Fatman is one of the
latest games from the recent pool of independent developers. Michael Doak
is the producer. As soon as I loaded it, I knew I might be in for a real
treat. The style of interface and graphics took me back to the good old
days, those days when story, characters, humor and gameplay forever hooked
me on adventure gaming despite the limited graphics. Can Fatman hold up to
those memories? I think it came very close.
Your hero is a pot
bellied character in a batman suit, aptly named Fatman. Fatman is the
crime fighter for the city of Shadowlawn. Things have been dull lately,
but they are about to pick up, and that's where you (alias Fatman) come
in. Some bad guys are planning to blow up Acme Labs, thus exploding the
toxic chemicals that cause mutations. So off you go in your fatmobile to
solve the case and save your town.
Graphics and Gameplay
The graphics are 2D,
colorful, blocky and comic book style which fits the absolute absurdity of
your hero perfectly. The game plays in 3rd person, entirely point and
click. There are numerous inventory items to collect which can be used
alone or combined or acted upon in various ways. Fatman travels from place
to place in his fatmobile, and new places open up as you advance in the
story. The individual places are rather limited in area and zero in on the
essentials. So there is no endless wandering about searching for key
areas. You know where you're supposed to be, you just have to figure out
what to do.
Ah, the puzzles. I
give full marks to the puzzles, they were really fun. Some fairly easy,
some very detailed and complex, yet very, very logical. It is one of the
few games I have played in a long time where I could simply ask
myself…okay...what makes sense? There are no mazes, no sliders, and only a
couple of situations where you need to act quickly. But even then, you
have the option of slowing the game down. There is no stress here, just
There are only six
save slots, but it's enough, for even though you can die, you have a
chance to retry, and are returned just before the event that did you in.
There is also a score meter. 103 points for the perfect score.
Acting and Storyline
The plot line is
straightforward and doesn't deviate. You know what's going on, what you
need to do and why. There is an aura of suspense here and there that keeps
you on your toes and eager to see the next development. But at the same
time it's almost impossible to take anything seriously. Just looking at
this "hero" tromping about in his ridiculous attire with his belly hanging
low will have you laughing and shaking your head, and that is the
essential beauty of the game. It's a fun romp that doesn't take itself
seriously despite the critical problems you must solve. As you might
guess, there is lots of humor. Good humor. Not forced, not stale, just
right. The dialogue is quick and sharp, never boring. The voice acting is
surprisingly good, and I am one that is usually pretty critical in this
The game installed and
ran without a problem. It was very stable.
Played on: PIII, 933mhz, 383 RAM, Win98SE., Soundblaster 5.1, Nvidia TNT2
Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 or XP. Pentium 100 MHz or faster system with at
least 32 Mb RAM. 320x200 standard VGA display. All DirectX sound-cards are
optionally supported. A mouse is essential
I really enjoyed the
game. It was fun, relaxing, and very challenging. I know it sounds odd to
equate a very challenging game with relaxation. Well, wandering about in
endless dark corridors looking for minuscule hot spots may be challenging,
but it's certainly not relaxing to me…. On the other hand, figuring out a
solution to a problem based upon logic in a bright, colorful environment
while directing an absurd-looking figure makes it all come together.
Thanks, Michael Doak.
Final Grade: B+
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