Monday, 9 March 2009

Freeware Adventure Game Review - The Game That Takes Place on a Cruise Ship (TGTTPOACS)

Title: The Game That Takes Place On A Cruise Ship
Genre: Adventure
Created with: SLUDGE
Author: Deirdra Kiai (or, according to her website, thousands of ultra-intelligent monkeys!!)
Author's Website: Click here
Download Size: 19.5Mb


Overview
Sporting not only a preposteriously long title but an even more absurd herione (well her name anyway - Gertrude Zzyrgenhymer, The Game That Takes Place On A Cruise Ship has you playing a blue-haired woman with a degree in Rhymatology, who's just won something for the first time in her life - a trip on a super-dupr new cruise ship. In the time-honoured tradition however, it is not all plain sailing (groan) for Gert as she uncovers an eeeeeeeevil plan and has to do something about it...

TGTTPOACS, as it is affectionately known since it's slightly less long-winded to say than the full title, is a cracking little freeware adventure game. The graphics are good and well animated, the music (OGG format) is easily among the best I've ever heard in a freeware adventure, and the game itself is a joy to play. The interface is fairly standard though comes with the added bonus that if you double instead of single click your mouse button, Gert does whatever action you've asked her to do more quickly. There are also a couple of odd commands - "Smell" and "Consume", which I've rarely if ever seen in another adventure game! These supplement the more usual "Examine", "Use", etc. The rooms themselves aren't populated with a huge number of objects, but everything you can see will bring at least some kind of response to your interaction - there are almost no "stock phrases" in the game. A good deal of humour is in the game, some taking off other adventure games (particularly Monkey Island), others character or situation based, and of course there are plenty of sideswipes at the film "Titanic".

It probably won't take you all that long to complete the game as the puzzles are all logical and nicely balanced, perhaps a touch easy overall but about right for most of us. It probably took about 4/5 hours to complete it the first time (I wasn't particularly keeping track!) The beauty of it is though, unlike most adventure games there are actually 4 completely different endings, depending on choices you make in the game. This bypasses a common problem with adventures, that there seems no real point playing them after completion as you've seen everything. (I admit that at the time of writing this I've only completed it once, but am going to go back and try to find the different endings.) This approach, fairly common in RPGs but not in adventure games, is another reason why TGTTPOACS is such a refreshing and worthwhile addition to the adventure gaming community. Adding to the fun there are some truly bizarre characters in the game - including, as you'll see in the screenshot, an octopus playing the drums!!


Pros
Good graphics and animation, great music, funny, inventive, unique

Cons
A touch too easy for some, quite short (though this is negated by the 4 different endings)

Verdict
If you like adventure games, this one is an absolute must.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 9
Playability: 9
Longevity: 8
Overall: 8.5

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