Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
A stormy night on the rocky, windswept Oregon coast ..... we were utterly captivated from the opening scene, and by the time we had finished the first act, we were completely hooked!
You are checking your phone messages in your summer cottage one evening, when you discover an urgent plea from your eccentric neighbor Dr. Krick, who lives in the old converted lighthouse next door. He has had to leave suddenly and he asks you to look after his baby daughter, Amanda, until his return. Concerned, you hurry over, but all is quiet and apparently normal with Amanda sleeping undisturbed. Making yourself at home, you decide to take this opportunity to look around, admiring the coziness of such an unusual place.
But as you explore, you run across Dr. Krick's journal and find that he has apparently been doing research, and has discovered some sort of strange parallel universe: the world of a demented 'Dark Being'..... and with a sudden sinking feeling, you realize that's probably where he has gone. Hurriedly you rush to check on Amanda, only to arrive just in time to see her snatched from her crib by the very same creature described in Krick's notes, and taken by him through a shimmering open portal! Hesitating only a moment, you make up your mind ..... and follow.
The world in which you find yourself is desolate and alien, yet somehow strangely familiar. The terrible end result of a world gone technologically mad, it is empty and devoid of life, save for a few pathetic aberrations and, of course, the Dark Being, now nowhere in sight. But the world itself is compelling and beautiful, with exotic architecture and fascinating complex machinery, including flying machines and even a submarine.
But where are Amanda and Dr. Krick? What has that evil creature done with them? You must find them, before it is too late.
This is a 1st person, point and click game of solitary exploration and puzzle solving, with little character interaction. The graphics are beautiful and the music is great, with 5 different regions to explore (even a shipwreck!) and some fascinating alien technology (especially the deranged mechanical bird and Liryl, guardian and ward of the Temple).
The challenging and elaborate puzzles are well integrated into the plot, with most involving deducing the function and operation of the various devices. The puzzles are real world logical, often requiring the use of some found item(s), but you will wind up with a few unused things in your inventory. However do make sure to thoroughly explore at the beginning, because some items are extremely well hidden. And be aware that you cannot return to your cottage, once you have left.
Some of the puzzles are very 'touchy' and difficult indeed, with no clues given in the game, so if in doubt you may need to consult a walkthrough. And please note: depending on the version you are playing, you may need a patch (see below) in order to have an 'active cursor' over hot spots.
Reminiscent of Myst in many ways, anyone who enjoyed that game should be delighted with this one. We certainly enjoyed it, even if there were some puzzles that had us pulling our hair out!
PATCH INFORMATION: If you have an earlier version (1.0 or 1.1), your cursor will not be 'active' and there may be a bug or two, so you will want to install the patch (Version 2.a) to the game (install before playing or you will lose saved games). There is also a patch at this location for the Mac version of Lighthouse.
Produced (1996) and published by Sierra-On-Line.
Minimum System Requirements: Both PC and Mac versions are available on separate CDs.
PC: 486DX 66 MHz Processor; DOS/ Windows 3.1 / Windows 95; 8 MB RAM for DOS & Windows 3.1, 12 MB RAM for Windows 95; 2X CD-ROM Drive; SVGA 640 X 480, 256 Color Video Card; Sound Cards - For DOS (SoundBlaster & 100% Compatible or Pro Audio), For Windows (Windows Compatible Sound Card with DAC); 20 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; Mouse
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Walkthroughs or Hints: