Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars review

As promised, here’s a new review and to make up for the lack of reviews in the past 2 months, I’m reviewing another fan favorite game (and also a favorite of mine): Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars.

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars is a graphic adventure developed by Revolution Software and published by Virgin Interactive. It was originally released in 1996 for DOS, Windows, Macintosh and Playstation (in the US, it was released under the title Circle of Blood). It was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002, to Palm OS in 2005 and to Windows Mobile in 2006.

In 2009, a remastered version called Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars – The Director’s Cut was released by Ubisoft for the Nintendo Wii and DS. In 2010, it was ported for iOS, Windows and Mac OS X, in 2012 for Android and in 2013 for Linux.

After the success of Lure of the Temptress and Beneath a Steel Sky, Revolution had made their presence known in the graphic adventure market and needed to continue their upstart story, so Charles Cecil (Revolution’s main designer) decided to create a game partially inspired in the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (which also inspired Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code). But Cecil wanted to make a more story-driven and cinematic game in order to distinguish Revolution from Sierra and LucasArts.

But before we continue with our review, let’s look at the covers, shall we?

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This is the most famous cover and I believe it’s quite good and a bit ominous, revealing several elements present in the game without giving anything away.

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Does anyone remember the Gargoyles animated series?

This is the US cover, revealing a stained glass picture of a gargoyle, which looks like the cover of an animated DVD. A bit simplistic compared with the previous cover, but still not a bad one.

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“I HAVE THE POWER!”

This is the US GBA cover and it looks like the cover of an action or RPG game, not a graphic adventure. A rather generic cover, in my opinion. And another thing: that sword isn’t broken!

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This is the US PSX cover and it’s probably my favorite one. It doesn’t have as much elements as the 1st cover, but it shows a very important element of the game. Sometimes, less is better. And check out the cool back cover:

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I’m calling it: best PSX graphic adventure back cover EVER!

But enough talk and let’s boot this sucker:

As you can see, our adventure starts when George Stobbart, an American tourist in Paris is almost killed by an explosion provoked by someone dressed as a clown. George then, for some reason, swears he’ll find the killer clown and bring him to justice! Honestly, he didn’t even knew the real target and yet, he simply decides to find his killer. Of course, the plot goes much deeper than a simple assassination.

From here, it’s your typical graphic adventure: find objects, use the objects to solve puzzles, open new areas with new puzzles and interact with the environment and the NPCs. But what immediately becomes noticed in Broken Sword is the very intuitive and easy-to-use control system where the mouse icon changes when it’s over an hotspot and you’ll simply have to left-click for George to interact with it or right-click for George to inspect it. Another thing that gets noticed right away, it’s the depth of interaction with the NPCs and the well-written dialogue. During dialogues, you have two windows: one with icons representing the subjects you can discuss with them and another of the inventory with the objects you can show them.

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Exploring…. a trashcan.

Another thing that might become unnoticed at first, it’s the inventory itself. It’s very easy to use. You simply move your mouse pointer to the upper part of the screen and there it is! You don’t even have to click anything to access it.

But what really shines through is the story that looks like a modern-day Indiana Jones tale and the complex and colorful characters you’ll encounter throughout the game. I love stories where the protagonist has to traveled to several locations around the world in search of an old artifact or treasure. And the characters are all very well written and complex, albeit perhaps a bit stereotypical. Which is further accentuated in the excellent voice-over work with all the accents in place (although some Parisian characters seem to lose their French accent here and there). There’s even good humor in some parts and although the story has its serious and grim moments, it never gets grim and dark.

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Talking on the phone with Nico.

One of these complex characters you can meet at the beginning is Nico Coulard, a photo-journalist that helps George throughout the game by advancing the plot and providing hints in case you ever get stuck, although she only becomes active at the very end (and in the Director’s Cut, but I talk about it later).

Another great thing about Broken Sword is the graphics that are all very well designed and colorful, and the superb animation that looks taken from animated shows and movies. The soundtrack by Barrington Phelong (better known for his work in Inspector Morse) is quite good and provides a proper atmosphere for the game.

