Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
This was the first game ever produced by Revolution Software, the talented people who made our beloved Broken Sword games, and it has much of that same charm. And with its strong story, offbeat characters, and an original innovation called 'Virtual Theater', it is still a great game even today.
You are a young man named Diermot, who was living a quiet pastoral life in a peaceful kingdom until the King conscripted you to serve in his army. It seems that he recently received news of a revolt in the hamlet of Turnvale, orchestrated by a young and beautiful apprentice sorceress named Selena. And not being one to let such matters go unsquelched, he immediately set off to nip the uprising in the bud.
But much to his surprise (and yours!), he was met not by peasants armed with pitchforks, but by a horde of grotesque gargoyle-like creatures: vicious mercenaries known as 'The Skorl'. The king and all of his men were killed. Except you. You fell off of your horse and were knocked unconscious.
You awaken God knows how much later lying on a filthy straw mattress in a torch lit room, with rough stone walls and bars at the high window. "Obviously this isn't the guest suite", you think! No, you are in a dungeon in Turnvale, the prisoner of the cruel Temptress Selena with an unfriendly Skorl guard just outside the door.
In fact, the entire town appears to be literally crawling with them. You shudder to think about what will happen to you if you stay here, and what will happen to the good people of Turnvale if you leave. Reluctantly, you admit to yourself that you are the only one who can save them from Selena and the Skorl. So you look around for some means of escape.
Just who is this mysterious Selena anyway? And what is she after? Ah, but "hell hath no fury like the wrath of a woman scorned" .....
This is a very old (1992), 3rd person, point and click game, with an inventory, music, sound effects and subtitles (no voice). But it is absolutely delightful in many ways, and is a lot of fun to play.
The setting is lovely: a medieval quasi-English village with thatched roofs, cobblestone streets, flowers, a pub and a town square. The puzzles are clever and interesting, and not too difficult ..... you must use magic and cunning (mainly the latter) to defeat the Temptress and her minions.
But it is the outrageous characters (more than 25), and your interaction with them, that really make this game. Your sidekick, Ratpouch (said to be the nickname of one of the developers), practically steals the show with his observations and wisecracks. Plus you can tell him to do almost anything (complex commands), and he will do it. And the tongue-in-cheek humor of the other 'locals' is just as good, particularly from one or two of the regulars who hang out at the pub.
However what impressed us the most was the hugh difference that 'Virtual Theater' makes in a game. The characters all seem to have a life of their own, and you never know what may happen or where you may see them next. No matter what you are doing (or not doing), they randomly and unpredictably come and go: running errands, shopping, stopping by the pub for a beer and gossiping with each other. You can join in and the conversation changes accordingly, or not and it continues without your input. It's just like real life!
Well worth playing if you can find a copy!
Produced (1992) by Revolution Software and was published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment (no longer exists in the USA, but does in Europe).
Minimum System Requirements:
PC: 286 10 MHz; DOS 2.0 or Greater; 640 KB RAM; 1.44 MB Disk Drive; EGA / VGA / MCGA 16 Color Graphics Card and Monitor; Supports SoundBlaster, Roland and AdLib Sound Cards and Internal Speaker; 3.5 MB of Free Hard Drive Space; Mouse Recommended
Where To Buy This Game:
Walkthroughs or Hints: