Mr. Bill's Adventureland Review
Reviewed by Mr. Bill & Lela
There is no question in our minds that this is one of the greatest adventure games ever made. For it has those rare and elusive qualities that characterize all of the great games. It is unique, memorable, and utterly captivating.
The primary reason for its spellbinding effect is that the game is built around a contemporary young heroine whom you can immediately relate to. And she is caught up in a powerful story that will hold your interest and keep you guessing until the very end.
You play April Ryan, a street smart and hip 18-year-old art student who lives in Stark, the grim world of the earth's near future. Stark is a realistic extrapolation of the worst in today's cities, an urban horror that is the logical result of a culture built solely on science and reason. She has run away from home and is living in a boarding house in a bohemian area on the outskirts of the city while she goes to art school. And she is coping pretty well, despite the cynicism and hopelessness that surrounds her... until the nightmares begin.
With increasing frequency she is being haunted by dreams of another world, Arcadia, a world of magic and chaos. And the nightmares are rapidly becoming far too real, soon threatening the very fabric of reality as she knows it. In desperation she finally reaches out to a local eccentric for understanding. Only to be told by him that she was born for a purpose with a destiny foretold long ago, and with powers that she never knew she had... including the power to 'shift', or walk between worlds!
So which is the real nightmare? The modern urban world that she knows, or the magical world of her dreams? Or does the solution somehow lie in creating a balance between the two, a balance between Science and Magic, Chaos and Order? To find the answer to her questions, she must travel to the fantastic worlds of her dreams. She must embark on 'The Longest Journey' of her young life...
This is a 3D, 3rd person, point & click game, with over "50 unique characters and 150 locations in two distinct worlds". It is a very long game with a huge number and variety of puzzles to be solved, but they are all the standard inventory based kind, and are logical to the story and/or environment. And although the story can seem very threatening at times, you can't die in the game.
The original soundtrack is atmospheric and very good, and as in a good movie, adds much to the emotional feel of the game without ever becoming intrusive. The two worlds are absolutely fantastic! They are so professionally rendered, and in such rich appropriate detail (with great sound effects), that they soon seem very real... both the stunningly beautiful Arcadia and the dark, gritty streets of Stark. The more you get into it, the more complex and fascinating the story becomes, and there are many high resolution cutscenes to help move it along. They too are spectacular, original, and truly unforgettable.
There is a lot of dialogue in the game, but it is necessary in order to flesh out the characters and tell the story, always interesting, and often humorous. You should be aware however that the game does realistically portray modern urban life, including references to homosexual relationships and drugs, and some inner city conversations that are liberally sprinkled with four-letter words when it is appropriate for the character. But it is that movie quality script, and the great voice acting, that makes this game so very special. They make it all believable and real, and you care about what happens.
It's an epic adventure, with a compelling, emotionally involving story... and a heroine you will never forget! Without doubt, it is our choice for Game Of The Year 2000 (USA Release).
© May 2000 Mr. Bill and Lela
Visit The Longest Journey website to get more information about this wonderful game.
Developed (1999) by Funcom and the European English version was published by Empire Entertainment. The North American publisher (2000) is Tri Synergy.
Rated: M for Mature 17+ (strong language: commonly referenced four letter words)
Minimum System Requirements:
PC: Pentium 166 MHz with MMX; Windows 95 / 98 / 2000; 32 MB RAM; 4X CD ROM Drive; 640 X 480 SVGA High Color (16 bit) DirectX Compatible Video Card with 2 MB RAM; Windows Compatible Sound Device; 220 MB Free Hard Drive Space; Mouse and Keyboard
To Install and play Under Windows XP:
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Walkthroughs or Hints: