What is it?
The Adventure Below
is, letís not beat about the bush, a Myst clone. But hey! Donít knock it
until you try it. And, for once, I can actually name the
designer/developer of the game and be pretty certain itís all his work.
Where I would describe Sid Meier as the creator of the Civilisation games,
R.P. Corse is the sole creator / designer / developer / artist behind
Lunar Deep. Now thatís what I call independent development. Though, to
be fair, I have to mention that R.P. has used the Adventure Maker engine
to write the game. But then, many people have tried that, and not produced
a simple gem like Lunar Deep.
Is there a plot?
R.P. Corse cites as his inspiration
Myst, of course, and the Journeyman Project. Two of the strongest,
plot-led titles Iíve known. Whatís more, itís quite clear from the plot
and form of Lunar Deep that the inspiration has been followed up
very well. The plot is a simple one: an ancient race of Moon worshippers
moved to the Moon, established a high-tech civilisation, and then put up
their feet to enjoy their retirement. Now the fruits of their
lack-of-labour are coming back to haunt them as the machinery that made
their lifestyle possible is failing. Which is, of course, where you come
How do you play?
Point-n-click, baby! Point-n-click! Really, thereís not much more to say
on this topic Ė this style of gameplay is tried and tested and works very
well for adventure games. The game is displayed in classic slideshow form,
with a variable cursor indicating the location of clickable items and
directions in which you can move.
provides unlimited save slots, accessed through a menu at the top of the
screen, via a right click of the mouse. This menu also has the Load and
Exit options. There are no other options available.
limited inventory; I counted around ten items, some of which could be
combined. You start with a magnifying glass and a torch, and the inventory
is opened by moving the mouse over the ever-present knapsack in the top
left corner of the screen.
arenít spectacularly innovative; some are inventory based, some are
combination locks, one is a simple colour based lock. They all hang
together in the locations, and whatís more, they make sense in terms of
their function in repairing the lunar machinery. There are plenty of cases
of the most professional of adventure games that canít reach even this
standard in puzzle design!
Deep, R.P. Corse has produced quality graphics that are clear and show
a good level of detail, with nice use of cloud effects too, albeit on
prerendered screens rather than 3D volumetric effects.
the game, the music, voice acting and sound effects are good quality,
providing colour and atmosphere.
a Myst clone, you canít die anywhere in the game, although I must say that
the ending is a little on the macabre side. Iím not sure thatís the kind
of honour Iíd be looking for were I really on the Moon!
really is just the one strange feature of this game. The two humans
characters look like Barbieô and Action Manô dolls. In particular, their
skin tone, though that has always been a very difficult texture to
reproduce, so the peculiarity is understandable.
is an enjoyable diversion for a few hours. Thatís not bad
for less than $6. The game can be downloaded (the size being a little
under 60MB) or ordered on CD from the game website. This is a good, smooth
production with no bugs, glitches or Ďfeatures.í It was easy to install
and run, and it would be hard to imagine a computer bought in the last
five years that would struggle with the technical requirements. In fact
this game demonstrates that you donít necessarily need all the finest
graphics hardware on the market to produce a game that balances graphic
quality against technical requirements and download size.
What do you need to play it?
Pentium III or Better
Video Card (SVGA or better)
Compatible Sound Card
keyboard and speakers
System: Windows 98 / Me / 2000 / XP
(I used Win
XP Pro SP2, AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 512 MB RAM, and nVidia GeForce 6600GT
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