Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis – Final Rating

So. It's the moment of truth. Those who've been following along probably know that I've loved playing this game. But sometimes the scores of the PISSED system don't reflect the reviewer's own enjoyment. Will that be the case here? Will this be one of the highest rated games we've seen so far? Will I disappoint some fans of the game by giving a lower score than expected? Have you, like I usually do, already scrolled to the end to check out the final score before reading the actual post? Let's find out, shall we?

Fact: I was stumped in this game for a while and I only now noticed that if I looked at the back cover I'd have known that I needed a wheel for the Atlantean robot chest puzzle.

Monday, 16 April 2018

What's Your Story? - Biscuit

Introduction and captions by Ilmari

We've received a lot of new readers this year and some of your introductory stories have had to wait rather long for their publication. Here are finally answers from our reader known as Biscuit, and no, he's probably not a character in yet another law show.


His avatar has an oriental feeling to it

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Game 94: Inspector Gadget: Mission I: Global Terror - Introduction (1992)


Written by Joe Pranevich



Say what you will about 1992, but there were a lot of licensed games. We’ve already seen Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, Gateway, Dune, Star Trek, L. A. Law, and Hook and we will have a few more before the year is out. Is this the peak year where everyone wanted to get in the boat of low-quality point-and-click adventures? Had technology and design-plagiarism finally reached the point where these sorts of adventures were easy wins? Or did that same technology advancement mean that designers could finally produce the tie-in games that they had always dreamed of? I have no idea. What I do know is that I have open on my laptop our first (and likely only) Inspector Gadget game. Are you excited?

This game, given the unwieldy title of Inspector Gadget: Mission I: Global Terror, will be another of those games of uncertain pedigree that I find so difficult to predict. We have seen virtually unknown designers do amazing things in the first Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes game, while similarly unknown designers came up shorter in Hook and Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. If this thing has one thing going for it, it is that Inspector Gadget is a pretty fun series and one of my favorites as a kid. If they manage to strike the right tone with a silly-but-interesting mystery with plenty for Penny and Brain to do, I could be pretty happy.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War - Rumblings of War

by Alex



And so the Hero of Spielberg and Prince of Shapeir’s journey to Tarna begins! As Chet eloquently described in his initial Quest for Glory III post, this entire series is “tight.” Chet stole my thunder a little bit, as this is an aspect of game design I wanted to save for the final rating, but now is just as good a time as any to discuss it here, since I completely agree with him.

My preferred term is well-crafted. Playing a well-crafted game provides an experience that feels satisfying and complete. The polish put into games like this speaks of additional effort beyond the 90 percent required to make the game at all. It’s this last 10 percent that separates the decent from the good to great games.

Here are some characteristics of well-crafted games; feel free to add additional characteristics in the comments below:
  • There are few, or no, wasted screens or moments: every character and scene provides some kind of information to the player or something to do.
  • Characters don’t act in ways that contradict everything that has come before.
  • The game’s mechanics and game-world rules are well-explained and consistent throughout, both to the player and to the other characters.
  • The game’s story hangs together on its own internal logic.
  • There are few, if any, plot holes.
  • There is no deus ex machina.
  • Villains don’t just appear out of the blue.
  • The explanation for each puzzle can be found within the game as opposed to the use of brute force inventory testing.
  • The player is rarely, if ever, left wandering around bereft of direction.
There are more, but I think it’s safe to say that the Quest for Glory games meet these criteria. From personal experience, I contend that The Secret of Monkey Island provides an equally well-crafted experience. Conquests of the Longbow and King’s Quest VI are other games I can think of that uphold this ideal. Please let me know of others in the comments.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Missed Classic: Emerald Isle - Won! (With Final Rating)

By Ilmari

I have to admit that “winning” meant this time rather heavy use of hints. In hindsight, I probably could have solved most of these puzzles with a little bit of persistence, but I was getting a bit tired of the game in whole. Oh well, enough of the excuses, let’s get on with the game.


So long and thanks for all the fish!