the game, to keep the tension high.
Τhe game is designed in such a way that even when you don't meet the antagonist, you feel his threatening presence all around you.
Whatever you do, you know very well that you will be led to a dramatic finale, to a head-on fucking confrontation.

Puzzles are exceptionally well-crafted. Εspecially in Narayan, there are 2 of the smartest puzzles in the game, that rival the corresponding Riven puzzles in wit and originality.
Myst 3 uses a mix of pre-rendered backgrounds and real time 3D to achieve the 360-degree view. Vistas are truly exotic.
Music is exceptional, "Atrus' Study", "Saavdero's Theme", and "Theme from Edanna" to name a few. Though it doesn't reach the almost perfect performance of Riven imo.

Bottom line, a must play adventure.



Schizm: Mysterious Journey (2001) LK Avalon Detalion

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Schizm is another good example of a game that reached so close to the greatness of Riven. I place Schizm and Pandora Directive immediately after Riven.
The game takes place in 2083, a habitable planet has been discovered in a distant galaxy. Various research missions that left earth trying to discover the secrets of this planet, ended in failure.
They named the planet Argilus, and it is about a planet with obvious signs of a lost civilization.

The most impressive find is the so-called living ships, a series of organic vessels, the result of extremely advanced bio-technology.
Three teams of scientists were sent to establish bases. Αfter a few months the first supply ship is sent, with a crew of the 2 protagonists.
Αll communication channels are open but no one was visible, no one answered. Α storm of meteors hits their ship while in orbit around the planet and they decide to escape with the escape pods.
They fall into planet Argylus without the slightest idea of what awaits them.

Graphics are deliciously surrealistic, the amazing color renditions create an amazing world environment.
Flying cities, mysterious underground locations, abandoned industrial facilities, organic spaceships, this is exploration porn.
The same goes for the OST, it emits an atmospherically psychedelic vibe that is rarely seen in games. Tracks such "Aurora" (Strongly reminds me of Vangelis), "Singing Towers", "Living Ships", and "Fish Ballon" are simply unforgettable.

The game world is divided into four large areas and the quality of the puzzles offered by the game is excellent. A mix of puzzles of varied type, including mechanical, logical, sound and inventory-based.
Schizm is very reminiscent of Riven, and follows roughly the same logic in terms of solving the main puzzles.

Prepare your notebook n' pencil, you're gonna need them.



Under A Killing Moon (1994) Access Software

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Under A killing Moon could well be included among the film-noir films. Well, it's not black and white but who gives a fuck, it has all the other elements that constitute to an authentic film-noir motion picture.
The hero is Tex Murphy, a PI, penniless, alone - since his wife left him for a plumber - and not just unlucky, but what we call, "loser for life".
The story evolves in 2042 in an area of SF, where the mutants live after the nuclear destruction of the earth.

The interesting thing about the plot is that the organism called "Brotherhood of the Secret Doctrine" is real, and springs from the depths of human history.
I'm not going to expand on that, you can do your own research, if this is something that interests you. Overall the scenario is compelling.
Puzzles are good and always logical. There's also a timed segment that you have to avoid a specific character.

The best part for me here is the atmosphere. Τhe music highlights the detective/mystery side of the adventure in a unique way.
Εndless self-mockery, monologues for everything, erotic mood, lots of booze and cigarettes.The quality shit we love.
Controls are a bit tricky to get used to, but after a while you'll get the handle of it.
Under A Killing Moon was a good start for what was to come.

Definitely recommended.




Pandora Directive (1996) Access Software

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2043
The notorious detective suddenly finds himself mixed-up in an intrigue related to the famous UFO crash story in Mexico, later known as the "Roswell case"(Yes, it was aliens).
The US government cover-up, is perhaps the biggest secret of the 20th century. But you see, Tex doesn't like secrets at all...
Pandora Directive sets some new standards in adventure gaming.

The plot starts with an even stronger sense of mystery and intrigue. Who is the black arrow killer? Exactly what role does Lucia Parcel play? Who truly is Fitzpatrick?
I won't expand on the scenario further, but you should know that there are 3 separate paths to follow and 7 different endings. Which add greatly to replay ability.
Atmosphere is similar to Under A Killing moon, you'll get the same quality shit that we love, even in larger doses.

Τhe puzzles vary in shape and difficulty, depending on the difficulty level you have chosen.
Τhe basic form of the puzzles are more of the adventure-style item-based puzzles, but there are several of the classic ones.
I found it more difficult than UAKM, a welcome improvement. If I recall correctly, around chapters 8 and 9 there is some good and hard shit to solve.

It's a prestigious game, one of the finest FMV productions. If for some reason you can't afford to play all Tex Murphy games, this is the one that you should not miss.



Zork Nemesis (1996) Zombie LLC

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Confession time: My first contact with the Zork series started with Zork Nemesis. I was aware of the Zork series but I never had the chance to play those games.
Also I know that Nemesis has nothing in common with the old games, and for this reason alone, it may have caused the old fans to react negatively.
But for me that means nothing, since the game was truly a work of art.

The 4 alchemists who were responsible for prosperity, are all now dead from the Νemesis' curse.
Υou, the character, are the only hope to find the 4 elements that correspond to the elements of nature but also to their special abilities, so that the famous curse of Νemesis can be broken and the Forbidden Land can be saved.

I liked that the background of the story is slowly revealed in a unique, almost mystical way, as only the best games manage to achieve this.
There are four worlds and you can travel to in whichever order you prefer. Βut first you have to solve the secret of the temple and find the elements of the alchemists.
The thick dark atmosphere in combination with the excellent script material, created a world that I have yet to see, since the era of Myst.

