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London in pastel - in the late 19th century. Vic Tokai's first adventure takes place in this ambience. London, Black Friars Station. Esquire Piers and his faithful servant Mossop return from an visit to America. Piers is an outstanding man, a leisure detective, a mixture from Phileas Fogg and Sherlock Holmes. What he couldn't suspect yet: Soon "number 73" will visit him, in order to enlist his assistance ...

The adventure game Gene Machine is woven around the story of the ornery Dr. Dinsey, a scientist, who developed a machine, in order to form a new creature out of two others. With this invention he aims at the domination of the world. His first victim is "73", a hybrid from a human and a cat.

In the drawn background characters act like in a comic movie. Generally the characters are comic-like representatives of the period of Dickens, Verne & Company. Over 100 different locations, spread around the entire globe and up to the moon, wait for puzzle solvers. German on screen texts and a very good acoustic output provide  a successful adventure environment.

Unfortunately the dialogs are long and cannot not be interrupted. That reduces the concentration and in the long run the gaming fun. Additionally there are very long multiple choice questionings waiting for the gamer, from which you couldn't escape as easy as you slipped in.

The inventory management is o. k.,  however sometimes rather circumstantial. And the puzzles are illogical! You must have much luck, to get prepared a cup of tea for your fiancee and afterwards transfer the cup with oil and handkerchief, so that those oily things cause the engagement ring to ... - and so on, and so on.

The most important means of transportation in London is the drosky. After each start a map with the accessible places shows up. No matter, where you arrive, two things always happen: The drosky is driving sloooowly in and Pier's monologues last several minutes. This is nerving! One has to apply an enormous portion of patience, not to press the reset key prematurely.

The characters in Gene Machine are not at all speechless. I really don't want to know, how much money was spent on the German translation and the dubbing actors. The joke thereby: It does not serve the adventure, it rather harms. Better worked out is the accentuation of graphical objects, so you don't have to constantly browse  the entire room, as in many other games. All in all is the one-way street adventure, in which the hero does not suffer damage, but a quiet disappointment.

What attracts our attention:
+ good voice output
- illogical puzzles
- too long dialogues
- confusing inventory 


  • Graphics: 2 of 5
  • Sound: 4 of 5
  • Comfort: 1 of 5
  • Total: 2 of 5

System requirements:
486/66, 8 MB RAM, SVGA, 2x CDROM-drive, ca. 15 MB on hard disk

Developer: Vic Tokai


PC-Spiel, © 10/96


Adventure-Archiv 01-07-00


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