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Incline First Person Perspective (FPP) Adventure Recommendations

Darkozric

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Voyage: Journey to the Moon (2005) Kheops Studio

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Voyage is loosely based on the novels "From the Earth to the Moon" and "Around the Moon" by French science fiction author Jules Verne.
One would hardly be satisfied with a trip around the Moon. So you quickly find yourself walking on its surface, experimenting with weird Lunar flora, and encountering the mysterious, puzzle-autists Selenites.
You play as Ardan, you get to the moon by riding a capsule that is fired out of a giant cannon. Once there, your task is to explore and hopefully find a way back home.
Amusingly, there is no thought given to how he may return if he discovers that there is nobody on the moon to help.
Fortunately for you, the moon is inhabited with an advanced civilization, so returning home becomes a possibility.
The game starts with Ardan awakening inside the capsule en route to the moon.
Ardan is confused, and he must recover his memory, how he has gotten there, and where is he going. He also must figure out why he is riding along with 2 dead men.
On the moon, Ardan's task is to understand the alien world, the beings living there, and the technology of the Selenite civilization.
The goal is to use all of this newly acquired knowledge to find his way back home.

The story here is mostly a back story, it exist to support the gameplay.
There is little ongoing plot, and the mood of the game is lighthearted, not serious.
Which is fine by me, if the gameplay is good.

The panoramic view allows 360 degrees rotation similar to Myst 3.
The art style is not spectacular when you compare it with other more exotic adventures, but that is largely because you are on the moon and in tunnels.
There is a lot of rock and steampunk inspired machineries setting the scenery, but only a few areas with signs of life.
Although, that doesn't mean that the game lacks atmosphere (hence the plant life!).

Music is fitting quite well with the setting, including many orchestral, playful tracks to inspire your inventiveness, but it still remains a bit unmemorable overall.
Most of the dialog is done by Ardan, the narrator and the Selenites. The English voice acting is well done.

I have some funny memories from this game because it was a choice to introduce a mmo/consolefag friend of mine to the genre. (nigga never finished it)
The reason was that the game offers a wide variety of solutions, and it goes even further and lets you have a purse for Selenite currency, which can be used to purchase goods or information.
A very helpful combo for newfags. However, experienced players can continue "hunting" the harder puzzle solutions without feeling that they have "cheated".

In the beginning, Voyage feels more like a game of alchemy than of technology.
Instead of a crescendo of technological advancement, you're thrown straight in with several species of Lunar plants which you have to experiment a lot.
As the game continues, you acquire more ways to mutate and transform the elements you've already got.
No need to worry however, since you will have to operate alien machines, understand written and spoken Selenite, and comprehend Selenite arithmetic.
Voyage also includes a couple of sound-based challenges. Not only do you have to distinguish pitches, you have to distinguish chords.
For a "deaf-tone" player who can't cope with sound-based or even mathematical puzzles, there are a few choices.
Most of the puzzles contain three solutions, the normal (hard) solution, the easier solution, which you can unlock by acquiring the appropriate key level when solving enough puzzles.
Or just buying your solution if you perform enough gathering, combining, and selling of items. Not to mention that there's a log book that records your discoveries and a list of your current goals.

There is also a complex inventory manipulation UI to satisfy your combination autism.
The game includes some real-time reflex "puzzles", some parts of the map require you to jump long distances. These parts are solved by "click when the light is green" sort of thing. Nothing fancy or hard.
Also you can die. Fortunately, after a death scene, you are immediately restored to the moment of failure.

Voyage will not satisfy your storyfaggotry desire, but it's a relaxing game clearly made for problem solving autists (incline), and it's one of those rare adventures with plenty of extra stuff to do.
I found it more entertaining than Nostradamus, it's a good recommendation.
 

Scrounger

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Nice! I have a soft spot for (almost) all Kheops games, nostalgia and all...
Will you review "The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript"? That one is very similar to Nostradamus but better in my opinion, awfully rare to find as well.
There's one game which came before Voyage (Return to Mysterious Island) which also did that combination stuff with inventory.
 

Darkozric

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These two are the only Kheops games I've played. The Forbidden Manuscript is probably something for the future, need to be in the right mood to approach it.

But I'm curious about Mysterious Island, at least for the first one.
 

Scrounger

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Return to Mysterious Island and Voyage even have some slight connections in the story department - together with obvious Jules Verne references and all.
Despite Kheops games shortcomings I really like how cozy they are.

In any case, this is really cool thread, I really must try Tex Murphy series. Never tried them before but I have a feeling I will like them.
 

Darkozric

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I really must try Tex Murphy series. Never tried them before but I have a feeling I will like them.
Yeah you should certainly check them out. Don't let the controls put you off, stick with the games, they are rewarding.

