June 28, 2006 at 11:45 pm #27472
Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman’s Mine is the first original adventure
game from Himalaya Studios, the same team who did the King’s Quest 1
and 2 VGA remakes (but for those they used the names Tierra and AGD
The demo is only at Adventure Gamers right now, but in a few days it’ll be up in other places, too.
I got to play the whole thing to write a preview of it, and it’s a
really great game. It’s the first commercial game to capture the
spirit of the old Sierra and LucasArts classics in probably 10
years. If you’re a Sierra fan, you should check out the demo — I
bet you’ll like this game.
The official website should be up in a few hours.
June 29, 2006 at 12:07 pm #27473
Well, I downloaded the demo and played it to the end. While the overall experience has certainly left me waiting for the entire game, there are some elements that didn’t feel right. That said, these elements have to do more with the ‘packaging’ rather than the gameplay, though.
For one thing, there’s the introduction. I’m really sorry to say this, as I’m sure a lot of work must have gone into making it, but as something intended to pull gamers in, it just doesn’t work. It’s overlong, it’s unfunny (the dialogue in it is nowhere near as good as in the rest of the game) and above all – and again, I realize a lot of working hours must have been spent here, still – it looks pretty ugly. For the first thing a gamer will see, I think the introduction leaves a pretty bad impression.
I also have to share the criticism expressed in other forums (such as Adventure Gamers’) about the voice-acting of both Al and the Narrator. They’re both very annoying. I got used to them towards the end of the demo (though I can’t say I’ve grown to like them), but that’s still a minus.
On the plus side, one I got through the initial stuff, you’ve done a really good job with everything else. In-game dialogues are strong, puzzles are good (I really liked the drink-mixing) and the closing scene, done in comic-book style, is great (far more effective than the 3D intro). As I said, I’m really looking forward to the complete game. We really need someone to pick up where Sierra left, and you guys seem to be on the right track.
June 29, 2006 at 1:33 pm #27474
My initial reactions to the 3D cutscenes and the voices were the same as yours. Turns out that after the first chapter, there’s only one more 3D cutscene in the entire game. The rest of the cutscenes use the comic book style, which I think works very well. So I wouldn’t worry *too much* about that.
The voices did grow on me, but I can’t really say how long that took. Once of the good things about this game is that it has a very well written story, complete with character development, and the voices of Al and the narrator are in some ways setting the player up for how the characters (narrator included) change later on in the game.