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THE CRYSTAL KEY

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


The ShuttleThis game is the result of a 5 year 'labor of love' by a man and his wife, Jennifer and John Matheson, with some help from other talented artists.  And they did themselves proud!

It has absolutely superb graphics, complete with all the appropriate music and sound effects, and is worth the price of the game for the fascinating beauty of the environments alone.  But it also has an engrossing and believable science fiction story that evolves on four completely different alien worlds, with alien technology to master and fantastic rides in all sorts of vehicles... including a spaceship, shuttle, monorail and submersible.

In the prologue, Earth intercepts an interplanetary communication that was sent by an alien race to their own people regarding their defeat of an enemy.  But our delight at discovering that other life does indeed exist in the The Jungle Worlduniverse is short lived, because within days that same enemy appears above our own planet, deploying satellites that cause massive earthquakes, storms and tidal waves.  If it keeps up we will be totally destroyed, but we don't know what to do!

In desperation, we send one person out to try to find the alien race that sent the communication, the Arkonians, apparently the only race that knows how to defeat this enemy.  That person is you, the test pilot of our first hypership.  You are our planet's last hope.  But as the story begins, you have made it to where the signal originated from, only to find that the Arkonians are no longer there.  Alone, you must somehow master their technology and figure out a way to destroy the enemy once and for all.

This is a 1st person, point and click adventure with no dialogue, no combat, 360-degree panoramas, an easy-to-use interface, and minimal inventory.  The Crystal KeyThere are only 10 save game slots, but we found that to be more than enough, although there are a few situations where you can die.  We only ran into one glitch in the entire game, an early freeze problem at a bookshelf, which can be easily fixed with a patch available from The Adventure Company.

The puzzles are all logical and advance the story, but paying sharp attention to detail is very important.  You must note every number and symbol that you see.  The final puzzle is especially clever, and satisfying when you solve it.  But to succeed you must really think out how you can do what you're trying to do.

This game reminds us of Myst and Riven in so many ways.  For all of you out there who liked those games, you will surely enjoy this one also.  We certainly did!

The Water World
Full View Screenshot

Developed (1999) by Earthlight Productions and published by The Adventure Company.

Rated:   E   for Everyone

Minimum System Requirements:  Windows   MAC

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Witchen's Walkthrough" available here!

"Expert's Walkthrough" available here!

"Hints" available here!


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Copyright  June 2000
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