And don't get me started on sound and music, the moment you set afoot outside the temple, the OST shows its sharp teeth with the opening track.
Just go and listen to "The Frigid River Branch Conservatory", "The Great Mountain Asylum" and "The Irondune Castle", to get a glimpse of the madness that awaits you.
Exotic sitars, infuriated violins, atmospheric synths, tribalistic percussion instruments, operatic vocal lunacy, it's a fucking sonic feast.
Art direction is exceptional, my artfaggotry meter exploded with this shit.

The game contains puzzles in the style established by Myst and some of them are extremely difficult.
Although in the game, there are hints for almost all the puzzles, you will have a hard time finishing this delicious shit.
Highly recommended, and recently I found that it can be also be played in ScummVM.

(If any Zork experts here want to share their thoughts on the rest of the games, especially on "Return to Zork" and Zork Inquisitor", don't hesitate to do so)




Obsidian (1997) Rocket Science Games

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I recall discovering this a bit later (1997 was the Riven year after all). I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I pressed the play button and watched the intro, I knew that something special was in front of me.
The game takes place in 2066, a team of scientists created and launched Ceres, a satellite that utilizes nanotechnology to repair the earth's polluted environment.

You play as Lilah and her partner Max. After the successful launch, it's time for some rest, for fucking vacations.
Νear the camp, Lilah and Max have found a black crystal. The crystal begins to grow and Max disappears. Βefore she can do shit, Lilah is also absorbed by the crystal. An intriguing start with a strong plot overall.

The graphics are a mix of videotaped spaces and special effects, combined with videotaped characters. it's a distinct style, whether one likes it or not. Personally I dig it.
Sound and music are quite good, but without reaching the unique standards that Zork Νemesis has set in similar productions.

The atmosphere is unique in each world that you visit. But there is one catch here.
Υou can't visit the worlds in the order of your preference, like in Myst.
Ιn other words, it highlights the scenario background.

Most of the puzzles are quite good, but some require a special tuning/restriction, which reduces their value.
I recall this impressive puzzle with the cubicles, one of the most original labyrinths Ι've seen, insane shit.
The only flaw that comes to mind is the absence of subtitles, but thankfully the voice acting is clear.

An easy recommendation if you like hard sci/fi stuff mixed with surrealistic fantasy.



Lighthouse: The Dark being (1996) Sierra On-Line

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The success of Myst did not left Sierra unmoved.
The story of Lighthouse is full of otherworldly secrets, complex mythos and lots of diaries to read.
You live alone in the Pacific Northwest, attempting to stave off writer’s block.
One particularly stormy evening, your neighbor, the scientist Dr. Jeremiah Krick, frantically calls you to his lighthouse home to assist in a life-or-death matter.

As you discover, through his experiments, Dr. Krick has transformed the lighthouse into the receiver for a trans-dimensional portal.
The creature living on the other end, the eponymous "Dark Being", has taken Krick and his daughter Amanda away to his volcano lair for unknown, nefarious purposes.
Out of a sense of obligation, you dive into this new world with no way home.

Τhe setting is very intriguing, a world still crawling its way out from an ancient conflict between technology and nature.
It's not a horror adventure but the subtle horror vibe is present the moment you set afoot in the first area.

The art director did a great job of presenting a world reminiscent to Myst but with its own flavor. Everything looks and feels great.
Music and sound have been created with great care. I still recall the moment when you arrive on the Temple of the Ancient Machines to meet Liryl. Epic shit.
Fav track picks: "Martin's roost", "Temple of the Ancient Machines", and "Towers of Island Fortress".

Puzzles are similar to Myst, though the game includes an inventory, meaning that you'll get a lot of adventure-style item-based puzzles plus the classic mechanics.
The difficulty is quite good without being extremely hard. My favorite part was having to repair the ornithopter and fly into the next area.
And of course the submarine, learning slowly how to pilot the sub was a delight.

If you played all of the Myst games and you crave for more, Lighthouse does not disappoint.



Shivers (1995) Sierra On-Line

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Another Sierra classic, this time a proper horror adventure.

The idea was yours alone, to spend an evening at Professor Windlenut's museum and try to find out what exactly happened in this place 15 years ago,
when some students disappeared and the police never found a trace of them.
Your four friends lock you in, and they'll come get you in the morning. So you have a whole nightmarish night ahead of you.
Almost immediately you find the professor's missing body, his ghost will explain to you in general terms what has happened.

The atmosphere is quite eerie, it's a horror adventure with intense elements of the metaphysical.
It is very important that even from the first steps the atmosphere conveys mystery, anxiety and terror.

Sierra dared and presented their first game with 3D rendered photo realistic graphics. The result is more than impressive.
Τhe world is crammed with psychedelic tendencies. Shapes, colors, pure psychedelic compositions. Τhe game looks fantastic overall, but certain rooms of the museum really stand out.
The music does not reach the greatness of similar games, but it has some musical patterns like the one of the labyrinth in the subterranean world that sends you straight to hell.

Puzzle-wise, your goal is to capture the ten ixupi spirits in order to get out of the museum alive, and the game has quite a few random elements.
Special observation is required, since there are scattered hints for most of the puzzles, but the game still remains difficult.
Capturing the spirits is challenging, but rewarding at the same time.

Α strong recommendation for the adventure horror aficionados.




Riddle of the Spinx (2000) Old World Studios

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The famous archaeologist Sir Gil Blythe manages to find a secret chamber under the sphinx, as well as a mysterious papyrus.
However, by breaking the seal of the papyrus, he releases an ancient curse that will cause his death. Being certain that he is going to die, Sir Gil calls the protagonist.
While at the same time he has taken care to artfully hide all his findings, so that they cannot be found and stolen by some random competitor.
Υou arrive by helicopter and your first task is to find the papyrus.
Οnce you manage to find it, you begin the great exploration within the secret tunnels of the sphinx and the secret chambers of the Great Pyramid.

