Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
This old game is an absolute delight, and is another one that you shouldn't miss, if you can find it. And when we can say that about any game that includes timed puzzles (we hate them), then you know it has to be good. We had wanted to play it for a long, long time, ever since we first heard the words of the theme song and saw a demo (turn on your speakers and refresh to hear some of the instrumental version of the song now). But we couldn't find a copy of the game. Then suddenly we did find it on the original 3.5 floppies, and soon thereafter found it again on the CD that was produced later and included voice.
The game was written and developed by Al Lowe (of 'Leisure Suit Larry' fame) and Josh Mandel, undoubtedly two of the funniest men to ever create computer games. Working with a top notch team of artists, programmers, and other assorted nuts known as the 'Screw Loose Posse', they obviously let it all hang out, putting in every Hollywood Western cliche, sight gag, pun, and bad joke that they could come up with. Practically everything in the game can be clicked on for a different wisecrack, depending on whether you 'look at', 'touch', or 'talk to' the person or object.
The year is 1888 in post gold rush California. You play Freddy, a young Easterner who thought he wanted to be a gunslinger until he got his ear shot off. After that happened, he put away the guns and went back to his first love (pharmacology), got his degree, moved to Coarsegold, California, and opened a pharmacy. As the story begins, narrated by 'dirty old man' Whittlin' Willie, we soon discover that someone has hatched a vile plot to turn Coarsegold into a ghost town, and of course it's up to you to save it. But to do so you must not only practice pharmacology late 1800's style, you must also save the town from all sorts of other catastrophes: including arson, poisoned water, stampedes, gamblers and gunslingers, and even terminal flatulence!
It's a 2D, 1st person, point and click, western comedy adventure, with an easy to use interface and inventory. The puzzles are logical to the story and humor, and range in difficulty, but many are timed (use a walkthrough for them).
If you have a choice, we would recommend playing it from the CD version. Because the voice acting is hysterical and dead-on accurate for the outrageous characters in the story: Sheriff Checkum P. Shift, Madame Ovaree and her girls, just to name a few. But if you delight, as we do, in some of the 'go-withs' that used to come with adventure games, then it is also well worth getting the floppy version, if only for the box. It displays such memorable quotes as "when men were men, women were women, and sheep were scared!", and includes the 1881 version of 'The Modern Day Book of Health and Hygiene' (the CD version only has excerpts from it). The hintbook for the game, written by Josh Mandel, is also well worth finding. Both books are a hoot to read and the hintbook also includes a full points list, items that can be found and where they are used, as well as funny things to try in the game.
We would also recommend that at the beginning of Act One you just wander all over the town examining everything and everyone (look at, touch, talk to), before you start trying to solve that first puzzle, which is filling a prescription in the pharmacy. Otherwise you will miss a lot of the humor, because once you do start solving puzzles much of the story progresses automatically. And don't fail to watch the ending credits all the way through: there are some hysterical 'outtakes' that should NOT be missed.
To read the words of the unforgettable theme song, and download it sung by Al Lowe himself, visit our Just For Laughs page. Freddy Pharkas is one of the best games ever produced by Sierra Online. It's a classic, and we highly recommend it!
For some fun things to try after you finish playing the game, click HERE.
Developed (1993) and published by Sierra On-Line. Sierra re-released an enhanced version with voice in 1996 on a CD-ROM.
Rated: T for Teen 13+ (mild violence, use of tobacco and alcohol, suggestive themes)
Minimum System Requirements:
3.5 inch HD disks (1993): 286 16 MHz for MS-DOS, 386 16 MHz Processor for Windows (486 Recommended); DOS / Windows 3.1; 581 K for MS-DOS, 2 MB of RAM for Windows; VGA (256 Colors) or EGA (16 Colors) Display Video Adapter; Sound Card; 11 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; Microsoft Compatible Mouse (Recommended)
CD ROM Version (1996): 386DX 33 MHz Processor (486 Recommended); DOS / Windows 3.1 / 95; 2 MB of RAM for Windows; VGA (256 Colors) Video Adapter; Sound Card; 2X CD-ROM Drive; 22 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; Microsoft Compatible Mouse (Recommended)
Where To Buy This Game:
The best chance for finding this game would be at used software places or auctions or trading sites. Our Places To Buy Games page may be able to assist you in finding a copy of this game.
Walkthroughs or Hints: