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Obscure adventure game discussion thread

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Most of the time the discussion on the forums tends to revolve around the more popular games (naturally) like Lucasarts, Sierra, etc. But in some of the threads like the Place that…uh, game and the Adventure Game Scene I’m always finding interesting looking games I’ve never heard of.

So I thought it would be useful to have a thread where we can:

(a) Talk about the less popular adventure games you’ve played, and
(b) Ask about obscure games you’ve heard about but unsure if they are any good.

“Obscure” means games that are barely talked about, or don’t get many reviews if any. I’m sure there are gems out there that only a few know about, and stinkers which would best remain hidden. Remember to include a screenshot so we know what it looks like.

Have fun! Smile

     
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I’ll start with one I heard about recently but didn’t know existed.

Congo: Descent Into Zinj

I liked the movie Congo and apparently this is based on it. I also like exploring jungles and the unexplored so it looks enticing to me. However I’m still wary of it being awful and just a cheap advertisement for the movie, because otherwise it would be talked about, right? Wink

Anyone played it and can tell me what it’s like?

     
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Spaceship Warlock

Few will have heard of this old relic from the early 90s, which I got free on CD from somewhere. You start on an alien planet and are somehow abducted by space pirates flying a ship that looks like a 1940s blimp. Which sounds cliched as hell (and it is), but it’s actually pretty good. Some funny moments and probably quite innovative for the time. Features speech but poor acting, and I remember the 2nd half being weaker but it’s still worth a play. Good luck finding it though.

     

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(6=good, 7=recommended, 8=must play, 9=classic, 10=masterpiece)

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I started Congo years ago. I liked what I played, but I didn’t get very far and I’m a huge FMV fan, including bad FMV. I don’t know how the game compares to the movie, which I haven’t seen. One thing I liked is that you get resurrected immediately when you die. And you die a lot in the jungle. Smile

It’s still installed on my ancient Win98 machine and who know, I might even finish it one day… after I’ve played all the wonderful kickstarter adventures, the dreamfall chapters, the last and first crowns, and everything else in the pipeline.

PS: Nice thread!

     

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Tlön: A Misty Story

Quite rare adventure in QFG style from Slovakia, and the story is isnspired by Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borgese. Atmosphere, visual art and especially music are reasons for trying it, but on the other hand its technically very unstable.

My another “obscure” favorites are Cosmology of Kyoto and Blue Ice. And I like to ask, if anyone played Mode, Zelenhgorm or Kingdom O’ Magic, which are on my list to try.

     

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Cosmology of Kyoto is a great experience, although I found it somewhat depressing. Yes, seriously. Unfinished for that very reason. Blue Ice is beaturiful, unique and incredibly hard. Unfinished as well.

Does Fien ever finish a game, I can hear you cry.  Innocent Yes, I’ve played Zelenhgorm to the end, Mode too. I wouldn’t recommend Zelenhgorm. It’s the first and only part of a trilogy and the game doesn’t take off. At the beginning the hero decides to find out more about his background and why people in the village hate him, and at the end he’s more or less ready to take a journey. Not much happens in between. The diskswapping is really annoying and the puzzles are standard fare.

Mode is another strange and unique game. The problem with recommending those weird ones is that some people love them and many hate them. I enjoyed the unique setting, the acting and the conversations. The game is all about talking to people and the “mood bar”. (See the positive review at the Four Fat Chicks site, now called Tap Repeatedly.) Different responses—> different endings, so its more like an interactive movie, although it features one nice (and weird) puzzle.

     

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Thanks Fien for info, I will try Mode, which I have already installed Smile. As for Cosmology and Blue Ice, I also didnt finish them - actually dont know, if Blue Ice anyone finished (especially without walkthrough). And, didnt you play McKenzie & Co., which is in my opinion one of the most obscure adventure?  Grin

And I think, in this thread should be mentioned Commander Blood, the most obscure Cryo game, which tells you evrything.

     

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Never heard of McKenzie & Co. Is it any good? I’m not crazy about Her Interactive and their Nancy Drew games. I did play The Vampire Diaries, another obscure one. Extremely coarse, pixelated FMV, even for the mid nineties. Slightly amusing but not a good game, IMO.

     

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Well, definitely not, but still it is interesting enought to try it (like for example another FMV hell A Fork in The Tale).

The Vampire Diaries? Only heard of that, but reminds me Gothos.

I assume there are only a few good “obscure” games like Bad Mojo or DogDay.

     

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Drolin - 15 December 2012 08:26 AM

Well, definitely not, but still it is interesting enought to try it (like for example another FMV hell A Fork in The Tale).

The Vampire Diaries? Only heard of that, but reminds me Gothos.

I assume there are only a few good “obscure” games like Bad Mojo or DogDay.

Hey, you know a lot of obscure ones, Drolin. Smile Interesting that you mentioned Dog Day. For me it was mediocre at best. It had a few good moments but that awful, awful, awful maze that you had to go through three times!

Bad Mojo is firmly in my top ten, it’s a remarkable game. We had a lovely community playthrough in the old forum with a couple of dedicated roaches, led by alpha roach Zobraks.

Gothos is so incredibly bad that it’s hilarious. Unfinished. A Fork in the Tale is on my looooong list of games-to-play-in-the-distant-future.

     

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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Fien - 15 December 2012 04:11 AM

I started Congo years ago. I liked what I played, but I didn’t get very far and I’m a huge FMV fan, including bad FMV. I don’t know how the game compares to the movie, which I haven’t seen. One thing I liked is that you get resurrected immediately when you die. And you die a lot in the jungle. Smile

It’s still installed on my ancient Win98 machine and who know, I might even finish it one day… after I’ve played all the wonderful kickstarter adventures, the dreamfall chapters, the last and first crowns, and everything else in the pipeline.

PS: Nice thread!

Thanx for the info Smile

I didn’t think about compatibility. I think I’ll have to set up the virtual machine I’ve been planning to do for years before I play Congo. I doubt it will work straight off Win7.

Oscar - 14 December 2012 06:55 PM

Spaceship Warlock

Few will have heard of this old relic from the early 90s, which I got free on CD from somewhere. You start on an alien planet and are somehow abducted by space pirates flying a ship that looks like a 1940s blimp. Which sounds cliched as hell (and it is), but it’s actually pretty good. Some funny moments and probably quite innovative for the time. Features speech but poor acting, and I remember the 2nd half being weaker but it’s still worth a play. Good luck finding it though.

Yep, I know this game well! I only owned the demo, which was actually pretty long -  so I just played the beginning section on the alien planet over and over again, which I loved. I really should get the full version one day so I can finish it.

*Still remembers the theme: Spaaaaaaaceshiiiip Warlock!*  Laughing

     
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Fien - 15 December 2012 08:36 AM

Hey, you know a lot of obscure ones, Drolin.

You too Wink. It was quite a fun to try old and forgotten adventures back on Snesorama forum.

Hah, that sounds like something just for me - adding Gothos to neverending to-play list.

And yes, very well done playthrough Thumbs Up. Hoping there will be another new playthrough, since I didnt manage to play interesting looking Space Bar. And about DogDay, I have similar opinions, but I find that game quite good in some aspect. Like my favorite Harvester - loving its purely “c” quality and Twin Peaks atmosphere, shame that final Harvester not looking like on this teaser.

     

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This game was just posted in the “Guess the screenshot” thread: Animal.

Has anyone tried it? It looks pretty nutty and possibly hilarious. Could be a possible candidate for a community playthrough?

     

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(6=good, 7=recommended, 8=must play, 9=classic, 10=masterpiece)

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Men wear masks on which they carve portraits of what they would like to be or think they ought to be. Opportunity, like fortune, does not change a man-it unmasks him. What is under the mask may surprise you-as it often surprises the man. But it was always there.

Eraser: Turnabout

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFqSpLKB4Do

I think this game should be familiar to anyone who got suckered into buying a PC with an Intel MMX processor in the 90s. My father got his from the bovine themed computer seller, Gateway 2000 and Eraser: Turnabout was bundled in the package as a game that shows off the power of MMX technology.

It’s a fun espionage FMV game that I’d say was influenced by Activision’s Spycraft (an intricate and superior game in every way) and it mixes arcade shooting segments along with various story paths and standard puzzles. It’s been so long since I played it but there are two striking features of the game that I remember…

The first one is that the game was FULL of idioms and fortune cookie phrases like the quote above. The designer was a man named Howard A. Tullman and he has an entire website that features an archive of these sayings: http://www.tullman.com/wow.asp

Particularly, my favourite quote from the game was “Just because the river is quiet doesn’t mean the crocodiles have left.”

The second thing I remember is the torturous shooting segments that were HORRIBLE using old trackball mice. Thank goodness for laser technology, h’uh? Still, I’d recommend this game (if it will run on today’s PCs) because the production values still look good and the acting and dialogue has great camp value like Ripper.

     
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Drolin - 15 December 2012 04:17 AM

Tlön: A Misty Story

I don’t think I’ve heard of this one before… Interesting.

In a similar vein - The Fifth Disciple

Another RPG hybrid from the Czech company, with a simple turn-based fight similar to Heroes of Might & Magic. However, don’t be fooled - there’s still plenty of classic adventure puzzles and the reason why I abandoned it few years go might be just that I was stuck hopelessly. I’ll definitely get back to it as it’s an interesting mix of the fantasy and “Sanitarium-like” bleak atmosphere. You can read more about it here and here.

Drolin - 15 December 2012 09:02 AM

Hoping there will be another new playthrough, since I didnt manage to play interesting looking Space Bar.

Hey, that playthrough isn’t over yet! And by the speed at which is progressing, you can still join and catch with the rest of us. Tongue

     

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diego - 15 December 2012 09:25 AM

I don’t think I’ve heard of this one before… Interesting.

Tlon is known (a little bit, if I compare it with Polda, Horké Léto and especially The Black Mirror) only in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Althought, it wasnt oficially released even here.

And about The Fifth Disciple, its sequel to our cult classic dungeon called Brány Skeldalu. It was quite strange, that creators wanted more QFG style then Dungeon Master, so in this case - it wasnt hit either. I didt play it yet, but in near future I want to give it try. And where were you stuck?

I will try catch on, thanks Yum.

 


     

Currently playing: Ever 17, The Space Bar

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