An impressive fact is the completeness of the historical elements surrounding the game, as well as the convincing reproduction of the interior of the Great Pyramid.
The graphics are a bit outdated, but some rooms are not that bad. They did a decent job in some rooms containing treasures.

The music is quite atmospheric and works well for the player in his attempt to solve the mysteries of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx.
"Festive Dance", "Astrospiritual", and "Mystic River Dance" are nice and relaxing tracks.

The Egyptian ambiance is good overall, from the moment you enter the pyramid the atmosphere captivates you.
You feel like a pioneering explorer moving through an imposing space, trying to decipher its well-hidden secrets.
The use of the remote control robot to explore the very tiny spaces was incline.

Speaking of mysteries, the puzzles vary in difficulty, there are some that are very easy, and others that require patience, proper evaluation and detailed note-taking.
Εven the smallest date you find, it's likely that it will play its role elsewhere. Τhe key here is to always combine the data you collect and use them creatively.
If this seems easy to you, forgetti.

The game is an Egyptian precious stone waiting to be discovered (I recommend the remake, played it recently and it's gud).




Labyrinth of Time (1993) Terra Nova Development

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Greek mythology has been and will always be attractive to adventure writers and not only for games but in general.
I didn't play it when it was released, but when I first heard about this game in early '00s, I couldn't wait to dive in.
Crete, King Minos, Daedalus, the labyrinth, a promising potential.

Everything around you has turned a strange black and white. You think that something is fucking wrong with you.
As you prepare to enter the train, a strange apparition is in front of you, it is the spirit of Daedalus.
He tells you about the past, about the time when he had built the labyrinth. He explains to you how he was captured by the spirit of King Minos in the world of the dead,
and how he was forced to build a new labyrinth so powerful in space and time, that nothing like it has ever existed.
Daedalus can't resist Minos' plans since he's controlling his spirit. The only hope for resistance is the player, this is the reason that he pulled you from your world, into another dimension within the labyrinth.
You have to find a way to destroy the maze before it is completed.

I quite liked the art style in this one, I was never sure what to expect in any new location.
The designs and especially the colors are truly great. Τhe music is a delightful mix of different genres with many proggy and orchestral references.
To name few of my favorites, "intrigue", "ravages of time", "Aztec Gold", and "Telecom".

Puzzle-wise, it is a different story. From what I recall, there aren't many puzzles, and you spend most of your time going from one part of spacetime to another.
Although there are some intricate puzzles, requiring the manipulation of objects in different dimensions which was interesting.
It could've be much better if it offered a richer gameplay.

But still, I had a good time playing this.



Amber: Journeys Beyond (1996) Hue Forest Entertainment

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I saved for last a game that is not a first line production, but rather an obscure one. I discovered it randomly a few years ago and I gave it a spin.
It's not particularly a great game but the atmosphere is quite good, and I know that there are a few serious atmofags around here.

The game starts with a message from Joe, he's an old colleague of Dr Roxanne Westbridge - founder and president of Bio-Psi technologies, and he's asking for your help.
Dr. Roxanne deals with the study of supernatural phenomena and other shit. She recently bought a mansion which she equipped it with the latest technology,
in order to conduct her experiments under the best conditions. Joe is worried about her, since Dr Roxanne wants the experiments to be done on her, and asks you to watch over her so that nothing terrible happens.

As you are driving to the mansion, a strange phenomenon occurs and while trying to avoid it, you lose the control of the car and fall into a lake next to a rural road.
The game starts when you regain consciousness and find yourself lying on your back, on a dock at the edge of the lake.
To help your friend to regain her consciousness you have to enter the world of 3 ghosts separately and find the cause of each one's death.

The plot is well written, filled with many interesting characters - all of them are dead with the exception of Roxy who is unconscious.
For the few human characters who exist in the game, Full Motion Videos are filmed with real actors.
Visually the game looks ok but the creepy and eerie ambiance is achieved mostly by the soundtrack.

The puzzles are closely tied to the story-line, mostly inventory-based. However, they're not particularly challenging, and this is the Achilles heel of the game.

Still, it's an interesting game and its creepy atmosphere reminded me that of Barrow Hill.
 
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Darkozric

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Rama (1996) Sierra On-Line

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The world of numbers and symbols is here to mess with your head.

4 years ago, a huge cylindrical spaceship appeared out of nowhere in our solar system, they named it Rama. 12 scientists will undergo special training to man a mission that will explore the stationary spacecraft.
The questions are huge. Where did it come from? What is its purpose? Is it a threat to Earth? Who are its creators? The mission is to explore the huge spacecraft, but things soon get out of hand.
Shortly after the arrival of the scientists, Chief Valeriy Borzov dies, during a medical examination and David Brown takes his place. At that time, they send the protagonist to join the team.
You will soon discover that in the alien spacecraft there are 2 different organic species, the Avian and the Octospider, and 6 different Biots (biological robots).
Shortly after the arrival of the protagonist, a strong vibration is noted. Τhe spacecraft's engines are put into operation with a fixed collision course towards Earth.

Although the game is based on the book Rama II, it borrowed some elements from the first book of the series, since it was not possible to give explanations to some basic elements of the story.
Honestly, this is the most complete alien world I've seen in an adventure.
The script is extremely strong and combined with the atmosphere that the game emits, they compose an explosive set. Words are not enough.

Graphics are a combination of rendered background images and videotaped members of the expedition, and both are of excellent quality.
Εspecially the videos, are the best I've seen in a Sierra adventure game. Way higher quality than those in the Phantasmagoria shit and Gabriel Knight 2.
Unfortunately there is an absence of subtitles, again.

The OST is very exciting, a mix of orchestral tracks, that refer to various sci/fi series and many other melodic/relaxing short tracks.
"Rama Theme", "Avian Mysterious", "New York Wanderer", and "Lite Theme 3" are worthy of mentioning.
A few tracks such as "Octospider Shimmery" and "Human Stereo", were a special treat, since it was like listening to some lost and forgotten Ozric Tentacles tracks from the "Erpland" era.

