Full Moon in San Francisco

 

Developer & Publisher:    Alternative Games, Inc

Released:   2002

PC Requirements:    300Mhz Pentium II, Win 98,ME, 2000, XP, 64 MB Ram, 12x CD-ROM, 350 MB hard drive space, 16 MB video card.

 

 

 

by syd

Full Moon in San Francisco
Adventure 1
by Alternative Games
W98/ME/NT/200/XP

There you are - newly arrived in San Francisco from Gillibel and on your way to interview for a PI job at the Copper and McIntosh Agency. Your first problem is dealing with a smart aleck elevator, your second problem is dealing with a smart aleck receptionist named Louis (oops, I mean Christine). You finally get into see the big man himself - Mel Copper, and low and behold he hires you. Seems he and his staff have to go to Scotland to investigate some strange occurrences at Mel's Scottish castle (the agency deals in paranormal stuff - he even has a witch on staff named Yvonne - drat - I mean Sharleen) and they just got handed a case (which Mel hands to you) regarding a very expensive stolen painting belonging to a very weird old lady. Mel introduces you to the rest of the staff, tells you where to find the tapes and transcripts for the case and off they go to Scotland. So begins your apprentice PI career.

When you load the game you are presented with the start up screen where you choose your name, gender, age, pet, attributes and roll for money (it's a random roll and you can only roll 5 times). I'm not really sure why you need a pet. All mine did was make smart remarks and cost me time and money at the vet's because he was either hungry, depressed or sick. With the money you roll for you'll be able to shop at the alien store down the street for all the things a good PI needs.

The game is first person, point and click, inventory based. The inventory was easy to manage once I figured out where it was and how to get at it. This involved the dreaded reading of the manual! You move the mouse all the way over to the right - inventory screen appears, all the way down - the control panel where you quit, save, get hints etc. All the way to the left and your weapons screen appears - now don't don't panic - this is not a shoot'em up game - I used my weapon once and didn't kill a soul.

The puzzles work well with the game. There are no sliders, no mazes and no using everything on everything to see if it works type of thing. You pretty well know what you need to do. There also isn't a bunch of pixel hunting. Other than one item that eluded me in the library, I found everything I needed easily. The game also will not let you leave an area until you've done everything you need to do. It took me a long time to finally get out of the Dole Building that first day. I kept reading "you have not finished everything you need to do" every time I tried to go out the front door. Once you finally do get out the door and into the second day there is a map to help you on your way.

Speaking of days, the game is broken out into 5 day blocks - you continue to the next day when all of that day's tasks are completed. You generally head for home and go to bed. In the mornings you have to eat, shower, floss (you really don't have to floss but it does make for good hygiene and happier trips to the dentist) and get dressed before you can leave your apartment.

A word of advice - you can die so save. I found two places where I bit the preverbal dust. I played as the female PI so I'm not sure if it's the same playing as the male. Do yourself a favor and save frequently just in case because I found no way to bypass all the conversations I had already heard and I really didn't want to hear them again and again.

Now about the graphics and voices. I have to be honest and tell you that the first time I saw the characters I did wonder what on earth kind of game I had stumbled into. But after awhile I got used to them and really forgot all about how odd they looked. The voices were done by non professionals and some of the voices were better than others. I did turn the music down. In some places it was rather loud and would drown out the conversations - luckily they are all subtitled except for your "thoughts". I did think the opening music was good and enjoyed listening to it each time the game started (you can bypass the opening screen by clicking "continue" at the bottom of the screen).

My game had no bugs (other than one very big spider but that's another story). It installed and ran fine. I did have to click two or three times on the staff characters in order to get them to finally talk to me but that's about the extent of it.

Conclusion

I enjoyed FMISF. The story held my interest from start to finish. Some of the humor was a bit over the top and some of the conversations lost me, but since the entire game seemed to be done in a kind of tongue in cheek manner I didn't mind all that much. It also wasn't extremely difficult (the in game hint feature is very nice). I plan on playing it again - this time as the male PI just to see if there are many differences in how the characters react. I already know I prefer the male PI voice to the female.

My system specs:

W98
KMD450
192 megs Ram
Soundblaster Live sound card
32 meg Tnt video card
16X DVD drive

 

copyright 2002 GameBoomers

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