Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
Despite its name, this is a non-violent traditional adventure game ..... and a very good one! The name comes from the best selling 'Death Gate' fantasy novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman which inspired this great story: an epic tale of honor and betrayal.
Long ago, after many centuries of war, the Sartens, powerful and hated sorcerers, broke the World Seal and magically sundered the world into 5 different realms ..... and then vanished!
Forever sealed from each other by the impassable Death Gate, the 4 realms of Earth, Air, Fire and Water evolved separately, unaware of the others, each with its own unique peoples, history and culture. The defeated Patryn race however was condemned to live a nightmarish existence within the 5th realm: the savage and unforgiving realm of the Labyrinth, from which there was no escape.
But eventually one desperate man, Xar, did escape and, twisted with hatred, he has spent years studying in the ancient Sarten library of Nexus, plotting revenge against them, and trying unsuccessfully to convince other Patryns to attempt the treacherous crossing of the Labyrinth and join him.
You are a very brave (or very foolish) young Patryn named Haplo who finally decided to try ..... and you made it through alive! Now you will work for Xar, traveling to each of the other 4 realms to find and recover the scattered pieces of the Seal, which will reunite your world and free your people from their living hell.
You will travel through the Death Gate portal to strange lands of elves and dwarves, humans, and the dead who serve the living. There are treetop societies and continents floating in air, rocky tunnels filled with molten lava and living islands warmed by the SeaSun.
It is a world of stunning beauty, with over 40 memorable characters, all realistically and believably drawn in high resolution quality graphics by award winning fantasy illustrators. The voice acting is excellent, with occasional moments of delightfully offbeat humor, and the beautiful symphonic musical score composed by Eric Heberling perfectly enhances the drama (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some now).
It is a 1st person point and click game, with an easy interface, onscreen Compass Rose for navigation, and a very good Help tutorial. And it's a very long game since each realm has its own story, problems, and puzzles to solve.
There are a tremendous number of puzzles and they are clever, logical and integrated into the story. Although they start out easy, they get more complex and difficult as you go along. Most require clues that you glean from the unfolding story and a few are solved by using interesting magical spells which you learn as you travel: Transport, Swap, Possession, Self-Immolation, and Resurrection (we loved the one involving the dog). You can die from errors in judgement, but there is a 'Wait' button for proper timing and an 'Undo Last Action' button on the Compass Rose.
But it is the fantastic story (drawn from several of the novels) that really grabs you and keeps you enthralled until the very end. When you begin, you are young, idealistic and naive. But as you travel to the various realms you gradually learn more of the long forgotten history of your world and its peoples. And as you learn, you begin to question some of the 'truths' which you have been taught, as well as the motives of those involved, until eventually you are no longer the gullible child who started this journey. You have become a man ..... and you know what you must do.
A really outstanding game with a great 'cliff-hanger' ending. Recommended!
Produced (1994) by Legend Entertainment.
Minimum System Requirements: PC Only!
PC: 386 33 MHz; DOS 5.0 or Higher; 640 KB Conventional Memory; 4 MB RAM; CD-ROM Drive; 10 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; VESA Compatible SVGA (640 X 480, 256 Color) or VGA Graphics Card and Monitor; SoundBlaster or 100% Compatible Sound Card; Microsoft Mouse or 100% Compatible
Where To Buy This Game:
The best chance for finding this game would be at used software places or auctions or trading sites. Our Places To Buy Games page may be able to assist you in finding a copy of this game.
Walkthroughs or Hints: