Reviewed By: Rick Casteel
STAFF REVIEWER (originally posted at Christian Computing Magazine)
GAME TECH INFO
Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: GT Interactive
Genre: Fantasy Side scroller
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
(some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 3 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 5 of 5
Side scrolling games have been with us since gaming went to a PC platform. Over the past few years gamers have seen fewer of these types of games, as top down strategy and first person perspectives became more and more popular. However, this “ancient” of all PC gaming platforms is brought back on occasion with new twists and better graphics. Such is the case with "Abe's Oddysee".
Abe is the title character of what developers at Digital Dialect plan to be a series of unique side scrolling games. Unique in that the world DD has created and the depth to which they have brought this genre. Abe lives in a world ruled by an evil conglomerate. His people, the Mudokons, are enslaved by the Glukkons who are out to exploit all of Odd World. When Abe stumbles on a plot to sell the Mudokons as dinner entrees, Abe sets out to save his brethren.
Here's where your adventure begins. As Abe, you negotiate numerous screens where you utilize various skills to get past guards, carnivorous creatures, bombs and other tricky traps in the process of saving your buddies. The programmers at DD have created a unique environment inhabited with peculiar creatures, never before seen (or I'd say imagined). The animation and art in the game are first rate. Unfortunately, the animation of the violence in the game is as graphic as any other element. There are occasions when Abe lures his pursuers into meat grinders and the like and they fly into pieces. Or, Abe takes control of certain characters and has them shot or blow up other enemies. The designers have given the player the ability to “possess” other characters, which is a troubling element for Christian players. This ability has to be used in order to complete the game so it is not an option that can be ignored.
While being a great looking game, the game play takes some getting used to. There are numerous commands that can be given to Abe at various times in the game. There is a crude communication system that Abe uses as he makes his way across this weird world. Certain key presses result in specific actions that Abe uses to communicate with others in his surroundings. The game itself is a combination of puzzle solving and strategy that gets progressively more difficult. You have unlimited “lives” for a good reason. You must “restart” frequently at various waypoints as you figure out how to get Abe past the next peril. This is one of the shortfalls of the game. There is no “difficulty” setting. Therefore, the player, regardless of their aptitude or patience, is stuck playing at the level the developers thought was best. You do get unlimited retries, but it's discouraging after a dozen or so attempts at a puzzle not to get it. And the frequent failures don't encourage a player to keep going. If you have tremendous patience and enjoy these kind of brain teasing games, this should be right up your alley.
Abe is just here to remind us gamers, "How frequently do we retry a game; why seventy times seven!"
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