I will also include Overseer and Tesla Effect to the collection at some point, especially Tesla Effect, which I replayed recently and it's still fresh in my memory.
 

Neuromancer

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Also you can die. Fortunately, after a death scene, you are immediately restored to the moment of failure.
Dying is even kind of encouraged. Each time, you encounter a different death scene, a new screen shot is unlocked in the main gallery.
 

Neuromancer

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Return to Mysterious Island was really good, I never played the second one, though.

Kheops games are great.
Yes, the first game was very nice and I can recommend it, if you like that kind of game.


Don't bother with the second game, though.

It's starts similar to the first one (story actually continues right after the ending), but gets annoying really quick. There are certain minigames, that you have to repeat again and again.
There are also a lot of "action" and timed sequences. Furthermore, there's even lots of pixel hunting.

Yes, the first part and Voyage also had some of these elements, but a lot less and very forgiving in execution.

I was happy, when I finally finished the second part.
I will never touch that game again.
 

Darkozric

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Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure (2014) Big Finish Games

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Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure, is the sixth game in the Tex Murphy series created by Chris Jones, based on the novel Tex Murphy and the Tesla Effect penned by Aaron Conners.
The story picks up after the cliffhanger ending in Tex Murphy: Overseer, it involves an ancient cult and a lost invention of Nikola Tesla.
Tesla Effect is another crowd-funding child, with $598.000 being the amount that Big Finish Games had in their hands, and it undoubtedly has its own value to see if the money was invested correctly.

We are in the San Francisco of 2050, when our hero wakes up in his office, with a large wound on the head and the last thing which he vaguely remembers are voices and gunshots.
Wandering down Chandler Avenue and meeting familiar faces like Archie Ellis, Rook Garner and Louie Lamintz soon make him realize that he remembers absolutely nothing of the last seven years of his life,
during which, according to the testimonies of the above, he behaved like a completely different person from the one they knew.
Even worse, Tex cannot remember, nor does anyone seem to know and be able to inform him, what happened to his lover, Chelsee Bando.
The last thing he remembers is her accompanying him to the Golden Pagoda restaurant and from then on there is a complete blank in his memory.
It is obvious that someone has deliberately damaged his memory and the P.I. has to find out who did this to him and what's happened in the last 7 years.
The answers that our quirky protagonist is looking for will bring him to contact with a secret organization, who study the content of the research and experiments of the physicist Nicola Tesla from 100+ years ago.

It is obvious that Tesla Effect is a love letter from its creators to the series, their fans, and the adventure game genre. It is a work of passion.
While the game is neither revolutionary nor evolutionary (and it doesn't need to be), it solidly embraces all the nostalgic qualities that have made Tex Murphy a prestigious series.
Although it is not necessary that someone has played the previous games, they will feel much more familiar with the Tesla Effect if they have.
Otherwise, how will someone sympathize Tex's anxiety to learn about Chelsee's fate, or smile with a strong sense of nostalgia, watching videos of past adventures
every time the protagonist comes into contact with an object that reminds him of something of those.
Ι certainly can't blame the creators for the nostalgia wink at the fans of the series, who were also the ones who were the first to support this new project on Kickstarter.
It should also be noted that "Tesla Effect" returns to the "The Pandora Directive" mentality, offering alternative paths and five different endings.

Visually, the game is unapologetic about returning to its retro roots.
Τhe textures that dress up the various locations we visit are of low quality. Ιf someone saw "Tesla Effect" and was told that it is a game from 2007, they could easily believe it.
The only thing that hints to its modern character is the very high resolution videos, which are also very well directed for a video game.
Personally I don't give a fuck about the low res textures, understanding that the available money of an independent company probably wasn't enough for something more,
but I can't be at all sure that the same leniency will be shown by other gamers, since there are a lot of graphic whores out there.
But for Codexers this would not be a problem at all, the game still looks great and the combination of the beautifully composed jazzy songs and acting, contribute to a top notch atmosphere.

The jazz tracks that accompany during our wandering down Chandler Avenue and most of the locations we visit thereafter, make for a very fitting sonic wrap, similar to those we remember from our earlier encounters with Tex.
The performances move at a satisfactory level both in voice acting and the general physical presence, with Tex giving one of his best performances imo. It is clear that Chris Jones had a lot of fun returning to the series.

Puzzle-wise the game is on the easy side, there are a few tricky ones but nothing that will glue your ass on the chair for hours, especially for the veterans.
There are various puzzles such as slider, mechanic, logical, memory, and finding codes to open safes, but leaving room for combining and using items on others.
Admittedly, most of the time I spent was looking for items than I did on the puzzles.
Of course Tesla Effect is not a walking sim, but I can't help but admit that it led me to the unpleasant conclusion that
even if an adventure game like this seems too easy, compared to its predecessors, and doesn't dare to pose a real challenge to the player,
this is the level of difficulty for modern adventure games.

