Top Ten - Adventures

Our third installment of the series concerns the loved by some, hated by others genre of Adventures. The ST has seen some amazing adventures over the years ranging from the witty Shareware text adventure Dead or Alive to the sprawling masterpiece of The Secret of Monkey Island, below you'll find the elite adventures.

10. Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Lucasfilm/US Gold

Lucasfilm Games are probably better know for there adventures than any other games and with titles like this it isn't hard to see why.

You play the part of Zak as he tries to uncover the aliens plot to take over the world. You visit places like Egypt, Atlantis and even Mars.

The graphics are humourous and convey the games plot well.

Rating: 79%

9. The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Infocom

The first and arguably the best version of Douglas Adams' best selling book - The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. The game itself was a well designed text adventure with nothing in the way of graphics - this however wasn't a problem as the descriptions were more than sufficient for you to visualise the locations.

The text had just the right amount of humour and the game as a whole was very enjoyable.

Rating: 81%

8. Hook, Ocean

A novel twist on a film tie in, Hook was based upon the film of the same name.

You play the part of a grown up Peter Pan and you must rescue your children from the evil Captain Hook. The first thing that hits you about the game is the quality of the graphics, it is up there along Lure of the Temptress in this area. The sounds which are, on the whole, sampled are also impressive.

The only flaw in the game it self is its size, it is fairly small and it'll take very little time to complete. This means that the game whilst being good doesn't last very long before you get bored which is a pity as with a little more thought the game could have been the best.

Still, I'd recommend it to younger players as a starting point in the world of Adventure games.

Rating: 82%

7. Cruise for a Corpse, Delphine/US Gold

Arguably the best murder mystery game ever, you play the part of an Inspector Raoul Dusentier and you must discover which of the characters murdered you're host.

The game is set on a ship and the locations are designed to reflect this, there are a number of cabins along with other ship related scenes. The graphics are all extremely well drawn and the animations and interaction is superb.

Throughout the game you'll come across loads of clues and each time you make progress in solving the case you'll advance ten minutes around the clock. Once the game reaches it's climax you must put all the clues together to deduce who was the killer.

An original and well presented game which will take a very long time to complete. Reccomended.

Rating: 84%

6. Loom, Lucasfilm Games/US Gold

The precursor to the epic Monkey Island puts you in the boots of the young Bobbin Threadbare from the Guild of Weavers. Your aim is to find your long lost mother who was turned into a swan by the 'elders'.

On your journey you'll come across many different magic spells which can help or hinder you on your quest. There are many locations and the graphics on all occasions are very well drawn. The only criticism I can find is the ease in which the game is completed, it is very difficult to die and the route you must take is fairly easy to discover.

Overall, one for your collection.

Rating: 88%

5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lucasfilm Games/US Gold

Based on the hit film of the same name, IJatLC was, at its time, the best ever film tie in. It was the first film to be successfully turned into a computer game.

You took the part, initially, if Indy and it was up to you to find the Holy Grail. Later in the game you also had the option of controling Indy's dad Henry.

As with all Lucasfilm's adventures, IJatLC had a point and click interface which was especially easy to use. Just select a verb and then click on the relevant object or part of the screen. Graphically the game was impressive, unfortunately the same can't be said about the sound which was the bog standard ST chip music.

Rating: 89%

4. Future Wars, Delphine/US Gold

Future wars may not have the best graphics in an adventure, nor the best sound but what it does have is gameplay. From the beginning to the end you'll continue to come back for more.

Each time you play the game you'll make a little progress, enough for you to feel you're getting somewhere but no so much as to make the game easy.

The interface whilst being original is difficult to come to grips with at first and there is a very limited vocabulary but this doesn't manage to spoil the game.

Rating: 89%

3. Operation Stealth, Delphine/US Gold

Oh no! the most advanced plane in the world has been stolen and it is down to you to recover it.

Programmed by the same team that brought you Future Wars and Cruise for a Corpse, Operation Stealth uses a similar interface. Graphically it is better than FW but doesn't match up to the excellent CFaC in this area. Sound is once again sufficient but not outstanding.

In fact what makes OS special is, just like FW, its gameplay. In fact all that was said about Future Wars can be said once again about Operation Stealth on a greater scale.

Rating: 90%

2. Lure of the Temptress, Virgin Games

Lure of the Temptress has the best graphics and sound of any adventure ever.

Set in the once peaceful land of Turnvale which has now been taken over by the Skorl warriors. These warriors are under the control of the mysterious Temptress and the only way you can return Turnvale back to its former glory is to find and defeat her.

The games interface is extremely intuitive and gives you full control over your character, Diermot. It is based around the Virtual Theatre system which enables the game enact real life very well.

The games main problem is the small number of locations. There are only a few places to visit but what there is, is very atmospheric and beautifully presented.

The difficulty level is perfect and the control system is very well thought out. You'll be playing this game for a very long time to come. If you haven't got it go get it now!

Rating: 92%

1. The Secret of Monkey Island, Lucasfilm/US Gold

You probably already knew what was coming here! No top ten adventures would be complete without the all time classic The Secret of Monkey Island

As is the case in the world of adventures, the graphics are well drawn but not outstanding. They give you a very good idea of your environment but they are limited by the number of colours the ST can offer.

The music on the other hand is poor, the tunes, whilst being catchy, use the ST's sound chip and are very blippy. Surely a company such as Lucasfilm would be able to afford to put in the time for some decent music.

You play the part of Guybrush Threepwood in his quest to rescue Governor Marley from the evil pirate Le Chuck. There are a large number of locations and each one is important to the game.

The interface is once again the standard Lucasfilm point and click affair and as always it world magnificently.

What makes the game stand out above the rest is the gameplay. I've said this about almost all of the games in this top ten and thats because any adventure worth its salt needs to offer the player a reasonable challenge and make them want to come back for more.

Another thing that stands out is the humour, Monkey Island must be the funniest game ever to be released on the ST and it's all the better for it. This game , it must be said, is one of the top three ST games of all time and it looks as if it'll be there for a very, very long time to come.

Rating: 96%

Obviously, Lucasfilm knows it's stuff when it comes to adventure games - not surprising consider the budget most of there games have got! Delphine also is up there among the great adventure writers!

There have also been a large number of excellent PD and Shareware adventures which I have missed here. Games such as Stone Cold Sober and Mobsters City deserve a mention in a list of the best ST adventures even if they don't quite make the grade of commercial outings.

Next issue we have the first in a series of readers top tens, so make sure you get a copy.


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