A Quiet Weekend in Capri
Release date: 04/2003
Developer/Publisher: Edizioni Oxiana
Game language: speech Italian, subtitles English
Homepage and purchasing game (22 Euro)
A review by slydos 3rd June 2003
"A Quiet Weekend in Capri" is an adventure game and at the same time a guide for Capri, which should whet your appetite to visit this Italian island.
2 names - Silvio and Gey Savarese - stand behind this game which is developed independently and distributed through the homepage. 2 reasons speak for the immediate acquisition of this game without closer inspection: there is (still) no walkthrough and one can win a short stay (caution: without the travelling costs) in Capri, apart from other prizes. If there are more reasons to buy this 1st-person adventure you can read here:
We want to spend a quiet short vacation on Capri and arrive by ship. From the ticket we get to know, that we are in the near future, in the year 2011. After a taxi ride across the island animated by tourists, we are on our way to the hotel, when suddenly something strange happens: the environment becomes blurred and we are pulled into a vortex by a kind of distortion, which however dismisses us again in the same place, where we were before!
We continue our way, but notice that something has changed - the city looks deserted and the hotel is closed!
We return to the friendly newsagent, to ask for the hotel. But the newsagent has changed too - she now wears other clothes and meets us in completely different manner.
No, the hotel has been closed for a long time, because of the war. Additionally she calls us "Rafele" and seems to know us well. She considers us to be the errand boy and sends us with a newspaper to a customer. We look at the newspaper and must surprised recognize that we already have the year 2012. But that is not the only surprise: Capri is a kingdom under the rule of king Caprillo V. and is at war with the Republic of Anacapri! We continue to read something about the possibility of inter-dimensional telephone calls! We seem to be in another time, another dimension and in another body! Is there a way back?
"A Quiet Weekend in Capri" comes on 2 CDROMs in a jewelcase with a short installation guide. Shipment from Italy takes 2-3 days. Installation runs from the first CD. During the game you have to leave CD2 in the drive. At the beginning you select your game language: Italian or English. The main menu, which can be accessed during the game by an always visible button at the bottom of the screen, offers New Game or Load of the (only!) 3 savegames. Later here another important option is added: you can jump to 4 different locations in the game, to save some walking around which there is plenty of. The menu also lets us exit the game without delay. There is also a help button showing you all games functions.
The weekend in Capri is totally mouse-controlled. In ego perspective we move through photos of Capri. Scene changes are indicated by blue arrows, if we discover a hotspot with the mouse. A constant game task is to find the many obvious and not so obvious hotspots in the photos. There is a very useful function for this, which we should have let switched on from the beginning - if not really masochistically talented: we can decide if we want to see hotspots for interaction or scene change as framed ranges on the screen. These frames have thin, black lines and are only well visibly on brighter background, so there are still enough possibilities to overlook something.
If we can talk to people (dialogues run automatically and can be reread in a journal), the cursor changes, exactly the same if we take, use or manipulate an object.
Within the interactive area at the bottom of the screen there are still 2 indispensable functions: the map of Capri and the inventory.
On the map (where we can select areas per click) locations are marked, where we have spoken to other characters. Likewise the current location is always marked by a red, flashing square. Good map reading techniques are necessary, in order to get along in the maze of lanes and little alleyways. All lanes have a forward and a backward view, and don't only look extremely different so, but also hide different hotspots in the one or other direction.
The inventory is opened with the "bag"-button and takes the entire screen. That is necessary, because a large number of important and unimportant objects comes together very fast. Inventory objects can be zoomed, used at the screen and sometimes manipulated, documents can be browsed and some items can be combined with others. What you can do with them, the respective buttons will show.
In principle a perfectly easy handling - problems may occur, if you are not so good in reading the map, because the result will be loss of orientation.
As said, the graphics are simple photos of the island, but what an enormous number of more than 4000 of them! And in each of the pictures possibly one or more hotspots are hidden! The developers have taken photos of each street in both directions and so you can walk around the island, at least within Capri - Anacapri is not accessible.
Music of the developers accompanies us on our ways and sometimes also shows us, if there are areas, in which still something must be done. The music can be switched off. Bird chirping, quiet airplane noise, rustling, barking and bell ringing bring life into the abandoned Capri.
If we meet people, then they speak to us Italian (layman speakers). But don't worry, all important texts are translated into English and can be read as long, as you want, and the lines are also stored in a kind of journal. However this journal remains a mystery to me, since it seems to be neither in alphabetical nor temporal order.
The puzzles are various and imaginative. First and foremost orientation on the island is a part of the puzzle design. Besides we must find, use and combine objects. There are coding puzzles and one must also find the ingredients for recipes, for example for the famous Capri Tart. Unfortunately the inventory objects are provided neither before nor after incorporation into the inventory with a text, so that one must guess here and there, which fruit e.g. is shown.
I played around 2/3 of the game and I'm at a point, where I must make a decision, which can affect the further game process. So far there were no deads ends in the action-free "A Quiet Weekend in Capri", one could not die and there are also no GameOvers.
The game is so far very nonlinear, i.e. if you don't get ahead with a puzzle, you can work on a different one, similar as in "Dark Fall". In the course of the game ever more scenes get accessible in addition to the thousands which can be visited already from the start. One must be prepared, to go many lanes again and again and to consider every detail in texts and picture, be it names at bell buttons or statements of inhabitants. Although one must be busy with fictional gadgets and instruments, the tasks (that I can rate so far after approx. 20 hours) are logical and comprehensible, what does not mean that there are no tricky puzzles among them. Up to now a game with surprisingly much enjoyable puzzles.
A final rating is still too early, but what I have seen so far, was sometimes a little bit crazy but very much entertaining and in any case recommendable (not only for Capri and sightseeing fans). Apart from a good price performance ratio there is still the chance to win a prize.
Rating until now: 73 %
Adventure-Archiv rating system:
80% - 100% excellent game, very recommendable 70% - 79% good game, recommandable 60% - 69% satisfactory, restricted recommendable 50% - 59% sufficient (not very recommendable) 40% - 49% rather deficient (not to be recommended - for Hardcore-Adventure-Freaks and collectors only) 0% - 39% worst (don't put your fingers on it)
Minimal system requirements:
- Windows 98/2000/ME/XP
- 64 MB RAM
- Monitor with XGA resolution 1024 x 768 pixel
- 700 MB free hard disk space
- Windows XP
- P IV 1,6 GHz
- 512 MB RAM
- 16x DVD-ROM (Artec WRA-A40)
- nVidia GeForce 2MX400 64 MB graphic card
- Sound card DirectX-compatible
Arrival on the island
Map of Capri always shows where you are at the moment
Something is happening to us ...
The hotel is closed
The newsagent has changed
Using phones is difficult
Every nameplate can be important
We get orders from different people
An imaginative decoding puzzle
Documents are always translated into English on the right side of the screen