Εxploration is a highlight here with places like Sesen (even if the puzzles were easy), the expanded Chandler Avenue locations,
and my personal favorites, the swamp house (emitting a very nice eery atmosphere), and the Tesla Legacy Society (being a multi-level atmospherically abandoned facility), that were truly a pleasure to explore.

Another weird choice is that the game uses a points system to help track the player's progress but without a final total score (WTF).
Each time the player completes a certain action, even for seemingly mundane tasks, the game shows that points have been added.
However, nowhere is the total score ever shown in the game. Instead, at the game's completion, the player is simply given a P.I. Rating based on this hidden score.

Controls are very fluid, and the UI is streamlined. What I liked about the UI (smart Alex) is that it has its own personality with plenty of sarcasm and humor.
What I didn't like is that often it gives small hints; quite a few times he informs us about what we should do next (fucking pandering again).
The game length is about 15-20 hours, depending on your problem solving skills and exploration pacing.

Despite all the flaws and shortcomings it may have, the game fulfills its purpose perfectly.
It brings back a beloved hero who has been absent from our gaming lives for many years.
It overflows with emotion and passion on the part of the creators, makes excellent use of the money it raised from the campaign, offers a very satisfactory duration, alternative paths and five different endings.
The low level of difficulty and its other minor flaws are not enough to tarnish the overall positive image of the title.

The game is an easy recommendation for all Tex Murphy fans, and it's a good choice for newfags who are searching for a polished and contemporary FMV adventure.
 
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Darkozric

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Rhem (2003) Knut Muller

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Rhem is what I like to call a first cousin of Myst. It's the first game in the Rhem series by German developer, Knut Muller.
Inspired by Stephan Stoske's Das Tor der Minerva (The Gate of Minerva, Mac-exclusive adventure) and Cyan's Myst series, it managed to gather a cult following over the years.

Rhem is an intricate pure-puzzle adventure game, and when I say pure, I mean it.
There are three short pieces of story bits in Rhem - a monologue at the beginning, a message near the middle, and the final win message at the end.
Yes, they give you a minimal backstory (and a hint for a sequel) but they're not what the game is about.

You play as an unnamed messenger, tasked to deliver a letter to Kales written by his brother Zetais.
The letter is in 4 parts, each of which has been hidden by Zetais on the mysterious industrial world of Rhem.
You need to find all parts of the letter, put them together to enable your escape from Rhem, and then give the letter as well as part of a key back to Kales.
And that's it. Rhem is obviously lacking on the immersive world-building and lore department compared to similar games such as Myst and Schizm.

Rhem appears to be the remains of a vast industrial complex on an isolated island.
The complex is now derelict with miles of rusted pipes, endless trails of walkways, numerous rusted but still operable mechanical controls, and many vast unmanned buildings.
The graphics are a bit grainy and of low res, though still well detailed. However, don't expect a realm of mystical wonders.
The modelling isn't barren, but it's pretty simplistic when compared to most commercial adventures.
But it gets the job done imo. And there is certainly plenty of variety, and some nicely-rendered moments in there that still convey a nice atmosphere.
The game doesn't use a free-rotating view; but the developer has achieved nearly the same effect, simply by rendering a lot of views.
While rotation is in 90-degree, you can often look upwards, and nearly always look down over a balcony or railing.

My biggest complaint is the absence of music or any ambient tracks. Some would say that it conveys a sense of the game's general desolateness, which I can agree to an extend,
but lets not fool ourselves, a prestigious Riven-like well crafted ambient soundtrack would elevate the experience 10x.
There are, however, ambient machine noises, wind blowing, and running water.

I don't recall much about the puzzles other than they're pretty diabolical. Prepare your trusty notebook, you're gonna solve some serious shit.
The only one that comes to mind is a puzzle involving a water tower where you must raise the water level to raise a floating bridge to find a set of hidden numbers.
Overall, it's a gigantic maze which you can only access by climbing up or down ladders, locating hidden passages, opening manholes, draining reservoirs, and turning revolving buildings and bridges.
All puzzles will test your patience, your observation, your proper evaluation and detailed note-taking skills.
It is imperative that you observe and note carefully every control, color, symbol, diagram, and number that you find.
Another minus drawback is the backtracking, since the game is a gigantic maze, constant backtracking will be your best friend or worst enemy (in Special Edition it is less irritating).
The UI and inventory are very simple. You do find a few objects, but they're only used at the end of the game.

