Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
Anyone who questions what really happened as a result of the reported UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico, should find this game fascinating. It is apparently well researched and presents a compelling theory within the framework of a fictional, but plausible, plot. The game was produced by two brothers, David and Brian Mennenoh, working independently without outside financing or assistance, and is a fine example of what creative individuals can accomplish on their own.
As the game begins, you receive an unexpected special delivery package from an old girlfriend who mysteriously disappeared several years ago. Inside you find an Air Force communicator and an urgent message from your friend. She informs you that she has been working undercover, investigating some top secret government experiments, and she has stumbled onto a very dangerous conspiracy which threatens not only our national security, but humanity itself. They are secretly cloning aliens!
But now they are onto her and she has had to go into hiding. She has found 7 damning pieces of evidence: classified documents which she has stored on this communicator. Unfortunately they are all protected by passwords, and those passwords are located inside the highly restricted underground government complex, Area 51, where the secret cloning operations are taking place. She wants you to infiltrate the base, figure out the secret codes required to access the documents, and get the information to her before it is too late .....
This is a linear, 1st person, point and click game with small inventory and a built-in notebook. The interface is easy to use and gameplay is smooth, but a complete manual is included on the CD if you should need to refer to it (accessed by hitting "H" for Help on the opening menu screen). The game plays directly from the CD, with no memory requirements except for the small amount needed for saved games.
The graphics are sharp and professional looking and are interspersed with occasional brief animated sequences to advance the story. It is primarily a game of solitary exploration, but the few 3D characters that you do run into are well done and the voice acting sounds natural.
The puzzles include all of the old classics, and there is even a video arcade game in the employee cafeteria just for fun. Solving the puzzles advances the story and none are too difficult, but you can die so save often. And be forewarned: your own character will not hesitate to kill in order to accomplish his mission (although without graphic depiction of blood and gore).
The mood is suspenseful and the setting is intriguing and believable, with realistic sound effects and atmospheric music to heighten the effect. There is a tremendous amount of alien-related information included, with fiction and fact (drawn from old newspaper articles and publicly available government documents) seamlessly integrated. It is well organized and engrossing, and the sheer volume of the historical material presented paints a chilling picture when viewed en masse.
We were impressed with both the attention to detail and the solid presentation of this independently produced game. It gives us renewed hope for the future of adventure gaming, and should serve as an inspiration for all would be game developers.
Developed (1998) by Pixel Shop, Inc..
Minimum System Requirements: PC Only!
PC: Pentium 60 MHz; Windows 95 / 98 / NT 4.0; 16 MB RAM; 4X CD ROM Drive (8X CD-ROM Drive Recommended); 640 X 480 High Color Video Display; Windows Compatible Sound Device; Hard Drive Space Required for Saved Games; Mouse Recommended
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