The puzzles are original, they are based on mathematics and the combination of icons and symbols for which you have to use common sense.
Keep in mind that the 3 cultures use their own metric systems, which you have to study and analyze well to solve the corresponding riddles.
Especially the Hexadecimal metric system can turn into a fucking headache.
There is a "timed" sequence at the end of the game but it isn't really "timed". The "timer" advances when you move through the halls, taking into account how long it might take in real time.

Overall, it's a prestigious FPP puzzle-oriented sci/fi adventure. Easy recommendation for sci/fi buffs.
 

Darkozric

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The Journeyman Project - Pegasus Prime (1997) Presto

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This is the only Journeyman Project game that I've played, so I don't know how it compares to the rest οf the games.

After a series of devastating wars in the 21st century, humanity decided to follow a peaceful path. In 2185, the world-historical event of first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence took place.
In 2300, overpopulation forced humans to look for creative solutions, and with the help of technology, the first floating city was created and named Caldoria.
8 years later, the planet was visited by an alien race called the Cyrollans, who invited humans to become members of the "Symbiotry of Peaceful Beings", an interplanetary confederation,
and they gave to humans 10 years to decide if they will join confederation.

A few years later, time travel was discovered. The initial excitement was followed by fear of the harmful effects the technology could have if it fell into the wrong hands.
Τhus, a service called "Temporal Protectorate" was established in Caldoria, whose purpose was to monitor the calendar continuously, and if necessary, to correct any anomalies observed.
Τhat's where the protagonist, Gage Blackwood - codenamed spy 5, belongs. The action of the game begins in 2318, the historical day when the Cyrollans are going to return to earth.
That is when temporal anomalies are identified, which could inevitably lead to the change of history.
With the help of the Pegasus time machine, you will travel through 4 time periods to discover time anomalies and correct them.
Τhe story is intriguing, but the focus is the exploration of unknown environments, and not so much about the characters.

In the 1997 remake, the improvements were noticeable, as many screens were re-designed from scratch, and walking animations were added.
Τhe future setting is convincing, and I would say that it holds up well even after all these years.
You see the world inside the Bio-Support suit, so the graphics are not full-Screen, and occupy a little more than half of the screen, though the game still looks good.

Music consists of an impressively large number of tracks of various musical styles and perfectly suits the game. Ambient tracks, rock compositions and a few experimental stuff.
The proggy "Race against time" comes to mind along with the Rush-like "Journeyman fanfare", "Pegasus Forever", and Plasma Rock", to name a few more.

There's a plethora of good puzzles that consist of various activities, such as synthesizing a chemical compound, piloting a submarine, driving a metro wagon, with peaceful solutions giving more points than the use of force.
The only issue I can recall is the back-tracking. I think that "realism" would have to be taken down a notch in terms of returning to an area, this would've made the game more comfortable.

I'm not sure if I can recommend it as a must play, though the game has many values.
If you enjoy sci/fi shit, it's a respectful recommendation.
 
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AndyS

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Shivers is the one with the Deros in it, right? Not too many games inspired by the Shaver Mystery.
 

Darkozric

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Starship Titanic (1998) the Digital Village

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Douglas Adams needs no introduction, so let's dive in straight into a quick summary of the plot.

In the heart of the galaxy, a particularly advanced civilization managed to create the largest and most beautiful spaceship in the universe.
On its maiden voyage, the ship suffers unexpected and incalculable damage, it crashes into hyperspace, and vanishes...and then collides with your house.
In no time, you're onboard a ship unlike anything you've ever imagined, a marvel of technological invention. From the first moment you learn that you are not alone on the ship.

There are strange robots all over the place, that make up the spaceship's crew as well as an intolerant parrot. Even more strange is the fact that the robots can talk.
They speak through a revolutionary machine called Spookitalk. The more you talk to them, the more things you learn, it's a strange and eerie experience.
You have to find the secrets the spaceship hides and discover the tragic events that happened on it, manage to solve the mystery of Titania (whose statues dominate the whole ship),
gain control of the ship and drive safely back to Earth.

The graphics are sharp and consist of a mix of 3D models and rendering backgrounds. The result is quite good, in some places even fantastic. Especially the robots are a feast for the eyes.
A special note should be made for the interface, which is a hybrid UI of the classic point n' click style and text parser. Αt the bottom οf Chat-O-Mat you can type, when necessary, during the conversations.
I found it quite original and elegant.

The same applies for the audio, which is a mixture of orchestral and ambient music tracks, impressive sound effects and amazing ambient sounds.
The voices of the robots are extremely atmospheric - the VA have done a unique job, and it should also be noted that the parrot is played by Terry Jones of Monty Python.

Αs I've already mentioned, you need to repair the ship and put it into orbit around Earth.
In order to achieve this, you will have to slowly climb social positions, since only then will you be able to access new wings of the spaceship, and collect the 11 pieces of Titania (humanoid intelligence system).
The puzzles are mostly inventory-based, but a good dose of other types are also thrown into the game, and some of them require you to talk to the various robots that inhabit the spaceship.

My favorite riddles in adventures are those of mechanical and music/sound nature. And so the puzzle in the Music Room was very welcome. With the help of a console, you have to tune in an asynchronous song.
I recall that many plebs criticized the fact that there are no hints for most of the puzzles.
So fucking what? You're onboard a strange and unknown spaceship, why the fuck would anyone owe you any hints. Just solve the fucking problems and return to Earth, retards.

Anyway, the game is entertaining with many funny moments, and it's a must, especially for Monty Python fans.
The art style is great, and the puzzles are challenging without being extremely hard.

I recommend a playthrough (for those who butthurtly require hints, I recommend amputation).
 
