Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
The 3rd in the very popular Journeyman series, this game continues the adventures of Gage Blackwood, Agent 5 of the TSA: the 'Temporal Security Agency' charged with preventing the corruption of historical events in order to protect both the present and future of mankind. But although the story does refer to some previous events, it isn't necessary to play the older games in order to enjoy this one since it has been carefully designed to stand alone. However, if you're curious, the manual does include a timeline and brief synopses of major characters in the story to date.
This episode begins in TSA headquarters which is in the process of being dismantled, apparently no longer necessary since forming our alliance with the benevolent alien race of Cyrollans and joining their intergalactic peacekeeping organization: the 'Symbiotry'. But suddenly an emergency communication is received from an agent previously thought to be a traitor, warning of a heretofore unsuspected and potentially devastating situation. Grabbing the only means available, an untested 'Chameleon' jumpsuit, Gage jumps back through time once again to try to avert this latest crisis.
It seems that there exists an ancient artifact of great power, called 'The Legacy', containing the secret to time travel. Eons ago it was broken into 3 pieces, and scattered for safekeeping in 3 mythical and remote, long since vanished civilizations: Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-La. Now you have learned that another, not so benevolent, alien race is after it ..... and you must find it first.
This is a 1st person, 3D, 360 degree, fully navigable, point and click game, with occasional cutscenes to advance the story (the beginning and ending videos are particularly noteworthy). The puzzles are well integrated into the plot, logical and not too difficult, with most requiring use of your investigative skills, although they do get somewhat harder as you go along. However your suit contains an 'artificial intelligence', Arthur by name, who resides in a corner of your inventory making funny wisecracks about your struggles (you can turn him off, if you desire), but who also can be counted on to give you occasional historical facts, hints and advice.
The Chameleon Suit itself (a new innovation since the previous games) allows you to assume the appearance of anyone you meet, effectively enabling you for the first time to wander freely through the past, undetected, and talk to everyone you see. The various characters are all played by live actors, and you have the ability to pick which one you think might gain you the most useful information, should you choose to imitate him or her.
The ancient places, before their destruction (you also visit them after), are fascinating, with interesting people and imaginative tidbits about the beliefs, culture and customs of the times. We particularly enjoyed the Shangri-La section, since it detailed aspects of Buddhism not often encountered, and was very educational.
It is a great game, absorbing and fun to play, with the added bonus of a good ending. But in addition, it is a visual masterpiece ..... one of the most beautiful games that we have ever played. With its stunning and majestic, panoramic vistas, realistic walking animations, and great soundtrack, it all combined to create a totally awesome and immersive experience which we won't soon forget!
Produced (1998) by Presto Studios, Inc. (no longer exists) and published by Red Orb Entertainment (no longer exists).
Red Orb had packaged this game with the 2 previous Journeyman Project games ('Turbo' and 'Buried In Time') as 'The Journeyman Project Trilogy'.
Minimum System Requirements: Hybrid Win / MAC CD ROMs! (Hybrid means PC and MAC versions are on the same CDs.)
PC: Pentium 90 MHz Processor; Windows 95; 16 MB RAM; 4X CD-ROM Drive; 640 X 480 Display, High Color Video Card; SoundBlaster 16 or 100% SoundBlaster 16 Bit Compatible Sound Card; Video and Sound Cards Compatible with DirectX; 70 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; MouseMac: 80 MHz PowerPC Required; System 7.5; 16 MB RAM; 4X CD-ROM Drive; 640 X 480 Display with Thousands of Colors Video Card; 70 MB of Free Hard Drive Space
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