But back to the graphic adventure elements, apart from the infamous goat puzzle, all the puzzles are well presented with some early objects having more than one use and with a proper difficulty to them. The aforementioned goat puzzle however lacks any hints in how to solve it and the solution was very counter-intuitive. Luckily, it was fixed in the Director’s Cut.

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This goat, man.

Another sore point in this game is the protagonist itself. While all the other characters are interesting, George is nothing more than a stereotypical Midwestern white American male with no real personality traits that sometimes behaves a bit condescending towards some of the other characters. I know he was designed that way in order for the gamers to project their personality into him, but he just comes out as bland and generic.

But apart from these two points, Broken Sword is a good adventure game with a good length to it and with a large scope and areas to explore. It might not appear as good as Sierra’s and LucasArts’ graphic adventures, but it’s still a worthy alternative to these two and it’s easy to see why it started a popular series that still continues to this day. Needless to say that I recommend it.

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*opens mouth*…….nevermind

And of course, I have to mention the Director’s Cut, that not only improves the graphics, sounds and resolution, but it also adds new sections in which you plays as Nico. These new sections expand the background story a little and fleshes-out Nico a lot more, making her an even more interesting and complex character. However, these new sections have easier puzzles, only exist in the first half of the game and they don’t have any real impact in the game’s overall plot.

The Director’s Cut also adds new animations during the cutscenes, but it’s very limited compared with the original animation. Especially the new character portraits during the dialogues. It also eliminates a lot of the hotspots, which limits heavily the interaction with the environment in order to make it easier to play. And there are also other minor differences.

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Between both versions, I recommend the original, even if the Director’s Cut might be easier to new comers to the graphic adventure genre.

Unfortunately, the only way to get the original version of Broken Sword in digital format is to buy the Director’s Cut, which is bundled with the original version. Both can be found here in Steam or here in GOG.com.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed the review and if you haven’t had the opportunity yet, come and join my new Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Also keep an eye on my Twitch stream where I’m going to start my Halloween stream with a game that turns off the lights when no else is around (see you can guess it). In the meanwhile, keep on playing.

DuckTales DOS review

With the return of the most ear-catching cartoon theme song of all times (and the show too), I decided to take a look at the videogame. No, not the popular NES version but the PC version instead. I’m talking about DuckTales (WOO HOO!).

DuckTales: The Quest for Gold is an action-platform game developed by Incredible Technologies and published by Walt Disney Computer Software. It was originally released in 1990 for Amiga, Atari ST, Apple II, Commodore 64 and DOS.

But first let’s look at the cover, shall we?

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“D-D-Danger lurks behind you
There’s a stranger out to find you
What to do? Just grab on to some…”

The cover could perfectly be used on a VHS, DVD case or even a comic book, because it looks like it was directly taken from the show or drawn by Don Rosa. It depicts Uncle Scrooge and Launchpad McQuack running from a mummy while carrying a pot full of gold and gems. And if you know the show, it’s a typical image from it.

But it’s time to boot this sucker:

The title screen is taken from the cover art and of course it wouldn’t be a DuckTales game without its infamous theme. I swear, I’m hearing it in my head while I’m typing this. WOO HOO!

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The intro then shows us Scrooge’s rival, Flintheart Glomgold, barging in Scrooge’s office and challenging him to a contest: whoever amasses the most riches in a month, gains the title of “Duck of the Year” and appears on the cover of Dime Magazine (Disney’s equivalent of Time Magazine, get it?). Wasn’t that in an episode of the show?

Then you choose between three difficulty levels and off you go. You start in Scrooge’s office where you can swim in Scrooge’s money bin (and find rare coins), play in the stock market, buying and selling stocks (I’ll get back to that later on) or you can click on the map on the right.

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Yes, you can travel around the world, but only to four different locations that are constantly repeated.

