Lost In Time

Posted by: oldmariner

Lost In Time - 01/31/07 02:34 PM

I thought I would try my hand at writing a review. Not having done such a thing before, I considered, what game is not included here? Of course the next question was why do I want to do this and the relevant answer suddenly appeared as why not? The game in question is one I recently revisited after several years or rather decades in the storage bin. Isn't that why they call these things classics?

The first challenge with Lost In Time is getting it to run as it is an old dos game. After considerable effort in Dosbox this old thing ran like a charm, voice, graphics and all. Not a single crash. But lets get to it.

It plays as a point and click first person game with heavy emphasis on inventory puzzles. There are several cut scenes in movie form that play in small boxes on your screen. Something like the closeups in the more recent Blackwell game. You can actually replay the cut scenes from your inventory once you have experienced them in game play. Quite a nice feature. Save often cause you can get killed and there is no modern do over mode here, you have to restart from an old save.

You play Doralice, a French woman who inherited a mansion somewhere on the French coast. You somehow find yourself sent back in time. When the game begins you awaken aboard a 19th century vessel and have no idea how you got there or what is going on.

The first segment of the game you help Doralice discover where she is, what is going on and how to get out of this mess. Through this process you meet a time cop who explains the situation and enlist your aid in stopping a time traveling crook who intends on killing your ancestors and by process of elimination you. When you figure your way off the ship you find yourself back at the mansion in the present time.

Part two of the game takes place in the mansion and it's environs. The graphics are outstanding and the music score is beautiful. You will find yourself immersed in the haunting orchestral work. The rooms and grounds are stunning and almost demand you look at everything carefully. Besides Doralice should have the last name of McGuyver you need to pick up everything and believe me you will use it.

Part three sends you back to the ship for another round of solving this mystery. Again very intense searching with medium to difficult inventory puzzles. Most of them are logical but there are a few that will have you shaking your head. As an example lets go back to the mansion. When you arrive on the grounds you find the gate locked. <span class="spoiler_containter"><span class="spoiler_wording">Click Here For A Spoiler</span><span class="spoiler_text">You see a tractor parked next to the gate. In the tractor you can get many items, among them a battery and a pipe. To open the lock you must use a small pipe to take some acid from an old battery then Use the acid to erode the lock.</span></span> There are many McGuyver type puzzles that will marvel you and all of them are logical.

Part Four finds you on a Caribbean island where the bad guy gets his due. This is the one weak part of the game as the graphics almost seem cartoonish after 80 percent of the game was finely drawn. This appeared almost as a rush job to meet deadlines. But in spite of this Lost in Time is an outstanding game with engrossing story and puzzles.

Why write this up now after 24 years since its release? Because it is a great game that can arguably be included on ten best list of computer games and is a must for any true adventurer. I have noticed on places like halfdotcom the game is available for around a dollar. Now then for a buck it is certainly worth fighting with dosbox to run this Sierra Classic.

The game uses primarily sound effects when aboard ship and on the mansion grounds. Inside the mansion it plays that haunting melody. It was one of the first games I recall that did not loop the same annoying music repeatedly.

So there that is my first review hope it interest at least one person.

EDIT----- Thought I'd add, the cd version of this game does not require digging through the manual for passwords that were common in old games. If buying one at auction or grab bags etc the manual is not essential.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 02:50 PM

Oldmariner, great review! I was not playing adventure games 20 years ago, so this game is new to me.

Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 03:04 PM

looney4labs, I found the cd on amazon for a couple bucks. Remembering it from Gabriel Knight days I bought it figuring "what is there to lose". To my surprise Dosbox fired it up! Well it took a couple of tries but wow! It played flawlessly and brought back memories. I saw several on half this week for a dollar and change. I thought why review something everybody has an opinion on. If adventurous people wanted to take a turn with dosbox they are in for a treat. Where else do you get puzzles that require you make your own electromagnet? This one is definitely on my top ten.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 03:09 PM

We have lots of adventurous folks here, so I won't be surprised if this game goes through a revival wave
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 03:14 PM

I just saw where Mr Bill reviewed it on his adventurland web site has some screen shots too. Bill liked it a lot as well and included a tutorial on how to get it to run on windows. Have not tried his method, however it appears detailed.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 03:18 PM

That's the great thing about the adventure gaming community. Everyone is always willing to lend a hand.

Posted by: raylinstephens

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 04:29 PM

Great review for a wonderful game oldmariner! I played it on my last computer in Win ME using WinFile. Never thought it would run in DOSBox.

