Road to India
Here I am again talking about a game most people played already and probably are not interested to read a review about. Never the less I am going to write about the "Road to India" because I have had a very funny experience and it turned out just like this game. But lets put first things first.
This game has all the ingredients of a great game:
1. A meaty story of young lovers, a kidnapped sweetheart, a tragic beauty in bondage to a mad man, a forbidden secret sect operating in stealth and the few helpful rats.
2. Beautiful graphics depicting a mysterious country full of great monuments of love and worship exquisitely rendered so that the rays of the sun sings on the shadows of the stones laced with the artistry of the long dead stone mason's talent. The streets and the alleys are also beautiful and littered with carefully constructed detail.
3. The grandeur comes not only from the monuments but from the overshadowing presence of Kali one of the Hindu religions most misunderstood, most terrible and most marvelous deities. One must read about Kali
to truly comprehend her many aspects, her significance in the overall scheme of creation and her importance to the Hindu religion.
The drama here could have been breath taking.
4. There is suspense and there is action and there are a few puzzles.
5. The game is slow to load but there are no glitches and bugs it is smooth from beginning to end, the result of careful programming I am sure.
6. First person, point and click, inventory and a index of important papers and artifacts. The cursor is indicative.
7. The music or chanting is interesting and appropriate.
The game opens with the sweethearts parting at the airport, than a "Dear John" letter comes and our hero Fred is on the "Road to India". He dreams and this first dream is the very best part of the game. The Taj Mahal
is gorgeous and very true to life. We meet there beside the villains a monkey with a prehensile tail holding a tile (only South American monkeys have prehensile tails but that is just splitting hairs), and a docile and very obliging elephant.
Fred arrives to India and witnesses the abduction of his fiancée. He sets out to the rescue and encounters a few interesting characters in a curiously empty and clean New Delhi. He collects things but the inventory is never troublesome and things not needed disappear, he does all the right things but somehow the dialogue is flat and at times he almost whines.
Beside the city he visits a few more interesting places like the house the kidnapped women are held and a secret temple of Kali (he offs some somnolent guards at both places), in moments of high tension he embraces his love who is laid out on a sacrificial altar, later he finds himself face to face with the mad man who just like Andy Warhol predicted is having his fifteen minutes (more like seconds) fame and hurts the one he loves (we needed a cliché).
This could have been a very very good game but the mystery was practically non existent, Kali, the terrible, Kali the marvelous, Kali the mother, Kali the avenger was just a vague shadow, the pathos fell flat and the game became a series of interesting pictures, entertaining enough but not what it could have been. It could have been a great game with dark undercurrents, sinister characters contrasting the self sacrifice of a woman who wants life only on her own terms.
While I played the game these were the thoughts that occurred to me and I remembered the cake I was once baking with the very best ingredients and how when it was done it tasted OK but fell flat.
Road to India illustrates what GameBoomers are saying at every opportunity, the story is a very import part of an adventure game.
I played this game on an HP Pentium III Genuintel ~600 MHz processor
128 MB Physical memory
Nvidia Riva TNT/TNT2 Pro video card
Sound Blaster Audi PCI 128 Legacy Drive
Processor II 266 Mhz
Video card 2D 8 MB Ram Compatible DirectX 8/Direct3D
64 MB Ram
400 MB free hard disk
CD-Rom 16 speed drove
Sound Card compatible with DirectX 8
P.S. I liked the rats too.