Clicking on the map grants you access to the copy protection in some versions and after passing it, with the help of the manual, you can choose between several locations around the world to travel. Now you must be thinking that this game has lots of levels in it because of all the locations, right? Wrong! It has only four different stages:

  • A mountain stage, where you control Scrooge’s three nephews (Huey, Dewey and Louie) and with a climbing rope, you need to get to the top of the mountain to reclaim the treasure while avoiding enemies and falling rocks. You only get three opportunities (one for each nephew).

  • A jungle stage, where you again control the nephews, but this time you travel from left to right while jumping on branches, swinging on vines and avoiding dangerous animals. Easily the hardest stage in the game.

  • A photograph stage, where you take control of Webby and need to take photographs of animals that pop up. Photographs of rare animals are more valuable. Because there aren’t any enemies or obstacles, it’s the easiest stage, but it has a time limit.

  • A labyrinth stage, where you take control of Scrooge, the nephews and Webby, all at once and you need to travel across a labyrinth while avoiding pits and mummies before your torch burns out.

But before starting any of the above, you need to travel to them. Enter a flying stage, where you take control of Launchpad’s plane and fly it from left to right without crashing to the ground and other obstacles. If that happens, you lose time and money. In some cases, you get to race against Glomgold and if he finishes the stage first, he gets the treasure.

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In case you’re wondering, you’re the pink dot. The yellow dot is where the treasure is and the brown dot is a mummy, who’s looking for you.

Apparently, you can find in some stages Bombastium, which can be used by Gyro Gearloose to invent a teleporter, thus bypassing the flying stage, but I haven’t found it so far. Also, for every stage that you finish successfully, that particular location on the map turns green and can’t be played again. Consequently, every treasure found by Glomgold, turns a location red and can’t be accessed either.

During the 30 days, you can return to the office for more money-swimming or to check your investments in the stock market. While I get the money-swimming part (it’s a staple of the character), the stock market minigame baffles me. I mean, yes in the comics and show, Scrooge is depicted as a business man but the main focus of the show was adventure, exploration and treasure hunting. Buying and selling stocks isn’t what I call exciting and this game was supposedly targeted for younger players. Did anyone actually played the stock market minigame? Even when this game was released?

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How is this physically possible?

Anyway, back to the map, you can also travel to the Island of Macaroon where a giant weighing scale waits to weigh all the gold you and Glomgold have amassed so far. If you go there before the end of the 30th day, it weighs your current gold and keeps it until the end of the month. When you reach the end of the month, you’ll be automatically transported there to weigh the final gold and determine the winner.

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Like always, the Junior Woodchuck Guide is a godsend.

And that’s the entire gameplay! No special stages nor anything. There’s practically no difference whatsoever between the four stages, just very small variations. The graphics are colorful but the animation is very stiff. And the controls, even with a gamepad, aren’t very responsive. The music is OK (nowhere near as good as in the NES version) but the sound effects are very limited. While I found the easiest difficulty setting not much of a challenge, the other difficulty setting posed a real challenge during the gameplay, but with only 4 different stages, it gets very repetitive in no time.

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“When it’s seems they’re headed for the final curtain
Bold deduction never fails, that’s for certain
The worst of messes become successes!”

The Amiga version not only has better graphics and sound effects, it also has digitized speech taken directly from the show. But the controls are a bit over-sensitive, especially during the flying stage.

In conclusion, this game pales in comparison with the NES version. While it has a few funny visual jokes here and there (like every time you crash the plane), in overall it isn’t a great game, despite having some cool cameos from the show. However if you’re a DuckTales fan, you might want to give it a shot by clicking here and enjoy it in your own browser.

I’m terribly sorry for the lack of reviews lately but I’ve found a new full-time job in another city, which prompt moving and everything, so there isn’t going to be as many reviews as before but I haven’t quit on playing and reviewing games.

Well, do you like DuckTales? What are your favorite episodes? Tell me on the comments below and while you’re at it, tell me of you think of the new show. See you guys around and keep on playing. WOO HOO!

Pipe Mania/Pipe Dream review

No, I’m not reviewing another game with two different versions, it’s the same game with two different titles, that’s all. And it’s one of the most ported and influential games of all times. Even if you don’t recognize the title, I assure you that at least you’ll find the gameplay familiar. I’m talking about Pipe Mania aka Pipe Dream.

Pipe Mania is a puzzle game developed by The Assembly Line and published by Empire Software. It was originally released in 1989 for the Amiga, Atari ST and DOS (US version, distributed by Lucasfilm Games under the title Pipe Dream). It was re-released the following year for DOS (EU version), Acorn 32-bit, Amstrad CPC, Apple II and IIgs, Arcade (Japan only), BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Electron, Game Boy, NES, Sam Coupé and ZX Spectrum. In 1991, it was ported to the PC-88, PC-98 and Windows 3.x (as part of the Windows Entertainment Pack). And in 1992, it was ported to the Sharp X68000 and Super Famicon.

But first let’s take a look at the covers, shall we?

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“AAAAAHHHH! A tiny plumber fixing pipes!”

This is the European cover and probably the most famous one. While I do enjoy the cartoon plumber at the bottom with a huge wrench trying to fix a pipe, I, still to this day, don’t understand the huge screaming face that covers almost all of the cover. Is that supposed to be one of the developers? Or just a frustrated player? Am I going to fell frustrated and scream by playing this game? But at least the back cover is a bit better:

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Yes, you better run. I’ve seen what that stuff did to 4 little turtles in New York.

Not to mention the US cover:

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See? He works much better without a giant face screaming behind him.

Just get rid of that hideous face, focus on the plumber, make a nice title and fill the rest with pipes and voilá! An instant classic cover. Because this game was heavily ported, some console versions have their own covers:

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Oh! The pipes form a “P”. But what does it stands for?

This is the Game Boy cover and while I do appreciate minimalistic covers, this one feels lazy compared with the previous ones.

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“Damn it, Harold! How many times do I have to tell you? Righty tighty lefty loosy.”

This is the Super Famicon cover and while it’s a bit more cartoony, it’s also quite good and invokes a sense of fun. Because whoever made the EU cover has to explain to me what fun am I to expect with that face! Sorry, I’m still traumatized since childhood by that…. thing!

But it’s time to boot this sucker:

The title screen is very similar to the cover and the music theme (while being on the PC Speaker) isn’t bad. The gameplay is also quite simple to learn: just put on pipes to let the flooz (fancy name for basically sewage waste) flow through them a certain distance, rack up the points and move on the next level. And you can blow up any pipe that’s wrong and substitute it with another one. This gameplay takes inspiration after Konami’s Loco-Motion, which was released in the arcades back in 1982.

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You can choose between 3 different modes from the menu screen: a single-player mode, a competitive two-player (through hotseat) and an expert single-player. You’ll also have access to a training option, which causes the flooz to flow slower at the cost of not gaining points. You play through 36 levels which get increasingly harder with the flooz running faster and the distance required getting bigger. But luckily you’ll find special pipes that will reduce the speed of the flooz, giving you extra time. The level ends when you run out of places to put pipes, the flooz catches up to you or it reaches the end pipe, which will appear more or less around level 15.

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The flooz must flow!

Every 5 levels, more or less, you’ll have access to a bonus levels, where blocks with pipes start to circulate at the top of the screen and you have to make them fall in order to construct a way for the flooz to flow. The more it flows, the more points you get. At the end of the bonus level, you’ll also get a password to record your progress.

After winning the final level, you return to the first level with all your points intact. That’s right! Another arcade-style game in which the main objective is basically to rack up points. I recommend trying it out first with the training option ON to get a good understating of the mechanics of the game and then turn it OFF to get points. And if you want a real challenge, then try the expert mode or get a friend to play against with.

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I like the color in this one.

Pipe Mania/Dream is one of those games that’s easy to learn but hard to master and it’s quite addictive and fun. The graphics and sound are simple but adequate for a puzzle game. Great for short periods of time and for younger players. Click here to play in your own browser.

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The bonus level.