L4L it is a great game if you can make it run! There is a patch on the CD (of course it was missing on mine but a friend sent the patch to me) and the game really is awesome!

Linda wave
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 04:35 PM


As I said I have this one on the top ten somewhere, closer to #1 than #10. thanks for your comments.
Posted by: Marian

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 05:20 PM

Great review, and very nice to see it getting reviewed. I played this about a year ago on Windows ME, without DOSBox, using Win File; Linda gave me instructions on how to do it. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and it's worth the trouble to get it running on a newer computer. Lots of fun. thumbsup
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 05:31 PM

Thank you, I don't remember who but a few minutes ago I noticed somebody on here had it for trade.
Posted by: InlandAZ

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 09:20 PM

Why write this up now after 24 years since its release?
Wow has it been that long ago? It's one of my favorite games - which I replay from time to time (w/DOSBox). The pirate music on the ship is… well… it’s arrrsome… (loved the effects too).

Nice review - glad to see I'm not the only one that enjoyed the game.

You do know why Pirates are so fearsome don't you?

Click to reveal..
It's because they arrrrrrr
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 09:38 PM

Originally posted by InlandAZ:
Why write this up now after 24 years since its release?
Wow has it been that long ago? It's one of my favorite games - which I replay from time to time (w/DOSBox).
My bad it was 1993 which makes it 14 years not 24.
Posted by: InlandAZ

Re: Lost In Time - 01/31/07 10:36 PM

Originally posted by oldmariner:
Originally posted by InlandAZ:
Why write this up now after 24 years since its release?
Wow has it been that long ago? It's one of my favorite games - which I replay from time to time (w/DOSBox).
My bad it was 1993 which makes it 14 years not 24. [/b]
Whew - I felt so old there for second smile
Posted by: Becky

Re: Lost In Time - 02/01/07 05:34 AM

Nice review Old Mariner! Lost in Time came preloaded on my very first computer. At that point, I didn't know computers were for gaming. I played the opening sequence (which was rather pixelated, as I recall) and then hit the delete button.

Regretted it ever since. laugh
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 02/01/07 08:53 AM

Becky, it is not too late to make amends for that fatal delete. I saw there were four copies available on halfdotcom from $1.95 to $4.99. None of them mine as I am holding onto it.

We have all done quick deletes at one time or another.

The flaws I found in this thing were not big issues. Some see the fmv scenes as a flaw. But they are not overdone here. It was one of the early attempts to add fmv to games, however, it is an overall small part of the game. The cut scenes all advance the story and are generated through contact with other characters. These characters encountered by Doralice tell their tale of woe to her using these cut scenes.

I also saw the last chapter as a flaw because the rendering of the scenes appeared cartoonish, while the other chapters were finely detailed. The ending came up suddenly although you knew it was near. Doralice's reaction to the criminal character causes the conclusion as the player has control. There is a neatly done short cut scene after the game ends to wrap things up.

The 2d graphics of the ship are very well done and seemed quite life like. This was true for both the first and the third chapters when you return to the ship. I would have preferred third person in this game but the first person perspective is what they gave you.

The mansion in the second chapter is extremely well done and the music was exceptional. You interact with the grounds, a lighthouse, an out building, and a well. You also visit the wrecked ship that you were on a hundred years earlier.

Like I said the faults are easily over looked because of the detailed story, finely detailed rendering of most scenes, likable heroine and unique challenging puzzles. Overall the flaws are minor. I tend to avoid ranking games either I like them or I don't but if I had to place a number on it considering what I view as flaws I'd still place it above 95/100.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Lost In Time - 02/02/07 08:52 AM

Hmmm. I can get it through one of Amazon's resellers. Maybe it's time to right that ancient (in computer time) wrong.

Paying for a game that I once got for free? Not a problem. Admitting that I once made a stupid mistake? Much more difficult. evil
Posted by: Mad

Re: Lost In Time - 02/04/07 09:39 AM

Hi oldmariner smile

You have given us a splendid review of an oldie that's very dear to my heart thumbsup thumbsup

I just love it !!

