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#87898 - 02/12/02 04:50 PM Adventure at the Chateau d'Or
syd Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/12/99
Posts: 12306
Loc: Body in California/Heart in Ha...
Adventure at the Chateau d’Or
Karma Labs
W95/98/ME/2000
First person point and click adventure

Story

“A modern day princess finds herself caught up in a mysterious adventure when she receives a cryptic letter summoning her to the palace of her deceased uncle, the Duke. Your task is to help the princess unlock the secrets of the Chateau d’Or and claim her inheritance”. (taken from the manual)

Sounds interesting and intriguing doesn’t it? Well it should have been, but truthfully, it wasn’t. It took me almost as long to write that first paragraph as it did to play the entire game. At $5 that wouldn’t be a bad deal but at $40+, let’s just say I didn’t feel I got my money’s worth.

Gameplay

Simple point and click fare with two levels of difficulity. I played on Difficult and have no idea how the easy setting affected gameplay. I suspect on easy, playing 20 questions with the Duke’s “spirit” would have been easier –

There’s also a map feature, but it didn’t really help me all that much, but then most maps don’t help me all that much <g>

Puzzles

Pretty much the standard inventory type, and some were rather fun I thought. I liked coming up with the correct color combination in order to summon the duke, the first couple of times that is, but after the 30 or 40th time I got rather tired of it. What was worse is the patterns were random so each time you answered a question wrong (I believe in difficult there were 30) you had to start all over and re-guess the colors.

My game was also pretty buggy. At the end you have to place 4 or 5 artifacts that you collected throughout the game in their proper order to free the princess who is locked in this globe thing. Well in my game if you did not place the artifact in the exact spot the developers wanted, it disappeared from inventory and you had to traipse back to where you first found it and pick it up again. Believe me, I learned to save a lot during the end sequence.

And about the ending. Am I the only one who did not understand what it was about? I’m not even sure I figured out what her inheritance was lol. For me it was one of those “huh?” type of endings.

Conclusion

The story had a lot of promise but unfortunately nothing materialized. It felt more like a French history lesson and less like a game. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not what I expected the game to be.
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#87899 - 02/12/02 07:23 PM Re: Adventure at the Chateau d'Or
gatorlaw Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/01/99
Posts: 10312
I never wanted to like a game so much. It had all the right promises.

A princess, ghosts, a castle - designed by an indie group ( which I fight like the dickens to promote every time I run across one) It had great graphics, sweet music and then fell completely flat.

I agree with the money angle - - 40.00 was way too much. The weird mix of TV shots and ancient castle surroundings - Too off center. And then the jeopardy approach to the historical info made me feel like I was back in High school. I play edutainment games for their grounding in history and forego the fact data base.

I really hope that this team works on another project - because there were so many things done right with the game - like the graphics, the initialk plot premise and the music. Just leave the quiz part out of it and stick to the story. Sigh - It was such a good beginning.

Laura
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#87900 - 02/12/02 07:29 PM Re: Adventure at the Chateau d'Or
syd Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 11/12/99
Posts: 12306
Loc: Body in California/Heart in Ha...
Like you Laura - I really wanted to like this game - I was so looking forward to it and it turned out to be such a disappointment. I too hope Karma Labs makes another stab at making a game. They could actually take this same premise and expand on it -
_________________________
Dark Side : Risen
Light Side:

I can only please one person a day. Today isn't your day. Tomorrow's not looking good either.

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#87901 - 07/15/02 01:09 PM Re: Adventure at the Chateau d'Or
jasper Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 683
If I may, I would like to add a few comments, unfortunately negative, to Syd's review:

--I am happy to learn French history, or the history of any other place or country. But in this game, I learned facts in the first five or ten minutes of playing so that I could pass a test and then forget them entirely for the rest of the game. I had hoped for more integration of the history in the solving of the puzzles later on.

--My ear is apparently not that good. I had to consult a WT to see what I was supposed to be accomplishing with the color machine that summons the Duke, because the sound differences that clued one in to the correct choices were too subtle for me to notice. Once I did know what I was listening for, it still was pretty hit or miss.

--My ear also did not process the princess character's heavily accented English very well. I had to listen to her initial speech enlisting my aid three times before I figured it out. So I was relieved to discover that there were only three other times I had to listen to her in the entire game. One of them was her mostly unintelligible final speech in the game, so I never did figure out what her point was. On the other hand, if the Duke, with the only other speaking part in the game, had an accent, I didn't notice it.

--The navigation was confusing in that turning to the side would turn the player 90 degrees or 180 degrees, with no difference in navigation cursor to clue the player in. The forward movement cursor was also the same as the "examine" cursor, which added to the confusion.

--Timed sequences are certainly a viable puzzle design strategy, but please don't ask the player to speed read crucial information during the timed sequence!

--Should I be surprised that the history lessons from the Duke were conventional and simplistic presentations of history from the monarchist point of view? Probably not. And I am not sure how else I would describe Abelard's physical condition other than "incapacitated" if I were writing the game for many audience levels, but it struck me as a funny way to describe it.

I do wish the developers well and hope that they will learn and develop and bring us more games. I certainly am willing to buy more games from them when they come out.

cheers,
jasper

--What WAS that ending, anyway?

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