I haven’t played any of the other ports, but the original Amiga version is considered the best one. There have been almost countless clones afterwards but only 2 official remakes: Pipe Mania 3D/Pipe Dreams 3D in 2000 for the Playstation and Pipe Mania in 2008 for Macintosh, Nintendo DS, Playstation 2, Windows, PSP and iOS. I have the Pipe Mania remake for iOS and it’s OK. It’s basically the same gameplay but with new graphics and new options. It’s geared towards younger players and it’s adequate, I suppose.

But Pipe Mania did have a great influence and it’s not uncommon to find some puzzle based on it in modern games. It kind of felt out of the public memory but the core gameplay still remains in our collective memory. It might not have the accolade of Tetris nowadays but it’s still one of top puzzle games out there.

So, what’s your favorite version of this game? Tell me by commenting below. I know that this week’s review was a bit short, but I promise next time we’ll take a look at a bigger and more complex game. Till then line up those pipes and keep on playing.

Dr. Doom’s Revenge review

With the new Spider-Man movie in the theaters now, I’ve decided to take a look at one of the earliest Spider-Man games ever made for the PC. And since the new movie is part of the MCU, I think is fitting that I review one of the few Spider-Man titles for computer more integrated into the Marvel Universe that I know of. I’m talking about Dr. Doom’s Revenge.

The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom’s Revenge (definitely a contender for the biggest game title award) is an action game developed by Paragon Software Corporation and published by Medalist International. It was originally released in 1989 for the Commodore 64, DOS and ZX Spectrum and it was re-released the following year for the Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC and Atari ST.

But before we take a look at the game, let’s check the cover, shall we?

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Cap: “Gee, take a look at this guy, will ya?”

The cover looks just like a comic book cover, with our villain looming over our heroes. Very fitting for a game that features classic superhero imagery and artwork. I suppose you couldn’t ask for more.

But it’s time to boot this webslinger:

The title screen, despite being colorful, is kind of ugly, artwork-wise. It has a nice music theme though. About the backstory, the game comes with a comic made by Marvel itself, explaining why our heroes are facing Dr. Doom. But about the comic itself, maybe I should someone else properly review it:

(Video courtesy of Atop the Fourth Wall)

Thanks Linkara! And don’t worry, I’ll handle the game.

The game starts right after the comic ends, with Spider-Man and Captain America splitting up to cover more ground, so the game alternates between both. It starts with a comic panel featuring Captain America and then changes to a side-view in which you control the character against a robot. Then after defeating said robot, it goes back to the panel to continue the story and then back again to the side-view where you need to avoid some traps. And then it goes to another panel, now featuring Spider-Man. And that’s practically the entire game, with both heroes facing enemies and avoiding traps with comic panels serving as sort of cutscenes, telling the story as it happens.

But it’s during the action sequences that the game turns ugly. From terrible controls, to awful animation and pitiful sound effects. This is not a fun game to play!

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I didn’t knew that Danny Trejo was part of the MCU!

The side-view depicts all the action and characters, while the bottom depicts pictures of said characters along with their names and health bars. Spider-Man, however, gets a second bar reflecting the level of his web-fluid. And during the stages where you have to avoid traps, a “Super Hero Challenge” image appears at the bottom, next to our character’s health bar.

The graphics aren’t anything special, with very ugly (but colorful) sprites during the action scenes and the artwork in the comic panels range from ugly to acceptable. At least some of the backgrounds during the action stages are somewhat nice and detailed.

There are only three music themes throughout the game: at the title screen, at the game-over screen and at the ending screen, after defeating Dr. Doom. There’s no more music during the rest of the game. And the sound effects are as basic as possible with a lot of screeching noises.

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Arch-nemesis?! Red Skull isn’t going to like that.

But perhaps the worst parts of the game are the controls and the animation. The animation is almost non-existent, with the characters moving extremely slowly. And as far as the controls go, I actually recommend the keyboard over a joystick or gamepad. The controls are limited to an action button and arrows and it’s easier to use the numeric keypad over the keyboard arrows. You have to press the action combined with a direction in order to attack your enemies and the distance between your character and your enemies determines which attack you’ll use. So you have to be far from the enemies for your character to use their signature attacks (Captain America throwing his shield and Spider-Man using his webs). There aren’t any special or particularly strong attacks, but some of the latter enemies do have special attacks that can drain your health bar.