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Normally an edgelord, but quality thread and special kudos for mentioning Obsidian, my favourite first person adventure game of all time. Played it on release and absolutely loved it.
 

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Normally an edgelord, but quality thread and special kudos for mentioning Obsidian, my favourite first person adventure game of all time. Played it on release and absolutely loved it.
I wish that Obsidian and Rama were both on GOG. It's been a while since GOG released any good old adventures. I don't know wtf they're doing.
 

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Death Gate (1994) Legend Entertainment

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Since I mentioned Death Gate and Super Hero League of Hoboken in my initial post, it's only fair to add both games to the collection.

The game is based on the famous novel Death Gate by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and the designer is Glen Dahlgren, the one who gave us Gateway 1-2.

The protagonist is Haplo from the Patryns tribe. The intro shows that the Satrans council, 2 years ago, divided the universe into 5 worlds.
Your own tribe, the Patrins, was imprisoned in the labyrinth, a veritable nightmare, the purpose of which was and is that no one will come out alive.
But Xar - the most powerful mage of the tribe, managed to escape and slowly began to help others to get out of the labyrinth.
Haplo, after many difficulties, manages to reach the gate of the labyrinth. There, he realized that it was impossible to escape,
and as he was about to succumb to the terrible powers of the labyrinth, Lord Xar appeared and saved him as he fell unconscious.
After regaining his senses, Lord Xar explains what he wants from Haplo; he must bring the world back together. In order to achieve this he has to find the 5 special runes, which represent the 5 different worlds.

Νο need to expand the plot further, but each of the 5 worlds has its own inhabitants, philosophies/values, and of course problems, that you have to solve.
The characters are presented as contradictory personalities, trying to reconcile the past with the future, without them being "good" or "bad".
The script is intriguing, the characters distinct and the dialogues quite well written.

Death gate contains very charming pixel art, beautiful landscapes that strongly remind me of fantasy literature illustrated covers, nice portraits and excellent animation (when that exists).
Music is ok but nothing special, the sound effects are quite good, and speeches are convincing and representative of the various characters.
Τhe inventory looks nice, and by clicking on the environment or in the inventory, a ready relevant command is formed. From what I recall only Legend has done something like this.
With all these quality elements, atmosphere overall is great.

Puzzles are mostly inventory-based and somewhat easy, but there are a few quite tricky. Knowledge and use of magic is essential to succeed.
I recall one of the most tricky puzzles was the one where you had to face your doppelganger.
It's an easy to mid difficulty game, and for this reason, it's a good starting point for newfags on Legend Entertainment games.

Recommended for both old and newfags.
 

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Super Hero League of Hoboken (1994) Legend Entertainment

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The action takes place 200 years into the future. Murica is now a world of mutants, a consequence of the ecological destruction of the planet.
The world lives in conditions of barbarism and unspeakable chaos, thousands of mutants are criminally using their new powers.
In this dark age, Superhero Leagues are a bright exception, whose purpose is to reduce brutality and make "human life" more enjoyable.
Superhero Leagues are also mutants but they use their powers for the good of "humanity", and their leader is the famous Crimson Tape.

The game is divided into 7 action levels, the first 6 contain 5 missions, 4 simple and one where you have to overthrow the plans of Dr. Entropy.
You start with a four-member team, and at each new level you can add a new member to the team, so that in the end it consists of 9 members.
The last level has only one mission, which is the culmination of all the action; find Dr. Entropy and stop him once and for all.
Each level's missions are distinguished by their unique combination of RPG and adventure elements.
In your hideout, a computer - Matilda, gives you a brief description of the missions, and you have to find where this place is, and how exactly this mission is solved.

Enemies you'll face include trees, warrant officers, mutated rhinos, hysterical mothers, and whatever else fits into Meretzky's paranoid mind.
Full of original elements such as the brothels in the markets, which if a member of your party visits them, they gain experience points by exclaiming "Wow, that was quite an experience!"
Also, in each market you can find weapons/hardware shops and pawnbrokers. In the end, you'll need to have the best weapons and clothes to defeat the 3 continuous waves of attacks from 14-member niggerfreaks.
Overall, the atmosphere is humorous and fun.

Graphics are quite good, but of course the portraits of the various good or bad characters stand out.
Music is also satisfying, with some original and funny effects, especially when you use your characters' superpowers.

The puzzles vary in difficulty, and they're based on item combinations.
The problem is first of all to locate the object you need - that is, what object it may be, and where you will use it.
So make sure to collect whatever object you find to avoid the backtracking.

Super Hero League of Hoboken is in many ways a subversive satire of video games that should not be missed for any reason.
 
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Is the best way to play the original Myst still the Masterpiece Edition? This thread got me thinking I should do a Myst/Riven/Exile replay. I never did finish Riven back in the day.

Is ScummVM acceptable?
 

toughasnails

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Any reasons as to why realMyst wouldn't be an option? It's how I replayed it last time. Maybe you could argue that that the locations feel smaller with free movement, which is a complaint I've sometimes seen made, or that there's one bit where the challenge is lost (the tree age, basically, where in the original it's a labyrinth you have to navigate but in realMyst due to camera and movement that element is lost so that the age feels basically puzzle-less). but other than that it is really quite good as far as I'm concerned. Plus, you get an extra age!

I'm speaking of the original realMyst, just to be clear. I played the Unity remaster but I wasn't the fan of the visuals there, they look a bit artless with vanilla Unity lighting and shaders (it very much has that Unity look) and upscaled textured added on top of what seems to be largely the same realMyst geometry. I didn't play the recent Unreal remake but from what I've seen they changed the visuals of some ages quite a bit so maybe it wouldn't be the best choice. And that extra age from realMyst is gone.
 

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Conspiracies (2003) Anima Interactive

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This is an obscure recommendation, for those who crave a bit of quality junk once in a while. It's also a game for codexers with masochistic tendencies.

