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Historical adventure by Cryo/Arxel Tribe
A review by Annemarie
Adrian meets Ishtar
||As I've already played many Cryo games with
great pleasure, I looked forward very much to Pompei, since I read the preannouncement of
the game on Cryo's website and saw the promising screenshots.
I truly was disappointed when I heard that the german publisher, Ravensburger
Interactive, will not publish the game before next year (probably around March/April
2001). So I impatiently - because the dead season for adventure games has already begun
yet - procured myself the French version of Pompei.
|Pompei is the first game in a trilogy of
historical adventures with our hero Adrian Blake. The young scottish cartographer insulted
the goddess of love during a serious illness in the Caucasus. In that country the goddess
is known by the name of Ishtar. For the insult Ishtar transfers Adrian's beloved
wife Sophia three times into three different ages, where Adrian must regain and save her -
this time it's 4 days before the outbreak of the volcano Vesuv in Pompei. The story
promises suspenseful and thrilling adventures so far.
Fructus and a very special donkey
The beginning of
the game at once filled me with enthusiasm: With well-known first class graphics our hero
tells the story of his meeeting with Ishtar and his appearence in Pompei in the gardens of
Popidius, a Roman nobleman.
After that you start to investigate the extensive house of Popidius and his three gardens.
At first you are very much charmed by the stunning graphics and impressive, wonderful
music, creating an atmosphere that lasts until the end of the game.
But shortly after that the first disappointment follows: You find a chest and the
fitting key to open right in front of it - not much challenge for genuine adventure fans!
After this one will lead the first conversation, realizing that the talking persons don't
even move their mouths a single dot! That doesn't help bringing the actors to
life for the gamer. Although the story itself is convincingly logically structured it is
somewhat linear and not very imaginative devised.
|In the further process of the game these first
fears unfortunately prove to be true: Puzzles are much to easy; above all the game is
about seeking around; some easy combination puzzles and evading maneuvers. Three times in
the game you will find time depending tasks, but even they are not hard to be mastered. In
addition to this you are provided by pointing hints during the great number of
conversations. Sometimes you are led automatically to places where the story continous.
The positive quality of the puzzles and tasks is that they are throughout logical.
Only a bit confusing is a friend of Adrian, who - sitting in a tavern during the last
section of the game - constantly requests Adrian to play dice which however leads to
Likewise a conversation with Sophia in the garden can easily lead astray: One
processes dialogue field after dialogue field and does not suspect an important lead
behind a casual rhethorical question! That was a hurdle, which I would have never taken
Rendezvous with Sophia
either disappointed me was the small number of accessible game-locations to act! Seeking
at always the same places gets boring - even the best graphics couldn't help there!
To sum up: From this marvelous idea one could
have made a gigantic adventure game - I'm dreaming about Atlantis 1 still - with a more
branched and through that suspenseful storyline and more and generously stretched
But nowadays unfortunately the budget for adventure games doesn't support such
expense. Money probably to a large extend flows into complex 3D graphics, while other
important things to constitute a good adventure are neglected.
Thus the game can be arranged in the series: Aztec, Dracula, Vikings and so on.
|Unfortunately an adventurefan can help Adrian
find Sophia, persuade her to flee and rescue her within approx. 8 hours - for me it lasted
somewhat longer because of the French language version.
The complex and uncredible long ending sequence - in which humans are
killed by columns in great quantities - should have rather been economized and one should
have put the work into the actual gameplay!
For the historically interested fan the extensive library
about Pompei and the Romans is to be mentioned positively still together with the walk
around the town - like in other historical Cryo games before.
Finally the escape
The game can be played (at least in France!) by all
groups of age.
I had no problems with bugs during the gameplay.The game
get's an overall evaluation of 65% (satisfactory, restricted recommandable). Not to be
recommended for genuine puzzle fans, but rather suitable for adventure beginners and
players who are interested in graphics and atmosphere or historical interested gamers!
Some technical information at the end:
Minimal system requirements:
- Pentium MMX 200
- 32 MB RAM
- Soundblaster compatible soundcard
- 12 x CD-ROM drive
- PIII 600 MMX
- Windows 98
Copyright © Annemarie für Adventure-Archiv, 24. Juni 2000
- 80% - 100% excellent game, very recommandable
- 70% - 79% good game, recommandable
- 60% - 69% satisfactory, restricted
- 50% - 59% sufficient (not very
- 40% - 49% rather deficient (not to be
recommended - for Hardcore-Adventure-Freaks and collectors only)
- 0% - 39% worst (don't put your
fingers on it)
Translated by slydos