But what makes the game particularly hard, it’s the fact you only have one life and no way to recharge your health bar (and neither Spidey’s webfluid). Also there are some traps that are insta-kill and if one of the characters dies, it’s automatically game-over. Even in the easiest difficulty setting! And then it’s back to the beginning.

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“Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does everything a spider can”

Depending on your skill (or luck), the game isn’t very big, but a tremendous amount of patience is required to finish it. And after finishing it once, there’s virtually no reason play it again. Despite the fact that it features several villains from both characters’ rogues gallery.

So, the only good things I can say about the game is that it has a good title theme and some of the backgrounds are well detailed, but the gameplay is just dreadful. The comic that comes with the game is also quite good but still, I can’t recommend this game, not even to Marvel fans.

I haven’t played the other versions, but the Amiga version seems to have better animation though. If you want to give it a shot, you can play it right here in your own browser.

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“When Captain America throws his might shield”

And if you want to kick Dr. Doom’s ass with Spider-Man and/or Captain America, there are several other games out there, each one better than this one.

So, what’s your favorite Marvel game and/or hero? Comment below and let me know. I think I’ll go the cinema and check out Spider-Man Homecoming. Well, see you around and keep on swinging and playing.

Daughter of Serpents/The Scroll review

If you read the title, you must be wondering: am I reviewing two games at once? Not exactly. Actually I’m reviewing two versions of the same game: a floppy disk version (Daughter of Serpents) and a CD-ROM version (The Scroll), which contains extra scenes and alters the gameplay significantly from the floppy version.

Daughter of Serpents is a graphic adventure developed by Eldritch Games and published by Millennium Interactive. It was originally released in 1992 for DOS and re-released in 1995 as The Scroll by Nova Spring and Psygnosis in CD-ROM format.

Eldritch Games was a small company based in the UK, that began making role-playing tabletop and board games based on the Cthulhu Mythos. But later, they decided to move to videogames and in 1989 released The Hound of Shadow, a text-adventure that was well received by gamers and critics alike.

But back to Daughter of Serpents/The Scroll, let’s look at the covers, shall we?

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No, I assure you, this isn’t Cleopatra.

As you can see, it features an Egyptian-style queen surrounded by Ancient Egyptian imagery, but featuring prominently serpents, including two at her feet. Although the game isn’t set in Ancient Egypt, it still gives a mysterious look about it.

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OK, who brought the snake to the Egypt exhibition?

This one’s more simple, but still as effective. It shows some hieroglyphs surrounded by a snake.

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Now this one has a more ominous look, with the smoke rising and the figures on the side. While with the other two covers, one might get the impression of the game being set in Ancient Egypt, this cover has a more archaeological aspect to it, like you’re about to discover Tutankhamun’s tomb.

But it’s time to boot this sucker:

Sorry for only showing The Scroll intro here, but I had some issues with the floppy version, and besides, both versions have very similar intros. As you can see, a boat arrives at Alexandria, Egypt in 1925 and one of the passengers, when exiting the boat, is killed by an Arab, who’s then shot by the police, but then, the Arab turns into a man-serpent hybrid just before dying. And it’s with this mystery that the game starts, hooking the player’s attention.

But before starting the game, Daughter of Serpents gives you the innovative option to choose between 9 established characters or create your own. This character creation option hearkens back to the company’s past as a RPG developer and was also featured in The Hound of Shadow.

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In creating your character, you can choose his/her gender, nationality (UK or US) and profession. In it, you can choose between nine: Egyptologist, Traveler, Sleuth, Private Eye, Mystic or Occultist. Then you have to spend your remaining points in several skills, including skills outside your chosen profession. To get a better understanding of the character creation, I recommend reading The Alchemist of Istanbul, a pen and paper RPG which also serves as an introduction to the game’s story and came included with the game itself.

