Chemicus: Journey to the Other Side


Developer:    bvm

Publisher:    Tivola

Released:   North America 2002

PC Requirements:    Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP: Pentium II, 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 50 MB free hard disk space, SVGA graphics card (32 bit), sound card, CD-ROM drive 8x speed, Quicktime 5 (included)





by syd

Chemicus - Journey to the Other Side

Your friend Richard (a chemistry expert) has been kidnapped and is being held prisoner in a world called Chemicus. The occupants of Chemicus have discovered their transmission molecules that protect their energy source is missing and they have accused Richard of stealing it - this is what happens when you discover a secret gateway to another world and take something (an amulet in this case) that doesn't belong to you - when something goes missing guess who gets blamed?  It's now up to you as Richard's friend to first find the amulet, travel to Chemicus, use your knowledge of chemistry and prove his innocence.

Now truth be known if Richard had had to depend solely on my actual knowledge of chemistry for his release (we're talking Chemistry 101 taken as a freshman in college) he would still be locked up in some dim dank dungeon to this day - but fortunately for Richard (and me) there is what is called the Chemicus Brain Center.  It is basically an in-game encyclopedia of terms and information about chemistry.  But in order to access this brain you have to pick up knowledge chips that are located throughout the game world.  Luckily the first few chemistry experiments are simple and you are able to access a few locations to find the chips, because the further you progress in the game the more complicated the experiments.

Chemicus is a first person, point and click, inventory based game.  There is no character interaction but you periodically see videos of Richard telling you to hurry up etc., and every once in a while you will view one of the inhabitants of Chemicus walking by - but for the most part it's a lonely mission.  You move through the various locations via a transporter which is activated by pieces of the periodic chart (yep, that nasty old periodic chart we all had to memorize) that you find scattered about in various places.  Inventory is hidden from view until you want it - then it's just a matter of clicking on the button at the bottom right and up it pops - you scroll through, grab what you want and if it can be used it will be - if it can't, the item will drop back into your inventory.  There is also a sort of magnifying glass (called an Analyzer).  If you pull it over to an inventory item you will see it's chemical makeup. 

You load, save and quit the game by means of the communicator and finding this communicator is the first puzzle of the game.  You can either choose to give your game a saved name or the game will assign a name (date and time) when you go to quit.  There is also an on disk walkthrough and I'm not ashamed to admit that I used it (see previous notation about Chemistry 101) - especially towards the end.  And I would advise note taking and lots of it.  The graphics are beautiful and are the slide show type (ala Myst) and the music fits the game.  It's neither intrusive or loud.

The game comes on two CD's - I swapped disks exactly once - it will start from the disk you are on.  I did get dropped back to desktop a couple of times and the game threw a couple of in game errors at me but exiting out and starting the game again took care of those issues.

Chemicus is the first Tivola game I've played.  I have Bioscopia and Physicus sitting on my to be played shelf and if they are half as good as this one - I'm in for a real treat.

Final verdict :  Don't let your lack of chemistry knowledge put you off -  it's a marvelous game and after you're finished you might just find out you learned something.

My system specs :

AMD 450

192 megs Ram

32 meg Tnt video card

Soundblaster Live sound card

copyright 2002 GameBoomers

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