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Adventure Game Scene of the Day — Thursday 26 December 2013

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C.I.T.Y. 2000 (1993) (a.k.a. City in Trouble Year 2000) is a game I played recently and I didn’t like it at all. It’s one of those virtual tourism style games like Capri where someone takes a couple thousand photographs of some real world location and then makes a couple dozen of them interactive and calls it a game. This game’s location is London. Unfortunately, the quality of the photographs is often really poor with outdoor scenes being horribly washed out and interior shots not being all that much better, being overly dark or with obvious bright spots from where a flash was used. This was definitely the project of an amateur.

Now, London has lots of great architecture, but ironically this game seems to have been made at a time when they were rebuilding most of the city as scaffolds are on buildings everywhere and the end result is that London often just looks like a dirty, crowded city that is falling apart.

Set in this milieu is a James Bond style story where you, an American agent, are called to London to work a case about a potential terrorist threat involving some sort of chemical attack and you have to stop it from occurring and catch the bad guy. That is, if you can figure out where anything is in that haystack of mostly non-interactive photos, which will often nonsensically put you facing a wall and then require you to move forward to proceed in a completely different direction.

The only reason I was able to make it through the game was because of the Internet. There is no way in Hell I would have had the patience back in 1993. Often in the game you are told to go somewhere such as a specific park or a street address, except that that somewhere isn’t listed on the in-game map, meaning you would have to wander around London streets aimlessly until stumbling upon it.

Fortunately for me, I could just look up the location on Wikipedia and find out what other major landmarks it was near to narrow down my search. I actually contemplated just using the Internet mapping engines to get specific street by street directions to places, but that seemed like going a bit too far. Now, my actual game is packed up in storage and I didn’t feel like getting it out to check the manuals or anything, so if there was a more detailed map included I take back the above criticism.

I’ve already typed too much on this, but suffice to say the interface is poor, the gameplay has some very annoying timed sequences and the story can have major continuity errors as you explore the world non-linearly while the story itself is completely linear and the scripting doesn’t account for that. There’s nothing like being told someone is going to leave you an object somewhere that you found hours earlier in the game.

Anyway, I chose the above screenshot from the wax museum because of how creepy The Beatles look in it. They’ve definitely crossed the uncanny valley there…

     

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I actually contemplated just using the Internet mapping engines to get specific street by street directions to places, but that seemed like going a bit too far.

Also you didn’t really have anything that great back in 1993, as far as I can recall.

     
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Bastich - 25 December 2013 10:57 PM

I chose the above screenshot from the wax museum because of how creepy The Beatles look in it.

They look great (the kids would say “awesome”) compared to this… this:


You haven’t seen this atrocity, have you?

No, it’s not George, it’s (supposedly, with a gigantic stretch of imagination) a famous tennis player.
Not Tim Henman.

     

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Yeah, that’s pretty bad, but I don’t follow tennis at all and probably wouldn’t recognize the player even if it was an actual photograph. That said, that’s incredible compared to my personal sculpting skills. I’d struggle to duplicate Gumby, let alone a human being…

     
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Yikes, I follow tennis a little, and I don’t have a clue who that could be…

At least with those Beatles, you can still identify them as the Beatles (especially McCartney)...

     

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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