So how does the different characters impact the story and the gameplay, if it’s an adventure game? Well, according to the chosen profession, you can play 3 different adventures, although the basic story remains the same and the different skills change the dialogue significantly. It increases the replay value drastically by encouraging you to try different variations of professions and skills.

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Exploring the museum.

I just wish the rest of the game was equally impressive. The game has a first person perspective with still images, featuring average quality graphics and minimal animation. The gameplay consists in a point and click interface with your mouse icon changing between several functions. While the mouse interface can be more or less intuitive (except when giving objects to other characters, which requires some pixel-hunting), the inventory system is very cumbersome, as you simply put objects freely in the inventory screen and it’s quite easy for a big object to obscure a smaller one. Not to mention, that to operate a specific object, you need to move it to a different screen (the floor screen) and then use it there (unless it’s to interact with another object and/or character).

In the inventory screen, you can find at the start of the game, a map (for traveling) and two books: a guide explaining all the Ancient Egypt mythology relevant to the game’s story (couldn’t this be in the manual?) and a option called Essentials, which is basically the game’s option screen. Yes, to access the game’s options (including the save and load options), you need to click your left-mouse button three times in very specific places. This is very counter-intuitive and time wasting for a graphic adventure! The other book is a diary describing your progress (couldn’t this be the options screen?).

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Why, hello there, gorgeous!

But at least the story, characters and dialogues aren’t bad. The story has some Lovecraftian elements seamlessly intertwined with the mythology, although I considered it more supernatural suspense than horror, but still quite enjoyable. The game doesn’t have many characters to interact with but it has a lot of dialogue which is displayed in speech bubbles like in a comic, with certain words in red for dialogue options.

Of all the three adventures, the Occultist/Mystic one seems the most satisfying to play and explores more of the story, while the Egyptologist/Traveler one seems the smallest and the least enjoyable to play. The same goes for the endings. But whatever adventure you’re playing, the game isn’t hard for experienced players and the gameplay is very linear, especially towards the end.

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Exploring the catacombs.

The music is adequate and provides proper atmosphere but the sound effects are a bit lacking. Also, there isn’t a proper tension during the final part of the game, which is something that a game based on the Cthulhu Mythos should provide. You know, the tension, isolation and vulnerability that are common Lovecraftian themes.

But in The Scroll, some big changes were made. It isn’t a remake by any means, but more of a remastered version in which the animation, sound and music are vastly improved. It also contains voice acting throughout the game (with some speech bubbles for dialogue options), which is quite good for the time, but the dialogue remains more or less the same.

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Messing with the wrong Out……….. *starts foaming from mouth*

It also expands the locations, including a bazaar that wasn’t in the floppy version and some new characters. But the biggest change is the lack of a character creation option. Instead you choose between two established characters: an English male Egyptologist or an American male Mystic. Yes, now you only have two adventures to play and although they’re expanded from the previous version, it severely limits the replay value. And the Egyptologist part is still very short in comparison with the Mystic part.

The emission of the character creation option also denotes another thing: in Daughter of Serpents, you could create a female character and although it didn’t have any impact in gameplay or story, there weren’t many games with female protagonists back in the 90s and the fact that The Scroll only has male protagonists doesn’t help. It should have been one male and the other female.

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Is that Teela’s cobra hood?

So in general, although both versions have a good story and atmosphere with some very interesting ideas (especially the character creation) that elevates it somewhat above the rest, its execution is less than stellar. Like I said before, the inventory system is a mess and the gameplay is very easy and linear. The lack of a character creation in The Scroll turns it into another average adventure game. I can’t really recommend it, but you might want to give Daughter of Serpents a shot. If so, then click here to play in your own browser.

Well, do you like games based on the Cthulhu Mythos? If so tell me which are your favorites in the comments below. I’ll see you guys around and till then………………..PH’NGLUI MGLW’NAFH CTHULHU R’LYEH WGAH’NAGL FHTAGN