I've finished it a few days ago, and it wasn't my intention to analyze it this much, but I'll make an exception.
For it is about a few homies with an ambitious vision, who tried to do the unachievable. To present their own love letter to Tex Murphy.
Of course, they didn't succeed, but there is a bit of "soul" inside all of this junk.
Also, this game is a good example for other devs οn how to avoid amateurish mistakes when designing puzzles.

It is clear that a lot of effort was put into the whole project (for Greek standards) and for this reason,
I can't comprehend why they went to all this trouble to make an ambitious Τex-clone without hiring a few professional actors/VA.

Our hero is Mr. Nick Delios - a bald medical software wiz, a loser with a degree.
Get ready for a dystopic future in SouvlakiLand™.

(I'll put the plot summary in a spoiler tag, it's not spoilery, just to save some space.)
Fears for the future of mankind are overflowing. Society, in the middle of the 21st century is threatened by a devastated natural environment,
overpopulation, unemployment, crime and an increase in different kinds of depression and nerve related illnesses.
The human central nervous system has suffered changes and irreparable damage. Chemical substances and machinery have dominated the life
of people since the dawn of the 2nd technological civilization.

Earth is one single federation of cities. Greece is one of them. Every city-state has its governor and its local government, subject to the Higher Federal Government (HFG)
HFG wants to place Earth politically among the planets of its galactic periphery, as an equal member of the Regional Galaxy Alliance (RGA),
Hoping that its salvation will come from the cooperation with other civilizations.
While, humans are struggling to survive as one community and to solve their serious problems. Big companies along with political lobbies and organized crime, impose their own order.
"Emperor" presidents continue to expand by playing power games, forming their own rules. A situation which most of the times, surpasses law, state order,
human citizens, and creates another dark reality.

Nick graduated from the University of Thessaloniki, specializing in medical software. He had an illustrious career until the day the head of Argyriou's research team, a member of the scientific and business elite,
presented Nicks' pioneering research on the programming of electronic implants as his own achievement. When Nick fought back, Argyriou kicked him out of the group, simultaneously canceling his marriage to his sister Anita.
Triggered, Nick abandoned his research ambitions and adopted an edgy lifestyle, steeped in nightlife and gambling.
Soon he ends up earning his living as a PI specializing in industrial espionage cases, taking advantage of his medical knowledge, but also his acquaintances in the underworld.
Nick needs money, and when Thanos Pekas - a police inspector and his old friend - unofficially assigns him to solve the murder of a petty crook, he accepts the case without suspecting in what kind of shit he's about to be involved.



The plot as it's structured, has a similar Tex Murphy vibe. It wasn't mind-blowing, but at least it kept my curiosity until the end.
While the game is trying to present an intergalactic setting, the focus mostly stays on Earth and specifically in the activities of some specific companies.

I didn't like the acting for most of the characters, with the exception of 3-4. But I liked the protagonist's comments, as well as his self-sarcasm, although the tone of his voice was a bit edgy.
The cop, which is Nick's old friend and the bar-woman, were decent, the rest of them were hilariously bad or cringe.
Ιn close-ups, some characters look completely flat when you look at them from an angle, and given that it's a 2003 game the videos should look clearer.
I played the English version (without subs), so the lip-sync was asynchronous for many characters, but not all. Α few professional voice actors should've been hired, to boost the ummersium.

Anima created the "Wisper Engine" within 2 years, and took them another 2 to complete the game.
Τhe graphics left me with mixed impressions, at the beginning of the game they seem quite poor in some areas (apartment building corridors).
But from about the middle onwards, they become more detailed and atmospheric (Space Station, Chemtron, Detronics), and it was fun exploring every nook and cranny.

I'm not against the inclusion of a plethora of items in adventures (if most of them are useful), but Conspiracies takes it a step further, to satisfy your hoarding disorder with some good traditional inventory bloat.
The inventory has 27 slots which is good, but it doesn't fucking matter, since you'll be collecting so much junk, that you'll start throwing all the shit inside your house.
Though, I had a lot of fun with how deviously hidden some useful items were.
I finished the game without using a lot of items. Also, for some weird reason, item rotation is a bit junky.
Ιt's like someone told them "Hey niggas, there's a huge reward if you manage to create the most uncomfortable item rotation system that ever existed in an adventure".
It's not a big deal, but since item rotation also affects a certain puzzle, it felt pretty retarded.

The music tracks are nice and suitable for the setting, although they're short and they tend to get repetitive.

When it comes to satirical games in fantasy settings, it's a given that you'll come across some crazy puzzle solutions. Often, it's part of the fun.
The puzzles here gave me the feeling that its designers seriously underestimated the idea that the puzzles of a game that takes place in a contemporary setting should be logical.

And so, the puzzle in the lawyer's house with the 5 pieces of paper that you have to collect to learn a code, doesn't make any fucking sense.
No one leaves such an important code in their house, especially placed in such way.
Or in the office of Hermes, where there is a "secret" moon-shaped button on a panel that opens a warehouse door, and it is in a very obvious spot.
As much as I like secret buttons, it doesn't make sense for it to be placed in such an obvious spot. How the fuck will this "secret" button be pressed if it's necessary by the employee, when there's a lot of people around.
The logical way would be, if you could take the employee out of her office for a while. Or coming at night and find a hidden key to open the warehouse.

Although I'm opposed to walkthroughs, I have to admit that I used it for the chewing gum puzzle. Fucking niggas, chewing gums do not work like that!
Another thing I should point out is the codes you get to open doors or access computers. Most of them make sense, but the player is sometimes asked to guess many things.
I think this is in the right direction, usually to find a code, you have to combine elements or guess something else. But a few codes could have been presented a bit differently imo.
However, there are also some item combinations that were quite good, as well as the fact that the game challenges you to creatively use the environment to find some items and solutions.
A good example of that was inside professor Prokopiou's house, when you time-travel back in 2019, and you need to be a bit creative to find an item.
All puzzles are inventory-based with 1-2 exceptions.

Υou can't have a quality junk without the accompanying bugs, with the most notable being the "teleportation" bug. While walking towards a spot of an area it suddenly "teleports" you a few meters back.
It mostly happened in 2 areas, not a big deal, but it was autistically irritating when this happened.

It's a bit sad to think that with a little bit of extra love, this could have been something special.
Τhe game is quite difficult, but that won't stop you from enjoying it, if you're in the right mood and willing to digest the junk.
Now I'm curious if they've corrected their mistakes in the 2011 sequel, Conspiracies II: Lethal Networks.

Highly recommended for obscurity explorers with masochistic tendencies. For the rest of you, skip it.
 

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Companions of Xanth (1993) Legend Entertainment

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Those who are attracted to the world of fantasy know well what Piers Anthony means.
The Companions of Xanth was marketed in a box set along with the "Demons Don't Dream" novel.
The game and novel share a story-line in which Kim and Dug, two Mundane (Εarthling) teenagers, play a mysterious computer game that magically transports them to the realm of Xanth, to compete for a one-of-a-kind prize.

The game starts by accepting a challenge, to play the computer game - Companions of Xanth.
You're there, in front of a computer screen, looking in amazement at a figure, which invites you to follow it into the magical world of Xanth.
You'll enter this world from your computer screen. What you don't know is that your movements until now have not been random.
You've been chosen by two demons as one of two Mundates, who will compete for who will win the prize.
In your race you will have a companion, as Earthlings are unrelated to the world of magic. Your companions have special powers, precisely to deal with the various difficulties of Xanth.

The amazing humor is pervasive and oozes through everything, from the script to the graphics, the puzzles to the credits. As it happens in almost all of Legend Entertainment's productions.

Τhis is Legend's first game with full-screen graphics.
Backgrounds are nicely drawn, and they manage to bring out the atmosphere of Xanth very beautifully.
Music is quite good, without being anything special.
The atmosphere is great in every way, and of course this is mainly due to the scenario and the backgrounds.
Τhe inventory is the same as with the other Legend titles, and by clicking on the environment or in the inventory, a ready relevant command is formed.
It should also be noted that the auto-map is presented with graphic illustrations, and the movement is also done through it.

The action is rich and consists of completing a series of main missions. Of course, each main mission consists of several side missions.
The element that decisively enriches the action of the adventure is the numerous riddles, which are based on puns and idioms.

An example of such a riddle is when a character will tell you "for one to gain final entrance to the castle he must only listen to me".
A bit later you'll find some switches. But what are you going to do since you haven't received any hints?
Yet, acoustically, "for one to", i.e. 4,1,2 is the order in which you pull the switches!

While puns and idioms may not be for everyone, those who have a soft spot for puns, will appreciate the game.

Companions of Xanth is not Legend Entertainment's best work imo, but it's a fun and charming game.
 
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Timelapse (1996) GTE Interactive Media

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Timelapse is based on the mythical Atlantis. The game starts with a message from Professor Nichols.
The professor was researching the ancient Egyptian/Mayan/Αnasazi/ civilizations. Despite the disdain of his colleagues, the professor tried to connect these civilizations with Atlantis.
Finally, after years of research, he found a gateway in Easter Islands that led to other worlds and times.
Answering to his call, you arrive at Easter Islands to realize that the professor has disappeared.
Υou have to find out what has happened to the Professor and rescue him.
In the process you must find the gateways to visit sites belonging to the ancient Egyptian/Anasazi/Mayan civilizations and to unravel their connections with the fabled Atlantis.

Graphics are pre-rendered images, although a bit grainy, most of them look nice and denote great care in rendering the scenes as well as a genuine research effort in providing historical accuracy.
Ambiance is further enhanced by the inclusion of a multitude of ambient tracks with a lot of percussion instruments.

What I liked about the puzzles is that they are designed to reflect the history, aesthetic, and atmosphere of each culture.
Visually they're also very beautiful both in their colors and in the general conception of their images.
I recall that the Maya world has the most "violent" puzzles, like the one with the duels between animals and insects.
In contrast to the world of the Anasazi, who lived in harmony with nature and animals; the riddles were more harmonious.
Puzzles vary from inventory-based to pattern and sound based. You can only hold one item at any time. If a second item is picked up, the first one is returned to where it was first found.

Overall the puzzles are not particularly difficult, although there are 2-3 that are a bit annoying, since you'll need to repeat the same movement procedure many times.
Fortunately, you can save wherever you want, so it's not a big deal.

Timelapse doesn't reach the magnitude of similar games, but it's a pretty decent and honest adventure game.
 

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Barrow Hill (2006) Shadow Tor Studios

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Cornwall, a land of real life mysteries, myths, legends and Cornish cream.
Matt Clark is an independent game developer from Cornwall, and Barrow Hill is the first game developed by him under Shadow Tor Studios.
Shadow Tor Studios is based around the clifftops and caverns of Cornwall, and as you can guess, the company utilizes this inspirational landscape to craft their games.
This is one of the few indie studios that I've been following since 2006 (probably the only one).
Matt and his partners managed to transfer with great care their real life hobby into our screens, in the form of a horror adventure digital archaeology.
I appreciate their dedication and passion for what they do, even if their games are not the hardest they've ever been.

You're an unknown, random traveler driving in a chilling night along a highway through the Cornish countryside, listening to Emma Harry on the radio.
As nightfall descends, you turn of the highway and onto a narrow road that goes through the woodlands. Suddenly, your car stops. The car's headlights then go out, there's now complete darkness.
You cannot restart your engine. As you leave your car, you can hear the sound of the door slammed shut. Suddenly, the headlights mysteriously light up, revealing a single oak leaf falling to the ground.
You decide to turn around and walk back to the highway, only to find yourself trapped and unable to go back. Moving forward, you arrive at the deserted Barrow Hill Service Station and Motel.
Welcome to Barrow Hill, enjoy your Cornish cream.