Rhem 3 and 4 look a bit better than the first game, and given that the plot serves as a decorative element, the good thing is that you can play them with whichever order you like.
The game has been given some extra love by the developer, and it's available on Steam as a special edition, featuring new puzzles and areas and a "Skip mode" to reduce the backtracking.
This also applies for the rest of the games, "RHEM II SE: The Cave", "RHEM III SE: The Secret Library", and "RHEM IV SE: The Golden Fragments".

Rhem might not reach the immersive and polished elements of similar titles, however, it's one of the best in constructing a challenging puzzle-environment.
The game is pure puzzle-solving porn, and therefore, it's an easy recommendation for prestigious puzzle autists. The reward that you get in escaping Rhem, is a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
For the rest who prefer a more balanced and polished experience stick with the Myst series, when you finish and crave for more, then you might want to dive into the diabolical world of Rhem.
 
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Darkozric

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Has anyone played Amerzone, from what I recall the general consensus was that it's very easy. How does this translate, brain-dead easy or easy with a few decent moments?

Is the atmos worthy enough to justify a playthrough, or better leave it rest in peace?
 

Neuromancer

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It is a long time ago, that I played it, but from what I remember, it was very easy. It is also very short.
The only difficulty stems from some pixel hunting and in some cases some obtuse item combinations, which you would "solve" by Try&Error (but both these things were not nearly as bad as in Atlantis 1 for example).


I personally liked it because of the atmosphere and the graphics (of it's time).
Story is also very simple, but fits well into the game.

Wether the game would be something for you, depends, if you also liked the world and atmosphere of other games of Sokal, especially Syberia.
Although everything in Amerzone (world, graphics, puzzles, story) is much, much simpler compared to Syberia.

If you play adventure games mainly or only for puzzles, you would better skip this game!


Similar to Riven or Journeyman Project 3, there were actually two versions of the game, a CD version and a DVD version with higher quality graphics and videos.
The DVD version was very rare and difficult to get at that time. I am not sure, which version you get on online stores now.
 

Darkozric

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OK I'll probably put it way back on my to-play list. There are other games that have priority.
 

Morpheus Kitami

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Ween: The Prophecy? It's Coktel Vision's best game that isn't related to the Goblins series and fits in with the atmospheric puzzler adventure game vibe most of the games you mentioned have.
Also, Myst IV was pretty good, outside of that monkey puzzle. Yeah, it sort of retconned the series, but the game was very solid. Myst V in contrast, was weird and more of a sequel to Uru than the original games.

Not fitting in with the vibes you picked out is the original The Last Half of Darkness. Doesn't quite have the same vibe as the games you mentioned and it's more like an awkward Uninvited knock-off, but it is creepy as hell.
 

Darkozric

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Ween: The Prophecy? It's Coktel Vision's best game that isn't related to the Goblins series and fits in with the atmospheric puzzler adventure game vibe most of the games you mentioned have.
Also, Myst IV was pretty good, outside of that monkey puzzle. Yeah, it sort of retconned the series, but the game was very solid. Myst V in contrast, was weird and more of a sequel to Uru than the original games.

Not fitting in with the vibes you picked out is the original The Last Half of Darkness. Doesn't quite have the same vibe as the games you mentioned and it's more like an awkward Uninvited knock-off, but it is creepy as hell.
Man, I forgot about Ween, good choice. Don't remember it well enough to cover it.

Myst IV had its moments, and the soundtrack is beautiful. I will include it at some point. For now, I'm thinking of covering Obduction, since I finished it recently and it's still fresh in my head.

Never played Last Half of Darkness (I know heresy!). I don't see any reason not to be included here, after all I already included Barrow Hill and Amber.

Besides the old one, are there any other FPP Last Half of Darkness games?
 

Morpheus Kitami

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Ween: The Prophecy? It's Coktel Vision's best game that isn't related to the Goblins series and fits in with the atmospheric puzzler adventure game vibe most of the games you mentioned have.
Also, Myst IV was pretty good, outside of that monkey puzzle. Yeah, it sort of retconned the series, but the game was very solid. Myst V in contrast, was weird and more of a sequel to Uru than the original games.

Not fitting in with the vibes you picked out is the original The Last Half of Darkness. Doesn't quite have the same vibe as the games you mentioned and it's more like an awkward Uninvited knock-off, but it is creepy as hell.
Man, I forgot about Ween, good choice. Don't remember it well enough to cover it.

Myst IV had its moments, and the soundtrack is beautiful. I will include it at some point. For now, I'm thinking of covering Obduction, since I finished it recently and it's still fresh in my head.

Never played Last Half of Darkness (I know heresy!). I don't see any reason not to be included here, after all I already included Barrow Hill and Amber.

