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  Review by
Phil King (Prof Norman Nutz)

 

 
Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!

Deja Vu II: Lost in Las Vegas
1989 Mindscape
Programmed by Pete Hallesy

 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifty second issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 20th, 1989).
 

Form 2-19
Rorschach
Scientific Stationary

THE LAB REPORT

RESEARCH PROJECT: Binary code addiction as a means of controlling the world.
HEAD SCIENTIST: Prof NORMAN NUTZ Phd, Bsc, KP.
RESEARCH EQUIPMENT: C64, Amiga A500, Cray-2.
LAB ASSISTANT: The Geek

THE SECRET JOURNAL OF NORMAN NUTZ
(AGE 113 3/4 plus a bit more since last month)

Eureka! They say good things always come in threes, and for this Report I've had great fun playing a trio of superb adventures. Aha, you say, but they're all on the Amiga. True, but don't worry if you're a 64 owner -- this is not going to become an Amiga-only section. It just happened that I simply wasn't sent any C64 games this month -- I hope this situation will remedy itself soon.

In fact, British adventures on either machine seem to be few and far between at the moment (something to do with the summer slump?) while Activision and Mindscape are releasing plenty of American adventures over here. And when they're of such a high quality even a staunch patriot like me can't help whistling 'Yankee Doodle Dandy'!

During this month's experiments I've played Blackjack in Las Vegas (expectation of winning: 0.854), met friendly dwarves (height: 1.24 metres) in the underground caverns of a mystical world, and laughed myself silly exploring the wacky empire of Quendor (comedy quota: approximately 5 giggles, 3 chuckles, and one side-splitter per minute).
.

 

 

DEJA VU II: LOST IN LAS VEGAS
Icom/Mindscape, Amiga 24.99

 

aking up in a Las Vegas hotel with a splitting headache is guaranteed to send shivers down the spine. Did you really bet your life savings on roulette last night? A glance in the mirror brings ugly memories flooding back: the name's Ace Harding, private dick, and mobster Tony Malone believes you owe him $112,000.

Not even you could lose that amount of money gambling, instead it's all to do with your previous adventure when you were acquitted of the murder of one of Malone's leg men. Your splitting headache comes from a 'friendly' discussion with Mr Malone, and his henchmen, last night. If you don't find his hundred and twelve grand within the next week he'll put more perforations in you than a Tetley tea bag, letting the flavour flood out (along with your blood).

Fancy a gamble in the casino?

During the week you're free to wander around Vegas, but just to make sure you don't make a quick getaway, Malone has ordered Stogie Martin to keep an eye on you. Stogie resembles King Kong in a suit, so it's wise not to cross him.

Leaving your room, you're unsurprised to find that the 'Lucky Dice' hotel has its own casino, where you can play blackjack against any of five house players or try your luck on the fruit machines. However, getting out of the hotel isn't easy -- the only two methods I found are to either hit someone or take off your trenchcoat and trousers!

. . . because I'm not a sexist.

Once outside, you find Las Vegas has changed a bit -- apart from the hotel and a railway station there's nothing but desert. Thankfully trains leave to Los Angeles, St Louis, New York and your home town -- Chicago -- but for Stogie there's no place like home, and he'll shoot you if you go anywhere else. Travelling around Chicago is by taxi with a deaf driver who needs to be shown where you want to go. This is where the real adventuring takes place, as you explore seedy underworld locations in an attempt to recover Malone's dough.

As in the original Deja Vu, Ace Harding is controlled using a simple menu of just eight basic commands. Every location has a beautifully detailed picture which can be examined by clicking on various things. Objects are taken by simply dragging them from the picture into the inventory window. In addition, some items (coats, drawers etc) may he opened to reveal further windows (containing their contents). Windows can be closed, moved around the screen and expanded/contracted.

Communication with other characters is limited to a simple speak command -- this is the only time input is directly typed in. But most characters encountered aren't exactly conversationalists and will only respond to strictly limited input.

The menu/window system is a pleasure to use and eliminates the problems caused by obscure vocabulary in normal adventures -- with a limited set of commands all problems must be solved by lateral thinking instead of word guessing. Clues to the mystery of the missing dosh are hidden everywhere and you'll have a wonderful time interpreting them. Location descriptions are brief (to fit into the smallish window) but contain plenty of acidic humour, and complement the truly excellent graphics to create a fine atmosphere, enhanced by occasional, but good, sound effects.

Deja Vu II is a worthy follow-up to the excellent, innovative original.

 
Atmosphere 92%
Puzzle Factor 94%
Interaction 91%
Lastability 93%

Overall

92%
 


If you want 8-bit walkthroughs, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (4 Nov 2007)
The last of the above screenshots did not exist in the original review.

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