I MUST get it installed again lol lol


Mad wave
Posted by: Kelly Stiver

Re: Lost In Time - 11/04/07 04:12 PM

Hi. I've just brought the Fraps from Planetwide Games' Comic Book Creator, and I'm in the process (really off and on, start and stop, etc) of using Fraps to take screenshots of my games (so far I only did this with the beginning of Thief: The Dark Project by Edios Looking Glass Studios. So you can see, I'm really just starting to use Fraps to get game screenshots,and from the way you're talking about Lost In Time, it sounds like it might be worth a try to make LIT run in a DOS box on Windows XP and run Fraps to get the screenshots, because of course I'm planning on using Comic Book Creator to make a comic book of my gaming experiences. Before buying Fraps a couple of days ago, I used my 4 megapixel digital camera to photograph the screenshots of another old DOS game that I've played and won; this game is Stonekeep by Interplay, and I've added people to the screenshots to represent me as the player by a means of photo editing software, saved the screenshots in jpeg, and added them to my comic book file. But when I showed my mom the comic pages that I've made of the Stonekeep screenshots, she told me that the pictures were too black and blurry. And after I've made a page or 2 of LIT and printed out the comic book pages of my LIT screenshots, they, too, were blurry. Not a little bit blurry, but kind of blurry as to render them unacceptable (at least by my mom's and girlfriend's standards of quality) and I considered abandoning the comics using the screenshots from LIT and Stonekeep, and trying to come up with clear, crisper Internet images edited to resemble the games' screenshots as much as possible. What do you say?

P.S. I've played LIT and Stonekeep on my oldest computer, a 15-year-old DOS-based and Windows 3.xx Packard-Bell and used my camera to photograph the screens as shown on the Packard-Bell's monitor. Are the screenshots much clearer for you since you're running LIT from a Windows XP DOS box? If so, then it might be worth it for me to do for the sake of my comic book projects. Please reply. Thank you very much
Posted by: Becky

Re: Lost In Time - 11/05/07 11:18 AM

Kelly -- did you mean to post this in the Glitches forum? The folks there will probably know more about this.
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 11/13/07 07:16 PM

Kelly, I don't know if screen shots using dosbox are clearer that what you got when using the old equipment. The game was sitting on my desk so I loaded it up in dosbox and captured a shot. The result was a clean, clear photo. I can only say it works well using control/print screen when using dosbox.
Posted by: Kelly Stiver

Re: Lost In Time - 11/29/07 06:01 PM

Well, I've loaded this game in DOSbox and used Capture-A-Screen to get some screenshots of this game.

http://s221.photobucket.com/albums/dd225/KellySt10/Lost%20In%20Time/ Here's the link (hopefully, as I'm just learning how to use photobucket) to my Lost In Time screenshots from DOSbox. Could you please tell me if they're too blurry, or if they're clear enough for you? My mom thinks they're too blurry.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Lost In Time - 11/29/07 08:31 PM

Kelly, too blurry for what?

I can see them, though the detail in the poster is not good. If I had to pick out the details of it, I would not be able to.
Posted by: Kelly Stiver

Re: Lost In Time - 12/02/07 03:46 PM

My mom said the screenshots were too blurry for her. Does this mean everyone who sees them would think they're too blurry?
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Lost In Time - 12/02/07 07:27 PM

Kelly, it depends on What you want to use the screen shots for? What are you doing with them? puppy
Posted by: Kelly Stiver

Re: Lost In Time - 12/03/07 09:46 AM

I'm using them in Comic Book Creator to make a comic book with these screenshots after I edit them in Photoshop to put people into them.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Lost In Time - 12/03/07 12:43 PM

Ahhh, sounds like an interesting project. Just be sure to check the copyright issues as some folks are very aggressive about them.

For me, they are clear enough for that--but the clarity will probably be affected by the finished size.
Posted by: Kelly Stiver

Re: Lost In Time - 12/03/07 01:01 PM

Regarding these people and their copyright issues: my mom said that by the time my stories are ready to get published (if God's willing) all these folks in these pictures will be dead and buried, and by then, their copyrights might expire.
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Lost In Time - 12/03/07 10:14 PM

I'm not a copyrite lawyer and I don't play one on TV either. This is a sticky issue as I have read some copyrites pass down to other family members after the owner passes on. Don't take anything for granted that anti-piracy stuff is a slippery slope.
Posted by: Kelly Stiver

Re: Lost In Time - 12/04/07 11:12 AM

Well, I'm trusting that God will handle all these copyright issues for me if He wants these comic books published. You know, God can do anything and all things. He might let the book fall into the right publisher's hands, and that publisher could hire actors (it might even be that kind of publishing company that uses actors) and build sets (like they do when they make movies) that are the same as or similar to the pictures that I'm using in my comic books. Each time I begin a comic book project, I dedicate it to God & I put it into His (mighty) hands. As with all my story and comic book projects, I'm trusting God with them.