Besides the old one, are there any other FPP Last Half of Darkness games?
The entire Last Half of Darkness series, actually, every first person adventure game William Fisher did were all in first person and have the same vibe. That's including the DOS trilogy, the remake, the later Windows remake and then the titled sequels. Also his spy game, Nine Lives of Secret Agent Katt and The Romantic Shadow. The last one is basically another Last Half of Darkness game in story and visuals. I've only played the original trilogy and the first remake, the series is kind of too short and easy after the first game. No idea about The Romantic Shadow and onward.
 

Darkozric

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Obduction (2016) Cyan Worlds

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Obduction is another crowd-funding child and raised $1.321.300, Cyan had ambitious plans for this one, so let's see if their ambition was achieved.

Obduction begins by transporting you to an alien planet, with a pretty impressive intro.
You are on a path to an unknown place on Earth with an unknown voice narrating.
Suddenly something that looks like a shooting star appears and you walk towards it. An unknown object that looks like a giant seed is in front of you and before you know it you are transported to another planet.
This is where the game practically begins. Unlike Myst, where you basically always answered the call for help from your friend Atrus, who made a prologue for the story of each game, here things are completely lonely.
You don't know anything about the planet and why you are being transported there. So you have to discover everything on your own.
As in every Cyan game, you will find many journals and logs, through which you learn and connect the whole story.

Through these journals, you learn about the four sister planets and their respective inhabitants.
The base world is Hunrath, a replica planet of early 20th century American Arizona, to which an entire community of miners has been kidnapped and transported to.
Alongside there is Kaptar, world of the insectoid Arai, Soria inhabited by the controversial and technologically advanced Mofang and finally Maray, home of the peaceful Villein.
These four worlds are connected to each other through the heart of the "Trees", which are a source of energy and balance.
These trees also produce the seeds through which transport between worlds is possible.
While in the beginning the four races were trying to communicate and cooperate peacefully, it seems that this balance has now been disturbed with the result being that the worlds have been practically deserted.

Overall I liked the setting but unfortunately, unlike Myst, whose lore apparently preoccupied the creators to the point of turning it into a book, here things stay on the surface.
Yes, you read a lot of journals, but nothing to do with the amount of reading in Myst.
Yes, you learn a lot about both the earthlings of Hunrath and the alien inhabitants of the planets.
But the information remains only at an encyclopedic level - who they are, how they got there, how they plan to leave.
There is no proper background and certainly no philosophical or other extension to the whole setting.
You're just on a foreign planet and you need to find a way to escape.
No biggie if the puzzles are your priority, but I had to make the comparison with rest of the Myst games.

Cyan always had a tradition in creating beautiful worlds and Obduction is not an exception. There are many lovely vistas in the game.
Everything here breathes, and it's a wonderful experience to gaze at the clouds in Hunrath, the sparkles in Soria, and the engines in Kaptar or the birds in Maray.
The level of detail in Obduction's worlds is exceptional. The textures are of great quality, the horizon is open and everything is visible, the rivers and waterfalls are a delight, and the special effects are impressive.

The ambiance is somewhat familiar to that in Myst games, but at the same time it has its own flavor.
Music tracks were quite good, although in no way come close to the amazing ambient sounds of Riven or the beautiful orchestrations of Myst 4.
It's an honest effort, although I won't remember them. On the other hand, the sound effects, similar to the graphics, excel technically.

The puzzles, for the most part are challenging, though overly familiar. They rely on your observation as well as your creativity.
But there are some that I didn't enjoy at all. These are none other than the puzzles that require combinatorial traversal between worlds.
And when you combine this with the constant backtracking/re-backtracking accompanied with the autistic teleportation loading times, you realize that Cyan has dropped the ball a bit.
I think in Obduction Cyan tried to reach Riven's level of puzzles and difficulty. Unfortunately they didn't succeed, not because it lacks difficulty - on the contrary - it fails because it lacks originality and ingenuity.
Riven 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.
Obduction has a similar puzzle logic where an alien race has a numeric system in base 4, and the game literally spoon-feeds you a worksheet which tells you this and how the numbers work.
It gave me the impression that Cyan doesn't have the same faith to their fanbase compared to the first 2 Myst games.

Another minor complaint is that the ending was kind of meh, having finished The Talos Principle recently, Obduction's ending felt pretty underwhelming.

Still, the game is decent, especially when you consider the amount of modern garbage that is out there. But I'll be honest, this is the first Cyan game that I won't replay.
For Myst fans it's a good recommendation, not sure I can say the same for newfags.
 
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I'll go with a less popular one. I really liked Uru when it came out. I thought the ages were interesting and the greater focus on storytelling or at least hinting towards Myst lore was intriguing. It really made me feel like a modern day archeologist uncovering this strange character called Yeesha. I eventually got involved in the multiplayer side of things. Which GREATLY contributed to Myst lore. It was fun solving puzzles with friends and then going back to D'ni to talk with the developers who would play in-game versions of themselves to advance this sort of ARG narrative in game about uncovering the D'ni civilization. It's all still canon according to the Millers.
 

