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OBSIDIAN

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela


Nanotechnology is the very real emerging science that deals with the creation of sub-microscopic artificially intelligent robots (called nanobots) for work with organic material at a cellular level.  This classic puzzle adventure game is based on a story of one application of that technology... one that has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

The year is 2066 and the earth's atmosphere has become so dangerously polluted that the drastic step of using experimental nanotechnology to try to stop it has been taken.  Called 'The Ceres Project', it is an artificially intelligent satellite that orbits the earth looking for areas which pose an immediate threat and then releasing nanobots capable of repairing the damage.

You are Lilah Kerlin, a biochemical engineer who works on the Ceres Project, and along with your partner Max Powers, environmental engineer, you have monitored the first 100 days of its uninterrupted and perfect operation.  So now the two of you decide to take a much needed break and leave the smoothly functioning machine to go on a camping trip in the lush and beautiful Olympic Peninsula.

But one day you notice an unusual black rock formation there which is uncharacteristically growing... and at an alarming rate!   Nicknaming it 'Obsidian', you leave Max to continue examining it and then you return to your tent to search the database on your PDA for information about what it might be.  Your PDA also serves as your personal journal, so you also note in passing some of the strange dreams that you and Max have been having since beginning this project.

Suddenly you hear Max let out a blood-curdling scream!  But by the time you reach Obsidian he is nowhere to be seen, apparently swallowed whole by the menacing and still growing mass.  And as you stare at its shiny black surface, contemplating your next move, it suddenly opens and you are sucked in too!

You find yourself inside a disorienting and nightmarish world, one that appears to be a concrete creation pieced together from the dreams which you and Max have been having lately.  You've got to find him and get out of here.  But nothing makes any sense... even the laws of physics don't seem to apply!

This is a 1st person, point and click game with a smart cursor, minimal inventory and 2 different endings.  In your search for Max you will explore 4 completely different and almost unrelated dream worlds, all dark and mechanistic and devoid of human life, but strangely beautiful and richly detailed.  The surreal graphics are stunning, and the animated cut scenes are really spectacular, with atmospheric music and sound effects, and fluid movement.

However both the engrossing story and the unusual environments serve merely to showcase the many bizarre puzzles that are the main focus of this game.  Most of your time is spent solving them and they are both innovative and difficult.  They are an integral part of each unique dream world, impact that world, and often require orientation to and use of that world's logic to solve.  None of them are really easy, and be forewarned that there is one at the end of the game which is almost statistically impossible!  But to help get you started, the solutions to the first section are supplied in the back of the manual.

We were very impressed with the imagination and creativity shown in this game, particularly with the high quality animations, the disorientation puzzles, and the writers' ability to see the humor in the darkly prophetic scenario of the first section.  Their fascinating story effectively illustrates the dangers inherent in using insufficiently tested technologies.

For those who love puzzle games, this is one of the best... the classic that set the standard for all such subsequent games.  It is a unique and memorable game!


Full View Screenshot

Produced (1996) by Rocket Science Games and published by SegaSoft.

Rated:   K-A   for Kids to Adults  (Mild Animated Violence)

Minimum System Requirements:  Windows   MAC

To Install and play Under Windows XP:

Inferno's Obsidian Setup Walkthrough

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Hints & Solutions" available here!

"Walkthrough" available here!


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Copyright  1999, Revised 2001
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