Soon, you discover that you are standing on an archaeological excavation site in Barrow Hill. You also learn that Professor Conrad Morse and his assistant Pete Aston, have been excavating the site.
The purpose of their dig is to uncover ancient artifacts related to local myths.
Overnight, you become an investigator - you must retrace the steps of the professor, who is now missing, and discover his whereabouts.
Fortunately, the professor has archived every step of his expedition. You learn about its purpose, his findings, and his madness as well as the other strange disappearances at Barrow Hill.
A journal and some tape recordings reveal a broken seal at the excavation site with an ominous warning - "The Ancient Man has awoken. Balance must be restored."
You'll have to discover who or what has been awoken and how to restore the balance, only then will the disappearances and murders stop in Barrow Hill.

The setting is the highlight here, though fictitious, makes use of many real locations in Cornwall.
Shadow Tor Studios has done a wonderful job rendering the still photographs. Also, the developer has employed a number of contemporary filming techniques to achieve specific cinematic effects.
Sound is quite good, many audio recordings have been made from the environment.
These include owls, disturbed ravens, the breaking of twigs while walking through the woods, dripping water in a deep well, a car engine, and many more.
The game doesn't have many music tracks, but the few that are there are pretty good. "Saint Anneka's well", "Moonshine", "The Greenman", all very fine short compositions that fit well to the setting.

Exploration is quite good, one of my fav parts was discovering the BHR radio station in the swamps. It felt quite satisfying, since you hear Emma's fucking voice throughout the duration of the game.
Well, you still don't find her but at least you'll get to explore her trailer and the surrounding area.


The game is not particularly difficult, puzzles are inventory-based, logical and plot-driven. The challenge comes mostly from the non-linearity of the game, which you have to re-visit some areas
to carefully re-examine and trigger some hotspots/events. Then, and only then you can access a few new areas.
That doesn't mean that the game is a walk in the park, on the contrary, it's a walk to an atmospheric labyrinthine woodland.
As far as I remember the final puzzle is multi-layered and quite good.

The few issues I can think of is that the horror aspect it's not very strong but Ι can easily get past this since the game delivers successfully an eery and atmospheric environment.
Also, an additional difficulty in the puzzles wοuld have been welcomed.
If you're a person who gives emphasis on endings, I recall that the ending was somewhat subdued, but the journey to this final subdued ending was good.

Barrow Hill has its flaws but the setting is believable, the story is gripping, and the exploration quite satisfying.
It's a decent and respectful recommendation.

(There's also a sequel available on GOG, haven't tried it yet but I plan on playing it at some point)
 

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Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy (2007) Kheops Studio

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The story takes place in the 16th century and in the South of France.
The time period is turbulent as Catherine the Medici struggles to hold on to the last nuggets of power she has left after years of plots against her.
On a rainy night in March 1566, you find her on the doorstep of her trusted physician and astrologer, Michel de Nostre-Dame (Nostradamus).
She confides in him that one of his prophecies has started to come true and that a curse has hit her name, thus asking for his help.

Nostradamus is now too old and tired to be able to help Catherine.
But, refusing to abandon his queen at this difficult moment, he promises her that he will send his son Cesar in his place, with the assurance that he will thoroughly investigate the matter.
But with Cesar out of town, his role falls to his sister Madeleine.

As you can see, the script does not claim laurels for originality, as it has a very standard conspiracy setting with equally standard continuity and plot twists.
But what I found interesting is that in that time period there were no female doctors, let alone astrologers,
which leads to a very interesting element in the gameplay - The need to disguise as a man in order to be socially acceptable.
But, as it is known, there are also things that a woman can achieve more easily. Thus, you'll very often find yourself changing "characters" in your attempt to enter a room and learn various information.
Your wardrobe is constantly evolving and so you can always be appropriately dressed for the occasion. This element therefore, changes the gameplay a bit and turns you into some kind of agent of the Renaissance.
Α mention must be made for the inventory, which is nicely designed. It reminded me of those jewelry boxes that have the characteristic red felt inside.

Graphics are 3D with a 360-degree view. The interiors are buzzing with objects and intoxicating colors, often making some places look like a work of art.
The architecture modeled in the game looks authentic to the period of French Renaissance.
I especially liked the lighting during the nighttime scenery, it gives a cinematic feel. It was pleasurable to walk through the alleys at night while listening to the crickets, dogs barking, and the wind.
The characters on the other hand, although they have detailed clothing, look shitty.
And they sound shitty.
Most of the time the speech sounds as if it's simply being read from the script, and the pronunciation of the actors is definitely not what you would expect to hear from people of that particular region and period.
It's unacceptable to be in the South of France in the 16th century, and listening to everyone having a fucking Londinium accent. Cunts should have hired a few native french speakers.
Music is also a mixed bag, in some tracks they tried to mix rock elements with operatic vocals, but I couldn't "feel" it. Most of them sound pretty generic and unmemorable, without any actual memorable melody.
While a few slow short tracks with classical guitar are ok-ish, sadly there's nothing else of worth.

There is variety in the puzzles, alchemy potion preparations, astrological, mathematical, geometrical puzzles and also quite a few sliders.
I recall the easiest being the sliders and fulfilling recipes for making potions, and as the most difficult the ones that are puzzles of astrological nature.
Ιt's not the hardest game you'll encounter, but it has its moments.

This is another game that I can't recommend as a must play, since oldfags will find it a bit more of the same.
But if you're starving for something that you haven't played yet, and you're interested in the setting, you could give it a spin.
It's a nice looking game that could also work as a good starting point for newfags on the FFP genre.
 

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