AdolfSatan

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Amazing thread bro, your enthusiasm is contagious, this list will keep me entertained for years to come.
Riven’s excellence is unmatchable, but I’m hyped to try all of these.
 

Darkozric

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Amazing thread bro, your enthusiasm is contagious, this list will keep me entertained for years to come.
Riven’s excellence is unmatchable, but I’m hyped to try all of these.
Glad to see that there are a few codexers that still give a fuck about the genre.

Even if one has played all the games on the list, I hope that the thread worked as a nostalgic and fun trip with a time machine.
 

Maxie

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Obduction (2016) Cyan Worlds

Obduction.jpg
O1.png
O2.png
O3.png
O5.png



Obduction is another crowd-funding child and raised $1.321.300, Cyan had ambitious plans for this one, so let's see if their ambition was achieved.

Obduction begins by transporting you to an alien planet, with a pretty impressive intro.
You are on a path to an unknown place on Earth with an unknown voice narrating.
Suddenly something that looks like a shooting star appears and you walk towards it. An unknown object that looks like a giant seed is in front of you and before you know it you are transported to another planet.
This is where the game practically begins. Unlike Myst, where you basically always answered the call for help from your friend Atrus, who made a prologue for the story of each game, here things are completely lonely.
You don't know anything about the planet and why you are being transported there. So you have to discover everything on your own.
As in every Cyan game, you will find many journals and logs, through which you learn and connect the whole story.

Through these journals, you learn about the four sister planets and their respective inhabitants.
The base world is Hunrath, a replica planet of early 20th century American Arizona, to which an entire community of miners has been kidnapped and transported to.
Alongside there is Kaptar, world of the insectoid Arai, Soria inhabited by the controversial and technologically advanced Mofang and finally Maray, home of the peaceful Villein.
These four worlds are connected to each other through the heart of the "Trees", which are a source of energy and balance.
These trees also produce the seeds through which transport between worlds is possible.
While in the beginning the four races were trying to communicate and cooperate peacefully, it seems that this balance has now been disturbed with the result being that the worlds have been practically deserted.

Overall I liked the setting but unfortunately, unlike Myst, whose lore apparently preoccupied the creators to the point of turning it into a book, here things stay on the surface.
Yes, you read a lot of journals, but nothing to do with the amount of reading in Myst.
Yes, you learn a lot about both the earthlings of Hunrath and the alien inhabitants of the planets.
But the information remains only at an encyclopedic level - who they are, how they got there, how they plan to leave.
There is no proper background and certainly no philosophical or other extension to the whole setting.
You're just on a foreign planet and you need to find a way to escape.
No biggie if the puzzles are your priority, but I had to make the comparison with rest of the Myst games.

Cyan always had a tradition in creating beautiful worlds and Obduction is not an exception. There are many lovely vistas in the game.
Everything here breathes, and it's a wonderful experience to gaze at the clouds in Hunrath, the sparkles in Soria, and the engines in Kaptar or the birds in Maray.
The level of detail in Obduction's worlds is exceptional. The textures are of great quality, the horizon is open and everything is visible, the rivers and waterfalls are a delight, and the special effects are impressive.

The ambiance is somewhat familiar to that in Myst games, but at the same time it has its own flavor.
Music tracks were quite good, although in no way come close to the amazing ambient sounds of Riven or the beautiful orchestrations of Myst 4.
It's an honest effort, although I won't remember them. On the other hand, the sound effects, similar to the graphics, excel technically.

The puzzles, for the most part are challenging, though overly familiar. They rely on your observation as well as your creativity.
But there are some that I didn't enjoy at all. These are none other than the puzzles that require combinatorial traversal between worlds.
And when you combine this with the constant backtracking/re-backtracking accompanied with the autistic teleportation loading times, you realize that Cyan has dropped the ball a bit.
I think in Obduction Cyan tried to reach Riven's level of puzzles and difficulty. Unfortunately they didn't succeed, not because it lacks difficulty - on the contrary - it fails because it lacks originality and ingenuity.
Riven 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.
Obduction has a similar puzzle logic where an alien race has a numeric system in base 4, and the game literally spoon-feeds you a worksheet which tells you this and how the numbers work.
It gave me the impression that Cyan doesn't have the same faith to their fanbase compared to the first 2 Myst games.

Another minor complaint is that the ending was kind of meh, having finished The Talos Principle recently, Obduction's ending felt pretty underwhelming.

