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UNDER A KILLING MOON

Reviewed by  Laura MacDonald


First things first: as this game was released in late 1994/early 1995, minimum requirements shouldn't be an issue for anyone reading this review. If you have hung onto your 486/66, have at least 8 MB free, a 16 bit sound card and a double speed or better CD-ROM... well, you'll be fine.

Yep, this is an older game. But here's the really cool part: I had less of a problem installing and playing this game on my Windows 98 than I did on my old Pentium 133.  At the end of this review (or I should say 'love fest'), you can find a link to where I have listed the steps for installing and playing UAKM on newer machines.

Review

Normally I would give a balanced review. Talk about the game's strengths, weaknesses, highlights and such. This is not one of those moments...

What can I say about Under A Killing Moon except that it is the game by which all others have been judged, and at many times found wanting. It has panache, style, the best dialogue I have ever heard/read, amazing guest actors, cool scenarios, and an innovative plot and puzzles. Plus graphics that were way beyond games put out that year, and still hold their own pretty darn well with games currently being released.

Probably the only thing that might phase people is that it uses a keyboard/mouse interface. Come on though! Would you let a little thing like a keyboard deprive you of a slice of heaven? I think not!!

Imagine, if you will, an opening shot of that beautiful blue ball we call earth. Suddenly there is a voice rolling over the stars from forever. Is this the almighty PI in the sky?

Even better, it's the rumbling yet velvet voice of James Earl Jones. Yep, the man himself. Sprinkled throughout this game are equally talented individuals: Brian Keith, Margot Kidder, Russell Means and others.

But who is Tex? First, he is played by Chris Jones, who is also the games' producer/director and designer. This invests the Tex series in general and the third one, UAKM, in particular with much personal vision.

The character is a tired gumshoe. Cynical, yet with a hope in his heart that the good guys win in the end. He has suffered more than his share of the world's woes. He has saved the world, escaped a bad marriage, and suffers from constant back pain, all without much to show for his troubles except a walkup office on the mutant side of town and a closet full of stained overcoats and beat up fedoras.

Did I mention the mutants? Yep, seems there was a WW3. Due to the varied and unpredictable effects of radiation, folks are now divided between the norms and the mutants. Genetic differences draw the line between those in power and those just trying to get by. Despite his hard-boiled act, Tex has a heart as big as Texas, and so prefers to live and work on the mutant side of San Francisco.

In this story, we find our hero in his third adventure. Tex has decided to pull his head out of a bourbon bottle and get his act together. He didn't handle his breakup with his ex-wife well, even if her leaving was better than winning the lunar lotto. First things first though: he has to get a case. Before you know it fate comes knocking on his door, and Tex is off again... saving the world, not getting the girl, and of course never getting paid.

So what's at the heart of Tex's latest adventure? A stolen jeweled necklace, a husband with a roving eye, ghosts from his past, a deadly shaman... and just the little ole problem of stopping a zillionaire madman from eliminating all life from the face of the world. Oh, and wondering if he'll ever meet the right girl.

So get this game. Pull it off that cobwebbed shelf and have a great time. That's the story, the history, and the jillion reasons to play this game. I have more... much more... but I ran out of room.

 2003  Laura MacDonald


Full View Screenshot


Bottom 4 screenshots courtesy of James LeMosy's Unofficial Tex Murphy Website

 

As promised, click HERE for instructions to install UAKM on Windows 98.


Developed (1994) and published by Access Software (no longer exists).

Minimum System Requirements:  DOS

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!

"Walkthrough" available here!


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