Point and click
Death possible at
a few places
There are words
that a reviewer uses regularly to describe an adventure game such as:
point and click adventure, edugame, interesting, informative,
captivating, logical puzzles, easy navigation, good story, beautiful
environment, choices of saving mode, excellent game coordination.
However it is very seldom that we can use all those words at the same
time when we describe a game. This is one of those occasions.
If you are a
gamer who squirms at the notion of an educational game, forget your
qualms. Here you can learn as much or as little as you want. No unwanted
information is forced upon you, but it is there at your fingertips,
comprehensible and illustrated with pictures. The encyclopedia mode
contains all the historical facts about the religion, government,
culture, art, commerce and everyday life of the Aztec people. It makes
interesting reading, informative without being pretentious.
At the time of
this story in 1517 the Aztec empire dominated Central America with the
fabled city of Tenochtitlan as its religious and governing center. We
can only marvel at the remnant ruins of it today, imagining the splendor
of those days gone by and the wonders lost to the human greed of the
conquerors and the ravages of time. Thanks to Cryo you can travel back
in time and experience some of those wonders.
You are Little
Serpent, a young hunter out to fill the family pot when you stumble on
the scene of a murder.
The murderer flees
and the dying nobleman reveals his secret to you. He gives you an amulet
and begs you to give warning of a terrible plot hatched by the enemies
of the emperor. The story is that of a conspiracy. You, an innocent
bystander, get embroiled in events that are not the consequences of your
action, but bear directly on you and your family. The murderer frames
you for the dastardly act and takes your family hostage to avenge it.
You are a
courageous, intelligent and resourceful young man, ready to take up all
the challenges that circumstances bring your way. You are handsome and
pleasant too. Without complaint, you are ready to do all you must. You
have to unravel the conspiracy and find the cause of the mysterious
illness that plagues the country and is blamed on the emperor. You have
to prevent the ritual execution of your parents who are hostages because
of your supposed crime.
In the course of
the game you will talk to people, but not excessively. You will meet
merchants, a doctor, soldiers, a priestess; several of the conspirators
and you will be chased by the bad guys. So unfolds a delightful game in
a very believable environment populated with interesting characters -
some helpful and others really nasty as befits an adventure of this
Of course, the
character movements are not as smooth as we are used to with the more
Voice and music
The dialogue is
not excessive. The voice acting sounds flat to me and I wonder how much
is lost in translation. English is a second language to this game. I do
not imagine that the Aztecs had sophisticated musical instruments, so
the music produced at their time was mostly drums, flutes and simple
strings; therefore music is not a significant part of this game.
The game is puzzle
driven and quite linear in nature. You have to solve the puzzles to
advance. The puzzles are not too hard and they go with the story. There
is a maze of sorts that you will have to navigate a few times but it is
no trouble for the observant player. At times quick action is necessary
and, yes, you can die here and there but not too often.
I am playing another game, I remember Aztec and I wish that later
developers adopted some of the options Aztec is so well endowed with.
Point and click navigation is easy, the hot spots are indicated by
enables you to:
act, pick up objects, hold or listen to conversations, gain information
about characters, places or objects.
gives you the inventory, the main menu, the map and access to your
personal codex (a kind of journal that comes in very handy). It also
allows you to examine objects of interest when you place them on the
eye icon such as maps, poems, artifacts and other documentation.
is to take you to places. You may find it hard to navigate the city at
first but it is expected since you are a young man from a little village
and not used to big and complicated cities.
menu offers several options
1. Three modes
of game play: the adventure game, the exploration mode that allows you
to travel around and examine the environment, and the encyclopedia mode
where you can search for pertinent information.
2. There is an
“Omni Expert” mode that gives you hints for the next necessary move
(whether you want it or not).
3. There are
two save modes, the automatic (saves at certain times and allows you to
continue the game) and the manual (saves at your pleasure and allows you
to load any save you choose).
4. Other options:
I did not find any
A colorful and
wondrous Aztec world comes alive through the technical proficiency of
Omni 3D graphics with smooth 360 degree panning and animations. The city
with its temples and castles sparkles in the sun with magnificence. I
heard complaints that it seems to be empty, but I do not think that this
center was ever overflowing with people in the first place (you could
lose your heart here, literally). This and other areas are beautiful, a
pleasure to visit and supposedly historically correct.
The game has been
out for quite a while but it does not show its age as much as one would
expect. The excellent story and the good technical implementation make
it a satisfying game for beginners and experts alike. Play it alone,
play it with your children or grandchildren and I will guarantee you
will not be disappointed. If I were given to rating games I would give
this one an A. However, since I am not in the ratings game, all I can
tell you is that I enjoyed every minute of it.
I have played this game on
HP Pentium II ~600 MHz
128 MB physical memory
Nvdia Riva TNT/TNT2 Pro graphics board
As an afterthought I loaded the game onto my XP/home in Win 98
compatible mode. The graphics look great and the game plays without a
Review Grade: A-
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