Gold Rush Anniversary Edition



Genre:   Adventure

Developer:  Sunlight Games

Publisher:  Kiss Ltd

Released:  November 2014

PC Requirements: 

  • OS: Windows Vista, 7 or 8

  • Processor: Pentium 4 with 2 GHz (or better)

  • Memory: 1 GB RAM

  • Graphics: Minimum of 512 MB Ram

Additional screenshots 




by flotsam


Gold Rush Anniversary Edition

Sunlight Games

What to do when you remake a game – faithfully reproduce the original, or tweak it/bend it/change it in some way to take account of changes in taste/style/something else. If you fiddle too much it isn’t a remake, it’s really a reinterpretation or “inspired by” or some such thing, and do you then stand accused of not having remade it at all? And who is to say your perceived improvement really is an improvement; perhaps fans like the game precisely because it’s the way that it was.

It’s a vexed set of issues, and one which I am sure makers grapple with as we get more of these makeovers. Me, I just have to decide whether to play it.

This one I did, and having not played the original I have nothing nostalgic to compare it to. I might have enjoyed it more had that been the case.

From the Sierra stable originally, this remake has kept faith with the original, right down to the dead ends and timed puzzles that you can’t undo. Games used to have these things, Sierra’s in particular, but I think they disappeared for a goodly reason. Not knowing that you have to do something and then not being able to do it, or having to find something which can now not be found or be in time for something that can now not be met, is, as far as I am concerned, simply frustrating and not fun. It leads to aimlessness, and very quickly for me disinterest.

You can die too, and may not know that you are going to because you did or didn’t do something. If I get run over by a coach I can get out of its way next time; if I die of disease because I took a seemingly unrelated item much earlier, then it isn’t clear what would stop me taking it over and over again.

Perhaps I just got soft. Perhaps a game which is really one big puzzle and which will challenge you on many levels is more appealing than I appreciate. Go in with your eyes open and such a game may well appeal to you.

As I said, I didn’t play the original but a quick google and it’s clear the graphics have been much upgraded, not to 2014 standard but to a far more modern level. Point and click and speech are new additions, although you can play using the original parser control (eg “take book” etc), and the score is apparently the same, but doesn’t sound like I expect it did in 1988. I did find it loud and overwhelming at times, and I thought the voice acting was passable at best. There is ambient sound as well.

According to the website, there will be some more quests than in the original, but I can’t confirm whether that is the case.

What is the case are the three paths through the game that were present in the original. You play Jerrod Wilson, living in Brooklyn, who gets a letter from his brother telling him to come out west. With rumours of gold in the air, Jerrod decides to do just that.

There are three ways to get to California; by plain old wagon train, around Cape Horn or through Panama, but the first is the only one that is always available. To do either of the others requires you to have achieved certain things in certain times, which I didn’t do. Some more googling and they all seem equally hazardous.

A walkthrough suggests that the direct route through to the end won’t take very long at all, but without a walkthrough I would still be trying.

In a nice little tribute to things from the old days. You can buy this in a boxed version with the sorts of goodies you used to take for granted. My old version has a large parchment map showing the three routes referred to, an 88 page book detailing the California gold rush, a hint book and a game manual. This new boxed version includes a poster, concept drawings and “the making of” material and there are apparently only 350 in total. You can also download it, and Steam upgradeable content includes digital booklets and things as well.

I like a boxed version, but suspect I will pass on this one.

Grade: C

I played on:

OS: Windows 7

Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz

RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz

Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB



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