I just finished this beautiful
and thought provoking edutainment game.
The first thing of note is that the game is multi-platform and will load
on PC and Mac with equal ease. It loads perfectly, and I had no glitches
at all. It is mouse driven and has a very simple interface.
For those who have played Vikings or Crusaders (Wanadoo's
other games), you will be familiar with the game construction. For those
who have not, the interface is fairly self-explanatory.
At the beginning of each
episode, Jeanne Moreau gives a narrative overview of the upcoming events
with a graphic in the background.
Then you are taken to a scene.
There is movement and there are people in each scene. You can right click
to get dialogue from characters. Left clicking will copy items and
sometimes people to inventory.
At the top of your screen are
thumbnails of a religious page and each scene or scenes in that episode.
You can access any of them. Then there is a gear-like thumbnail. This is
the "puzzle" or challenge. When there, you will see a page at the bottom
left of the screen. Clicking on that will give you a brief hint or guide
as to what you need to do.
Within the text are highlighted
words. Clicking those will bring up related encyclopedic pages. Within and
at the end of each of the pages are other highlighted words/phrases and
these will take you to various areas. There are pictures of items/people
associated with each of these entries and many times these items can be
copied to your inventory. If you already have the item, a trilling chime
will sound. You may not use all the items picked up (they might not relate
to the current challenge).
All of these items show up at
the bottom of your screen. You click on them and move them to the puzzle
picture or scene. If it is correct it will automatically lock into place.
When you have successfully completed the scene’s puzzle, a flashing arrow
will appear and clicking on it will take you to the next episode.
Your goal is to follow the evolutionary path of mankind from 500,000 BC to
the 22nd century. You do this by viewing the different episodic cut scenes
and by viewing scenes and solving puzzles related to key milestones in
this developmental process. For example: the discovery of fire or the
development of the telephone. The puzzles are interactive and can be as
simple as matching items to their place on a sheet, or they can be more
complex -- such as outfitting a boat destined to circumnavigate the globe.
The musical overlay is non-obtrusive and beautiful. I frequently didn't
bypass the opening, when I reloaded -- just to hear the first musical
interlude again. Jeanne Moreau provides the voice over and narrative
portions of the game and she is superb.
This is a game that doesn't strain you mentally, but is engaging and
addictive. I played through this relatively fast -- simply because I
played it pretty much non-stop.
I would highly recommend this for family play also. It is an edutainment
game and is wonderful for children to play solo or alongside their parent.
My copy has already been yanked off to load on both of my high schoolers’
I think that of you want a game that:
... captures your interest without making you feel like a mental gymnast,
... but still provides you with challenge
... all wrapped up in a beautiful package
then this is a game for you.
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