Still, the game is decent, especially when you consider the amount of modern garbage that is out there. But I'll be honest, this is the first Cyan game that I won't replay.
For Myst fans it's a good recommendation, not sure I can say the same for newfags.
I received Obduction for free at some GOG promo and tried my hardest to like it but it simply let me down something cruel, shame really
 

NwNgger

Educated
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Messages
86
I'll go with a less popular one. I really liked Uru when it came out. I thought the ages were interesting and the greater focus on storytelling or at least hinting towards Myst lore was intriguing. It really made me feel like a modern day archeologist uncovering this strange character called Yeesha. I eventually got involved in the multiplayer side of things. Which GREATLY contributed to Myst lore. It was fun solving puzzles with friends and then going back to D'ni to talk with the developers who would play in-game versions of themselves to advance this sort of ARG narrative in game about uncovering the D'ni civilization. It's all still canon according to the Millers.
I also really liked Uru. Oddly enough the multiplayer version got an update very recently adding new ages and content.



Here is the website if you want to check the game out. It's the full game and all it's expansions all for free. Not free to play. Completely free. Even if you ignore the multiplayer side of things you have a fully working and complete version of Uru that works without faff on modern PCs.
 

Darkozric

Arbiter
Edgy
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,710
Tex Murphy: Overseer (1998) Access Software

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Overseer is another great addition to the Tex Murphy family. I recall back in the day, many adventure fans had purchased new computer upgrades and systems, anticipating the return of the world famous P.I.
Access Software were always restless and probably this is the reason that made them stand out as a company, as they were the first company to release a game containing speech in a 256 color environment,
but they didn't manage to be the first to release a game on CD-ROM (if I'm not mistaken, the 7th quest was the first one).
Likewise with Overseer, they were the first to present a game on DVD-ROM format, developed to specifically take advantage of DVD tech.

The story of Tex Murphy: Overseer begins in Tex's bedroom where he is just having a sweet nap.
Suddenly the phone rings and Tex wakes up with a horrified look from a recurrent nightmare of his past.
On the phone is Chelsee, reminding him of their date to celebrate their first year of "friendship" that is supposed to take place in 20 minutes.
Eventually, Tex arrives late at Chelsee's apartment. She has already made a reservation at the Golden Pagoda. The date is going well, that is, until Chelsee asks Tex about his past and ex-wife Sylvia.
At first, Tex appears embarrassed, but soon he starts telling Chelsee the story of his first case - Mean Streets, and his acquaintance with the sensual Sylvia.

The game takes place in the past, in an attempt by Αccess Software to cover the questions that have been created mainly by Under A killing Moon and Pandora Directive.
The year is 2037, Tex has just moved into a brand new office in New San Francisco. After refurnishing and buying a new speeder, he is in debt (debt, debt never changes).
Long ago Tex was a very different person from the hard-boiled self of present day Tex. He was a young idealistic detective with a lot of optimism for the future.
He has been just fired by his mentor, Colonel Dobbs, for reporting on the Colonel's unethical work practice. This forces Tex to go solo and opens his own detective agency.
Business is as slow and exciting as a game of Parcheesi until a charming trouble knocks on his door.

The case starts as any film noir case, a woman named Sylvia Linsky has asked Tex to assist her in proving that her father Carl Linsky has not committed suicide.
She says that her father was not suicidal and wants to find out the truth about his death. Since Tex has nothing else to do but play parcheesi, he jumps on the case like a drunken bum on a bottle of bourbon.
At first, Tex is suspicious of Sylvia and even suspects her of being involved in her own father's death with the motive of those sweet insurance money.
Little does Tex know, however, that he is in the midst of something big. Soon, the most powerful people in San Francisco are looking for him.
He has once again found himself in a race against time. He has exactly 48 hours to live, to save the world, and to fight for his own life in a game of chess.

The story and the overall atmosphere is characterized by mystery, abundant eroticism, self-deprecating humor, complemented by excellent dialogs.
Acting is of great quality with Henry Darrow, who plays Sonny Fletcher, and Michael York as J Saint Gideon being my favorite.
Meeting Gideon for the first time while listening to the dark operatic entrance theme was a treat.
The only drawbacks that come to mind are that unlike Pandora Directive, Overseer does not feature multiple paths or endings.
Also, there are no twists in the screenplay material (the ending is good), the script development causes a little monotony since there are no scenes of great intensity.
Nevertheless the mystery and the perfect pacing of the story will make you not think about all that.

If you like chess, needless to say that you're gonna love this shit. The whole experience oozes with unique chess vibes, which reach their highest point at the end of the game.

Where you have to win a game of chess that re-enacts the famous "Evergreen game", played between Anderssen and Dufresne in 1852.
You control the white pawns and you start from the 19th move.


Graphic-wise the full screen, 3D environment is now presented in 16-bit high color and the display mode has a resolution of 800x600 or 640x480.
Ηowever, this change in the CD-ROM version didn't work particularly well since it made the movement a bit sluggish.
Αlso the video sequences are not at Pandora's level, at least for the CD-ROM version (which is the only version I played) but in the DVD version the quality has increased.
To be honest, I still prefer the graphics of UAKM and PD but at least in Overseer you wont see flat garbage bins anymore.

