Time Guard - Polda 4
A preview by slydos, 3rd September 2002
"Time Guard" is the English title of "Polda 4". Polda 4 has already been published in the Czech Republic and is, as the name says, the 4th part of a very successful series of comic adventures in 3rd-person point&click style. Polda means as much as "The Cop" or in German "Der Bulle". It's about the adventures of the hero PankrÓc, who began as a simple policeman, was removed however from the police service and continous as a private detective. PankrÓc is around 30, and a little bit marked by the years spent in civil administration at the police, in which he had to fight against bureaucracy.
The story of "Time Guard" begins on Hawaii. Here PankrÓc spends his vacation with his "a bit rigorous" girl friend. On the phone he is asked for help by professor Santusov. PankrÓc had already become acquainted with the Russian scientist on one of his earlier missions in Siberia. Santusovs current invention attracts the attention of the Russian secret service, who would like to abuse it for their purposes. Santusov is hiding at the moment in Paris. So our hero flies there. PankrÓc first doesn't believe the professor and requires a proof for his crazy theories. So the Russian sends him into the near future with his time machine to find out about what will happen. There PankrÓc finds the world in the hands of an again strengthened and expanding Russia. (Russian VIPs now have e.g. their vacation domiciles on Hawaii) But he couldn't jump back in time and therefore must find professor Santusov, hoping he is still alive. He is alive, but sits as public enemy behind bars. PankrÓc must free him, so that the scientist could repair the time machine, which is located in the attic of a theatre.
In fact it's possible for our hero, to start on a new time journey. Unfortunately the time machine is damaged by the shooting of the KGB agents pursuing him, so that he couldn't return to his own time but into a Primeval Age village. There he must learn the language of the natives and exchange his modern clothes for primitve leather. In spite of the time difference of ten thousands of years he is finally able to contact professor Santusov and gets back again via the time machine.
But there are again problems and PankrÓc lands in the middle of the French Revolution. Even more trouble happens - our hero causes a time paradox! he signs the indictment against a revolution leader and so causes his death. The time machine is in the hands of a collector of curiosities, who is willing to exchange the time machine for a very rare artifact from Egypt. So, PankrÓc must undertake the journey to Egypt in 18th century to get back home and warn professor Santusov.
But the present is perfectly changed by the time paradox, which he caused during the French Revolution. In this time line professor Santusov would have been never born! Thus PankrÓc must go back again and undo everything...
I playedthe beginning of the game so far in the Czech version, and must admit that I enjoyed it very much despite the small language difficulty. To observe our "hero", to look in his "faithful" eyes and watching him contacting other persons lets a large quantity of Czech humor shine through.
Time Guard is a 3D-adventure with marvelously designed 3D locations and a whole set of most different 3D-characters. Oh, Charles Cecil says, point&click is dead - don't let that confuse you - Time Guard is perfectly mouse-controlled. So we have Monkey Island 4-style - but with mouse control! With this game the developers still seem to orient at the needs of the fans without simultaneously consider whether the game can be converted console-compatible.
The handling is really simple and you need only a few minutes of orientation. You simply leftclick, where PankrÓc should go. With a doubleclick PankrÓc appears at the desired place at once. In certain places PankrÓc can use a map to change locations. Hotspots and moving spots to other scenes are indicated by change of the animated mouse cursor. The inventory bar at the top of the screen remains invisible until the mouse is driving over it. One takes objects with leftclick and puts them back with righ-click again. There are altogether 5 different cursor forms: Eye for Look at, Dentures for Speak, Hand for Take, Gears for Manipulate and a Camera for the change of scene or perspective.
In the quite extensive demo PankrÓc must already solve a lot of puzzles. First he must talk as much as possible with all the people he meets and should not hesitate to try it again. The dialogues run by multiple choice method. Besides our hero collects everything, he could lay his fingers on. Within the inventory one can look at objects but also combine items. And you can make extensive use of that during the demo.
The main menu, accessable with the ESC-key, lets the gamers start a new game, quit the game, save and load, watch the credits and open the options menu, where you can adjust volume and brightness and switch on or off the subtitles.
Even if it is not indicated in the system requirements, the demo ran error free under Windows XP.
The quite low system requirements let also people with older computers participate.
What I saw so far, was very well pleasing. At present Zima Software is finalizing contracts about the international versions. There will be an English and in addition a German version. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing will interfere this!
Minimal system configuration:
Recommended system configuration:
adventurearchiv - 03-09-02