Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
We are big fans of Arxel Tribe, especially since playing their game Faust. So we were looking forward to playing this their first game, which was produced in 1997. And we were not disappointed. The setting is the Middle Ages in the aftermath of the Crusades, when superstition was rampant. It is the year of Our Lord 1208. The horrible time of the Black Plague and the Inquisition, when all religious heretics were being tortured and burned at the stake by Pope Innocent III.
As the game opens, in France, your father is dying and calls for you. You are his youngest son Simon, and he extracts a deathbed promise from you. He wants you to take a hidden Coptic manuscript to his friend Petrus who lives in Toulouse, who will know what to do with it.
Without understanding, you agree. For you only learn later that your father was the head of a secret order called 'The Tradition', and that the manuscript is very special and dangerous indeed. It was brought back from the Crusades by a Knight Templar, and may be the Lost Gospel of Saint John!
So it isn't long before you find that you are being hounded and pursued for the manuscript by the Pope's own Special Inquisitor, Diego d'Osma. And as a result of your experiences, you very quickly grow from the innocence and naivete of youth into the fully developed confidence of a very special kind of hero. But you must accomplish everything on faith, as you gradually discover your heretofore-unknown... grand heritage and destiny.
This is a 1st person, point and click game, with an unusual but easy to use interface. There are two inventories, one with objects to use or inquire about and the other with characters to inquire about. Arxel Tribe is a stickler for details, so the characters are accurately representative of the medieval era, with dialogue that is both fascinating and educational. And of course the graphics are absolutely stunning, even though this was their very first game.
All of the puzzles are related to the story and/or the times, and range in difficulty. But the game has built-in hints and an ongoing log of all conversations for clues. In addition there is a walkthrough on the first CD, which may be printed for easy reference. Plus there is a comprehensive built-in encyclopedia, which may be accessed at any time, to document and elaborate upon the historical facts relating to the game.
This is an educational adventure game par excellence. It enriches your historical understanding painlessly by means of an intriguing story and true adventure-style puzzles and situations, and with fascinating characters that include both angels and demons. We thoroughly enjoyed it!
Developed (1997) by Arxel Tribe and initially published by Infogrames Multimedia. Was re-released (2001) by Arxel Tribe and co-published with &wanadoo.
Rated: 11+ for Ages 11 and Up by ELSPA (European Leisure Software Publishers Association)
Minimum System Requirements:
1997 Release: Pentium 75 MHz Processor; Windows 3.1 or Windows 95; 8 MB RAM; 90 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; 4X CD ROM Drive; Video Card with 640 x 480 Mode in 65,000 Colors; SoundBlaster Compatible Sound Card; Mouse
2001 Release: Pentium 166 MHz Processor; Windows 95 or Higher; 8 MB RAM (16 Recommended); 90 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; 4X CD ROM Drive (8X Recommended); Video Card with 640 x 480 Mode in 65,000 Colors or Higher; SoundBlaster Compatible Sound Card; Mouse
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Walkthroughs or Hints: