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Genesis 


Release: 2000
Developer: MAAW Multimedia

 

A review by  Gini   06th August 2001

 

Summary

You are the archaeologist Curtis Mulligan, who is asked by a scientist to take a look at a strange kind of gate. Soon you’ll get the clue to get in contact with Prof. Itzhak Stern, who first seems to be untraceable but he’ll be found later in the game but even then you’ll just get in contact with him per chatroom. With his help you’ll discover more gates and you’ll even be able to open them. From this point of the story’ll start to be more science-fiction like. You’ll be confronted with alien-technology and the aliens themselves and finally you’ll be forced to face a long time ago predicted test

The story

Quite a good story actually, which is developing during the game and   culminates in the alien’s test. The story is to a large extent logical, although the part, where you are confronted with the alien technology starts to be so technical, that the logic isn’t always distinct and obvious.

Puzzles

The puzzle’s level of difficulty varies a lot and in the game there’s a high dense of puzzles. Some of them are very simple, others are   hardly solvable without help. A few can only be solved by trying all possibilities, which frustrated me, as the player, because I despairingly tried to figure out a system or to find a hint. The puzzles are also very varied. There are elements from classical and rendering adventures, that means you’ll be confronted with numeric puzzles as well as with the classical "Take an object from place A and bring it to place B", but the proportion of rendering elements is higher. Especially here is put an emphasis on mathematical puzzles, which could be really puzzling.

What got on my nerves was that some puzzles are not always in a direct connection to the story. They tried to explain and justify, but, let’s be honest: Who provides his house with hundreds of hidden places, guarded by puzzles? Normally it’s more the way, that some places are thought to be just for certain persons, and outsiders shouldn’t have any chance to find them. I wouldn’t hide my valuable objects in a way, that only intelligent burglars would find them, but that NO burglar would find them.

You won’t meet many other characters in Genesis. But you own a mobile phone, with which you can communicate with the professor and later in the game, you’ll get in touch with Itzhak Stern through a chatroom. Apart from them, there are not more than 5 persons in the game. What I noticed positively was the fact that you’ll often need other things (apart from the gameplay) to find a puzzle’s solution. I mean, who knows all the moons of the planets of our solar system by heart or is able to identify a nation just by the geographical degrees without the help of an atlas? Not me! I think it’s a very positive aspect of a game if the solution isn’t always in the game itself. Sometimes a little bit imaginativeness is needed. On time, I was confronted with a, from my point of view, very hard puzzle with numbers and in my despair I finally wrote a little program which solved the puzzle within seconds..

Graphics/Sound

Let me say it right away, the graphics are nothing world-moving. They’re consisting of pictures put together without any transition or sequences of movements. The whole game, with the exception of a few animations is shown from Curtis‘ view. The pictures themselves are basically very simple and not very detailed at all. This especially applies to the beginning, when you are spending most of the time inside of buildings. Later the graphics get, because of more interesting locations, more colourful and imaginative, but are still plainly under the average. In the game they’re just a few animations, which are rather nice, but very seldom. Also other characters are very sparse. These are graphically a little bit better, but do neither move lips nor anything else. The sound is rather inconspicuous but fits on the situations.

Controls/Inventory

The whole game is mouse-controlled and you can move Curtis with the help of small buttons in the right corner of the screen: turn around, go straight ahead, turn to the left or to the right. Not all movements are always available, which reduces the already very small freedom of movement even more. The controls are very easy to learn and because of the buttons it’s nearly impossible to miss a place. The inventory is fix, but not irritating on the bottom of the screen and after some time you’ll carry a lot of objects with you. That’s the reason why it would have made sense if some objects would have vanished after their use.

Pro

  • good puzzles
  • also other aids are required

Contra

  • no transitions or sequences of movements
  • not very detailed
  • requires more them 800 MB hard disk space

Result:

A graphically very primitive game but with very demanding puzzles, in which the player is forced to be imaginative and to think further.

My overall-rating: 68%

Adventure-Archiv-rating system:

  • 80% - 100%  excellent game, very recommendable
  • 70% - 79%    good game, recommendable
  • 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)

System requirements:

  • Windows 95/98/NT
  • Pentium 200 MHz
  • 16 MB RAM
  • CD ROM (installation only)
  • SVGA 640x480 (True Color)
  • Windows-comp. sound card
  • min. 850 MB free hard disk space

Played on:

  • Windows 98
  • Pentium II
  • 129 MB RAM
  • LITEON CD-ROM LTN362
  • NVidia RIVA 128/128ZX
  • Sound Blaster AudioPCI 64V

 

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More screenshots

 

Homepage: http://www.game-genesis.de/index.html

Interview german 

Interview english

Copyright © Angelika Manhart for Adventure-Archiv, 06th August 2001

 

 

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