Physicus - Physikus


Developer:    Ruske & Puhretmaier

Publisher:    Heureka-Klett

Released:   1999

PC Requirements:   WIN95/98/NT, P133, 32 MB, 14 MB free hard drive space, 8x CD-ROM.




by Witchen


A meteorite has hit the earth! Your planet has stopped rotating around it's own axis and now it is in real danger! One half of the world is beginning to freeze solid, while scorching heat envelopes the other half. You are the last hope for all mankind! You have to try to generate enough electricity so the huge repulse from the gigantic offshore impulse machine sends your planet off into rotation again. So, the adventure begins........

Physicus is a captivating hands-on exercise in the science of electricity, mechanics, heat, optics and acoustics. This game has a vast and easy to understand graphic encyclopedia of essential knowledge regarding physics. The player can use it or not, at will. Designed for children from "12 to 102," there's a bit of fun, fantasy, education and entertainment in this game for everyone.

Physicus is a puzzle game; entirely mouse driven, first person, point and click. The game's main menu is controlled by a CD player type of device that bleeps, clunks, whirrs, sighs and pops as it manipulates the saving, loading and exiting functions of Physicus' contents. I found the menu screen amusing, but also clunky. The same with inventory manipulation. Items found are "beamed" in and out of inventory (rather like the remolecularizing process in Star Trek, requiring excessive time. Players also can't just pick up an item. You select it in one box and then pick it up and transfer it to where you want to use it from another area. The cutsie part of this got rather old after a while. The menu and inventory functions might easily be considered obtuse, cumbersome and overdone. But, kids will probably love it.

The cartoon graphics are pretty much right out of Jules Verne and well, maybe the Animaniacs cartoons. Can you picture that? The graphics are sharp, clever, and humorous. The sound effects and music are appropriately placed. The various machine noises are realistic, adding to the game's overall charm. And it is quite charming!

Negatives include the old story about having to load up the game from CD1 every time you start to play. There is no way to quit the game without having to view a good two minutes of credits. There are some areas where the hot spots were very difficult to find, making navigation a bit of a frustration at times. Though it is a puzzle game, and perhaps the length expectation is not quite so high, this game is shorter than I found satisfying. This is a general characteristic we are seeing all too much of lately.

Conclusion: I enjoyed this brilliant little smidgen of edutainment a great deal. It was a great "refresher" and I learned a few things (or more) I didn't know about, what a transformer looks like.

System Requirements:
Windows 95/98 P133MHz
32 MB RAM, SVGA graphics and sound card

Power 166MHz
16MB RAM, 32768 Colors
System 7.5, 8X CD ROM

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