-- the final frontier. I'm a big fan of Star Trek,
me, so anything to do with space and all that googly
stuff gets me really excited.
-- you remember Space Quest, don't you? Course
you do. That was the time you, humble 'brain the size
of a peanut' interplanetary janitor, managed to save
your planet Xenon (now, where have I heard that before?)
from certain death by Vohaul's secret Star Generator.
sounds just like my kind of guy, actually. He's slimy,
fat purple (personally, I prefer green) and really,
really gross. And he's got a plan. Unless you manage
to blitz him in time, Xenon's going to be invaded by
thousands of genetically engineered life-insurance salesman,
synthetically designed to make the life of every single
citizen a misery. Oh no!
yeah. And if your skimmer hadn't crashed on the way
to the labour camp Vohaul's picked out specially for
you, you wouldn't be able to do anything at all about
it. Luckily, if you're clever enough, you can make it
through the planet Labion, back to Vohaul's asteroid
fortress and try to STOP THE PLAN.
presented in typical Sierra style. You wander around
the 3D environment using your joystick and typing in
commands (to pick up objects and so on) just as in a
normal text input adventure.
to the back of the box, the graphics are in 'incredible
3-D'. Errn . . . well -- we all know what 3-D is like
and this isn't it. You can walk behind bushes
and trees but they look more like a pile of spinach
(yeuch -- really hate the stuff) than a shrub. I know
you can't have brilliant graphics if you want a decent
amount of memory devoted to the gameplay, but you don't
need to have badly defined blobby sprites instead. You
can see from Lucasfilm's Zak McKracken just how
much detail you can cram into this type of game; it
takes just one look at blockland to see Sierra haven't
done as much.
yeah but what about the game itself? Well, I suppose
it's OK if you like dying a lot. As for me, I'd rather
spend the afternoon with a couple of tons of billy-goat
spare ribs in bar-B-Q sauce than spend an hour of so
getting killed every time I find a new location. So
what if you can save to disk! Looks to me like they
just ran out of ideas for a more interesting storyline.
I didn't go a bundle on this one but if you liked Space
Quest, you'll probably find something to enjoy in
it. 3-D and movement is a fair bit faster than the original
(though the controls are still a bit fiddly now and
then) and the parser's adequate. If you can stay alive
long enough, there's plenty of puzzles to solve, but
once you've died 56 times in the first half hour, does
anybody really care?
you're really into the Space Quest theme, take
a long look at this before you fork out 20 quid. It
may have nice presentation and a glossy box but when
you get right down to it, it's just . . . well, your
average lizard's toenail sort of romp. And who wants
that, when you can sell a few buckets of snot for an
extra fiver and buy a nice, shiny copy of Lucasfilm's
Zak McKracken instead?