The sound is great, a unique audio pleasure. Atmospheric background music, excellent speech, and quality sound effects, create an unforgettable set.
The saxophone makes its appearance once again in such a way, that it creates the illusion of being in a Blade Runner film, re-living the love song theme by Vangelis.

Overseer uses the "Virtual World" interface, unlike UAKM and PD, the upgraded engine occupies the whole screen.
The inventory, location list, and game options can all be reached with ease by just sliding the mouse over to the edge of the screen.
Although it has evolved significantly in individual elements, I think that the previous ones were more functional.
One thing I didn't like is that in the Travel Panel, the map of San Francisco is no longer included.
Both the Chandler Avenue landscape and the neighboring areas from the two previous titles, are no longer available.
On the plus side, this time you can rebind the keys.

Although most areas are small, exploration is still good with a plethora of locations to visit and search every nook and cranny.
Τhe Anasazi Indian culture has also a special place in the game ("Timelapse" deja-vu) including a few decent puzzles.
Οverall the game is quite large in scope, which is quite important.

You'll find 2 modes of gameplay in Overseer - Entertainment mode and Gamer mode. The Entertainment mode is for beginners where an online hint system is available to either assist or completely bypass any difficult puzzle.
There are plenty of well integrated puzzles scattered evenly throughout the game with a satisfactory variety including mathematical, mechanical, logical, one music-based and a few other with classic item inventory-based being the easiest.
Also be prepared to constantly search for pass-card readers and pass-cards like a maniac, along with computer tinkering and password cracking (the one at Greg's Lab was quite tricky to find
Sweat gathers upon my brow, let me dab it
).
There's also a puzzle about deciphering a message, and while it is obvious what is needed to be done, it feels like a chore. Don't feel guilty if you end up looking at a walk-through for this particular puzzle.
Although some puzzles are timed, the timer is used only to calculate bonus points. The only exceptions are the slashed circuit board puzzle and the end STG pass-card puzzle.
I'd say the puzzles are of medium level and easier than Pandora's but without leaving you unsatisfied.

I tested this on W10 and stumbled upon 3 technical issues. One has to do with transparent textures (cabinets, drawers), the second with the movement, and the third with no music during gameplay (video sequences work) .
If you plan to play Overseer I recommend grabbing the GOG version and follow these 3 steps:

TRANSPARENT TEXTURES FIX
Download dgVoodoo (if you have any issue with the newer version, v2.53 worked for me). Extract the zip to a folder, open the 'MS' folder and just copy the three .dll files within the 'MS' folder into the main Tex game.
Starting the game you will be asked about FFD, choose to run always. Transparent textures should be solved after that.

MOVEMENT FIX
If you notice any visual issues when turning around in the game, that's a VSYNC issue.
Run "dgVoodooSetup.exe" that comes with dgvoodoo2 and be sure to switch off VSYNC in all tabs, also make sure that your graphics card isn't enforcing it to be on.
In your graphics card panel, find Overseer and turn off VSYNC.

NO MUSIC FIX
Overseer uses an outdated MIDI mapper which is no longer supported beyond Windows XP. A virtual MIDI mapper is required to get around this, follow these steps:
1. Install VirtualMidiSynth, http://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth#download
2. Download the required soundfont, www.synthfont.com/SoundFonts/FluidR3_GM.sfArk
3. Install sfArk v2.15 which is needed to unzip the .sfArk file, https://web.archive.org/web/20071012013925/http://www.melodymachine.com:80/sfark.htm
4. Open SFArk and go to file > Open, then open the FluidR3_GM.sfArk file you downloaded, then click Start. This will unzip the .sfArk file into a .sf2 file that we need.
5. Open 'Configure VirtualMidiSynth' and on the Soundfonts tab, press the green + icon. Select the FluidR3_GM.sf2 file.
6. Launch Tex Murphy: Overseer, go to settings, audio, and then change the MIDI device to "Microsoft MIDI Mapper", make sure that MUTE is not checked.

At this point those 3 issues should have been resolved
Sweat gathers upon my brow, let me dab it

Now you're ready for some
incline


Finally, since this is the last Tex Murphy game covered here, I'd like to recommend a play-through order for the bros who haven't played the games.
Overseer is a remake of the first game - Mean Streets, you could go with this one first, but it has a framing narrative that takes place between The Pandora Directive and Tesla Effect.
So an appropriate order would be Under A Killing moon, Pandora Directive, Overseer, Tesla effect.

And that's it. Now off you go to solve the fucking case!

Also don't forget the #1 PI rule - "Never fall in love with a client"!

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