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Adventure Game Scene of the Day – Wednesday 11 July 2012

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This week I have chosen 1st-person adventure The Space Bar (1997) for its remarkable characters and the Steve Meretzky (Infocom) humor. Underrated, or should I say unknown… AG hasn’t reviewed it. So here’s my mini-review.

You are a human policeman investigating a murder and kidnapping on some faraway planet, but you also get to play as 9 or 10 bizarre alien creatures. Like the Zzazzl with multifaceted eyes. Fortunately you can turn off his compound vision or puzzle solving would become even more challenging. And Feeblix, who sees the world through the glass jar he lives in and cannot do anything without his none too bright slave friend Thud. In the above pic you are a robot, as you can see from the white silhouette, looking at a statue in the Villlage Green. Yes, that’s graffiti all over your lovely robotic face and you must find a way to get it off. Smile

On the down side, the game is very hard and the interrogation parts as a human in the space bar are timed. The passage of time is turn-based, but that doesn’t make it much easier.  So many questions to choose from before you hit on the right one, which is also part of the fun of course. Save, restore, save, restore. Lots of disk swapping too. Still, a very creative and enjoyable game with excellent voiceacting.

IMO. Innocent

     

Now playing: ——-
Recently finished: don’t remember
Up next:  Eh…
Looking forward to:
Ithaka of the Clouds; The Last Crown; all the kickstarter adventure games I supported

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Space Bar has been on my “Play it, you fool!” list for ages.
Is it possible to play it on a Win XP machine?

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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You had me at Steve Meretzky.

     
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I love the hell out of this game and still have my old disks (though unfortunately not the box any more).  This game is so deeply flawed gameplay-wise for the reasons Fien mentioned, but the fantastic characters, humor, and just general creativity of it all makes it one of my favorite games of all time.

But yeah, it is stinking hard and since the game is timed (a “tick” passes pretty much each time you click on anything), if you get stuck in the game, you pretty much have to save, mess around until you figure out what to do, then reload and do it again.  Really frustrating.  If they had taken out that timing element, I could have seen past some of the pixel hunts and out-of-left-field illogical puzzle solutions, but with it, the game can be an exercise in anger management.

Still, great graphics, an amazing array of alien creatures, fantastic voice-acting, and just a fun world to play in.

This is one of the only game worlds that I would want to make a game in.  If I could buy this IP and make a sequel or just a spiritual successor, I would.

zobraks: I got it running on my XP machine last year when I loaded it up for a trip down nostalgia lane.  I don’t remember having any trouble except the 360 panorama panning was super almost-out-of-control fast no matter what settings I used.  I just had to move my mouse very deliberately.

     
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Fien - 11 July 2012 11:07 AM

Underrated, or should I say unknown… AG hasn’t reviewed it.

But they did put it in the Top 100 games, which got it onto my radar and on my list of games to play…  Wink

     

Last played: Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse - 3/5

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Oooooooh! I can feel a community playthrough coming on. Wink

     

Now playing: ——-
Recently finished: don’t remember
Up next:  Eh…
Looking forward to:
Ithaka of the Clouds; The Last Crown; all the kickstarter adventure games I supported

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Joined 2007-07-22

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Who is leading, Mr zobrakes? :p Count me in.

     

Recently finished: Four Last Things 4/5, Edna & Harvey: The Breakout 5/5, Chains of Satinav 3,95/5, A Vampyre Story 88, Sam Peters 3/5, Broken Sword 1 4,5/5, Broken Sword 2 4,3/5, Broken Sword 3 85, Broken Sword 5 81, Gray Matter 4/5\nCurrently playing: Broken Sword 4, Keepsake (Let\‘s Play), Callahan\‘s Crosstime Saloon (post-Community Playthrough)\nLooking forward to: A Playwright’s Tale

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I’m so in.

     
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Here we go again.

for the info, VinceTwelve!

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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Joined 2011-04-01

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I fear I’ll never get to play this unless GOG releases it. I have a shocking track record with getting old non-dosbox games working.

     
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This is one of my all-time favorite games, but I agree that it can be difficult and frustrating.  The timed part happens in the bar, but when you’re in the mind of the characters, the overall game clock doesn’t advance, thank goodness, or I would have been done by the end of the first encounter.  It’s one of the cleverest and funniest games I’ve ever played.  Like ZGI, I found myself trying everything just to see what would happen.  I highly recommend it. 

Edit-
For the 2007 Halloween tourney at MM, this was a clue in my puzzle called Better Gaming Through Alchemy. 

To make a potent cerebomb
Among some things you’ll need:
Saliva of a slathercat
And some flutterweed.

     

I keep hitting the escape button, but somehow I’m still here.

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I’d be more than happy to participate in a community playthrough as long as it is led by someone else. We need to coordinate our efforts in the bar (to some extent non-linear at first) and I played the game too many years ago to remember the correct order of doing things. VinceTwelve would be the ideal playthrough leader. Smile Hint, hint…

     

Now playing: ——-
Recently finished: don’t remember
Up next:  Eh…
Looking forward to:
Ithaka of the Clouds; The Last Crown; all the kickstarter adventure games I supported

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Total Posts: 3203

Joined 2005-04-14

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Fien - 12 July 2012 03:38 AM

I’d be more than happy to participate in a community playthrough as long as it is led by someone else.


Rats! I was hoping you would do it - I LOVE your whims playthroughs.

Fien - 12 July 2012 03:38 AM

VincentTwelve would be the ideal playthrough leader. Smile Hint, hint…

OK, let’s try him.

On the side note: whenever I use these “S” tags [s ][/s ] with a word, the word goes to the next line , as if I pressed Enter (and I didn’t) and I want a word to stay in the same line. Does anyone know how to handle this?

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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Total Posts: 946

Joined 2005-06-02

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don’t use [ s ], use [ del ][ /del ] without the spaces of course.

     

Now playing: ——-
Recently finished: don’t remember
Up next:  Eh…
Looking forward to:
Ithaka of the Clouds; The Last Crown; all the kickstarter adventure games I supported

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Total Posts: 3203

Joined 2005-04-14

PM


Woo-hoo, it sucks works!!!
, Fien!

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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Total Posts: 29

Joined 2004-09-28

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Aww geez, me?  I don’t know how to run a community playthrough…  Never participated in one.  No clue!

     

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