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VERSAILLES 1685: A Game of Intrigue at the Court of Louis XIV

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela

This game does two things very well.  It gives you a real feel for what it was really like to live as one of the elite at the Court of Louis XIV of France (the Sun King), and for the opulence and richness of his Palace at Versailles.

The Palace has been faithfully recreated in all its glory... including the solid gold trim, the elaborately painted ceilings, the marble inlaid floors, the gorgeous furniture, the indoor and outdoor cultivated tropical plants, the famous Hall of Mirrors and the equally famous Garden Maze, and even the priceless paintings on the walls.  You can explore and look around to your heart's content both during the game and in the 'Tour Only' feature.  Almost everything can be viewed up close, and it's all accompanied by the style of classical music that was popular at the time.

Most of the major rooms are named, and can be referenced for history and function in the encyclopedia that is part of the game.  All of the famous people, mistresses, and many of the servants are in the extravagant Court dress of the era.  They can likewise be clicked on to access their personal histories, including their jealousies and political intrigues, and how they fit into the situation at the time of the game.  In addition you can access information about the customs of the time, what happened after Louis died, and many other interesting facts about the era.

The adventure game itself looks like it was designed to enhance your appreciation for these elements, and is simple and straightforward.  It all takes place during one day in the life of the King and is divided into segments corresponding to what he did at that particular time of day, because Court life revolved around him.

You play Lalande, one of the King's personal bedchamber valets, an honor and an important position in those days.  It meant that you were trusted and allowed to be in the King's presence, making you privy to information not even known to members of the royal family.  You learn from your superior, Bontemps, the head valet and sort of personal aide to the King who is responsible for palace security, that an anonymous and cryptic message has been received threatening to burn the Palace to the ground.  And the message says that all is already in place to do so.

This must be stopped at all costs, for Versailles means too much to the King.  It is his ongoing work of art, and is a symbol of the glory of his reign.  But the madman could be almost anyone because resentment and jealousy are rampant, with people falling in and out of favor daily, sometimes hourly.  Bontemps puts you in charge of finding the culprit and dismantling the setup before it is too late.

It is a 1st person, point and click game with 360-degree scrolling, an easy interface and minimal inventory.  The game is linear and the puzzles are straightforward and not too difficult.  But if you do run into a situation where you don't know what to do about a problem or what to do next, Bontemps will tell you.  A paper map comes in the box, and one can also be accessed during the game.

This is one of the games that Cryo co-produced with the National Museum for historical detail and accuracy.  It is a fascinating and revealing close-up look into a lifestyle and grandeur that no longer exists.

Full View Screenshot

Co-produced (1996) by Reunion des Musees Nationaux, Canal+ Multimedia, and Cryo Interactive Entertainment.  Published by Cryo Interactive Entertainment.

Rated:   3+   for Ages 3 and Up  by  ELSPA  (European Leisure Software Publishers Association)

Minimum System Requirements:  Windows

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!

Mr. Bill's   Adventureland
Copyright  June 2000
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