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LOOM

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


This classic and beautiful tale is one of the best adventure games ever made, and many later games borrowed from it.  A lyrical and wonderful story, combined with a very unusual format, creates a spellbinding experience that both seasoned adventurers and novices alike can enjoy.

In some far distant time, "when dragons ruled the twilight sky", all people separated themselves into the Great Guilds according to their occupation.  There were Guilds for shepherds and blacksmiths and clerics and weavers.  Centuries passed, and each Guild jealously guarded the secrets that it learned about its trade, forbidding contact with or marriage into another Guild.

The Weavers were the same.  In time they learned that they could dispense with using thread and cloth altogether, and weave the very fabric of reality itself... with music.  But stillbirths were common due to centuries of the old restrictive ways, and the numbers of the Weavers were dwindling rapidly.  If something was not done soon they would die out altogether!

But the guardians of the Great Loom refused to change the age-old pattern.  Then one day a young woman dared to weave a new pattern in order to have a son.  The son was born but his mother was condemned, turned into a Swan, and banished forever.  Nevertheless once a year, on his birthday, she comes back in secret to see her son.

Raised by his mother's own childhood nurse, young Bobbin has been reviled and rejected by the Weavers since birth.  Although forbidden to learn the secrets of weaving, he has nevertheless been taught the basics by his old nurse, under cover of darkness.  And now, though only 17 years old, his skill will be put to the test. Because that which was feared has happened.  The new pattern introduced by his mother has caused a rip in the fabric of reality, and all of the other Weavers have disappeared.  He must repair the damage before it is forever too late!

The game evolves from this touching story.  Bobbin knows the basics, but he must grow in experience and power, and quickly, if he is going to be able to successfully weave reality itself.  He carries a magical staff, and as he travels through his enchanting world and solves each puzzle encountered, he learns to sing a new note of power which is then added to his staff... until eventually he is ready to challenge the darkness.

This is a 2D, 3rd person, point & click adventure with admirable characters, beautiful graphics and great classical background music (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear 'The Swan' now).  You cannot die in the game and there are no dead ends.  Your magical staff appears at the bottom of the screen, along with a musical staff where the notes that you learn are placed. It's a good idea to save your game when you are about to hear new notes, so that you can repeat them if necessary.

But not to worry!  Unlike the musical puzzles in other games, even nonmusical people will have no problem playing and enjoying and completing this game.  Because the game can be played in 3 different Modes:  Practice Mode, which shows you the letters for the notes heard (good for novices);  Standard Mode, which causes the staff to glow with the notes heard;  and Expert Mode (no glow and no staff), in which you literally play the game by ear!

Included with the game is The Book of Patterns, which describes the various uses of the magical patterns that have been created by the Weavers over the millennia. Also included is a wonderful 30-minute stereo 'Background Drama' audio tape about the Weavers and Bobbin (not with the CD version).  But if you play the CD version, try just listening to the game's soundtrack (mainly voice) in your CD player (it must be set on Track 2) after you've finished the game.  It doesn't necessarily follow the game's sequence, but it is excellent and absorbing!

Published in 1990 on 5.25-inch floppies or 3.5-inch disks with midi music, but no voice.  Then re-released on CD in 1992 with voice and enhanced graphics and music.  Highly recommended! You won't want it to end!


Full View Screenshot

Produced (1990) by Lucasfilm Games known today as LucasArts Entertainment.

Loom has been boxed with 4 other games in a collection called the LucasArts Classic Adventures (on 3 1/2 inch discs).  The CD-ROM Version (1992) with voice and enhanced graphics was only made available for the PC.

Minimum System Requirements:  DOS   MAC

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthroughs" available here!


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