Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill and Lela
Faust is one of those jewels that we find far too rarely. Original, fascinating and unforgettable, it is a truly great, pure adventure game that should be classified with the very few masterpieces of the genre.
It's 1st person, point & click, 360-degree, 3D game, and is set in a world so graphically realistic and detailed that you actually feel as if you are there, periodically finding yourself exploring just to enjoy the scenery. And the soundtrack is so good that we had to have the audio CD. It's a collection of the great musical pieces of the early 20th century by the original artists, with some of the very best selections from the jazz, blues, popular and classical music of that era (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some now).
But it is the original concept and the absorbing, thought-provoking story that puts this game head-and-shoulders above the competition. And the story only evolves through the use of a method akin to psychometry... that is, if you concentrate on an object or are trying to think out a puzzle, only then do you become aware of an element of the story that was associated with it. It's an innovation that keeps you glued to your seat, afraid that you'll miss something.
The story is set in Dreamland, ostensibly a large 1930's Depression era 'amusement' or theme park, that has been condemned, closed and abandoned for many years now due to too many disappearances and acts of violence that occurred there. You play an older black man, Marcellus Faust (yes, he has the same name as the protagonist in Goethe's Faust, who sold his soul to the Devil for knowledge and power). Suddenly finding yourself in this somehow familiar place, you are met by Mephistopheles, the Devil, who represents as he puts it "Inherent Evil", or the evil within us.
Mephistopheles is good looking, sophisticated-smug-supercilious-sly, and utterly charming (but then he would be, wouldn't he?), and whoever did the voice acting for the part deserves a lot of credit...he literally steals the show! He informs you that he and "The Boss" (God) have had a disagreement about whether or not certain souls who lived here during that era should be condemned. You, Faust, have been called in to investigate the lives of the 7 souls involved, to gather the evidence pro and con on which the decision will be based. And so you do, gradually revealing one by one the portrait of each of the 7 souls who succumbed to the deadly sins, and why.
Be aware that this is NOT a game for children because it does contain realistic illustrations of the worst in human nature (lust, greed, murder, etc)... without the blood and gore, for which we were very thankful!
But for any adult who has ever thought about the reasons behind such acts, the insidious and apparently harmless temptations and errors in judgment that lead to them, and whether or not the people involved should really be condemned, then this is a game not to be missed. At the very least, it should teach you to "be careful what you wish for"!
An outstanding game!!! Our choice for Game Of The Year 1999 (European Release).
© 1999 Mr. Bill and Lela
Developed by Arxel Tribe (1999) and was published in Europe by Cryo Interactive Entertainment (no longer exists) as Faust: The Seven Games Of The Soul. Distributed (2000) in North America by The Adventure Company under the name Seven Games of the Soul.
Rated: M for Mature 17+ (mature sexual themes, violence, use of drugs and alcohol)
Minimum System Requirements:
PC: Pentium 200 MHz with MMx Technology; Windows 95 / 98; 32 Mb RAM; 12X CD ROM Drive; 290 Mb Free Hard Drive Space; 2Mb RAM Video Card supporting 65,000 colors; Entirely Compatible with DirectX 6; SoundBlaster Compatible Sound Card; Mouse
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