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The Crystal Key
(Dreamcatcher Interactive/Earthlight Productions)

A Review by Annemarie   06. Juli 2000

Ausserirdische Botschaft
Extraterrestrial Message

The Crystal Key has been published by Dreamcatcher Interactive in english language – but you only need your english language skills three times, when holographic messages of the extra-terrestrian Arkonians have to be translated into English. Beyond this nobody is talking in this game!

A group of scientists has received an interplanetary message. The Arkonians have defeated the evil black Alien - Ozgar - who now boiling with rage turns to another target: earth. Earthquakes, fatal changes of the weather conditions and other 'neatnesses' don't leave you any choice: you are forced to travel to Arkonia with the prototype of a new hyperspace-starship to ask the Arkonians for technological help in your battle against Ozgar and to have a chance to defeat him!

The game takes place in several worlds, that can be reached through portals with the help of a crystal key (remember Timelapse?): a dark stinted stone house, an abandoned desert world, Ozgar's spaceship, a more relaxing green jungle world, subterranean grottoes, caves and  bunkers, a highly futuristic abandoned colony town on the water and several more spacecrafts.

The player can use the cursor to move in a panoramic world of 360 degrees - this would be quite nice if  it would be worth while, but it isn't   unfortunately: the graphics look a bit antiquated, even though the game is from the year 1999 – raw pixeling reprocessed with softener. The game settings are often dimly lit, so that I had to change the brightness of my monitor to the highest value, to decipher anything at all. Appropriate to this it's a dark atmosphere - the suitable game for an enormous autumn depression!

Unterirdische Grotte
Subterranean grotto

In der Wüstenwelt
In the desert world

The puzzles are of most different severity. At all events the fans of machines, levers and buttons will be very satisfied, because the game has plenty of it ...unfortunately not as intelligent and logically implanted as you know it from Myst or Riven. Sometimes it's hard to comprehend the puzzles, for example you have to gather from the number of alien character-signs on a piece of paper the position of pushbuttons on an alien safe – somehow far away from causal connection. The alien character-signs play an important role in this game by the way.

The Showdown where you have to trap Ozgar at the end is praiseworthy!  At last an adventure game with a real cool ending!

I had problems controlling  the mouse, especially when I wanted to place objects from the archive on a hotspot - often the objects could finally be moved after three or four times of clicking on them and the whole procedure was tediously slow. Furthermore I couldn't save the game at every position and time I wanted to, but often had to play on in critical situations until next saving point – this exhausted my nerves from time to time! After saving the game there was no resume function - so you had to load a previously saved game!

My rating: 45%  (The game is not worth while!)

Colony in the water



Im Bunker
In the bunker

Interstellare Botschaft
Interstellar  Messsage

Desert world

Der Generator
The generator

In Ozgars Schiff
In Ozgar's spaceship

Ozgar ist besiegt
Ozgar defeated

Minimal system requirements:

  • Pentium 133 MHz (played on 266MMX)
  • 32 MB RAM (played with 64 MB RAM)
  • 70 MB free hard disk space
  • 8x CD-ROM

Suitable for all ages

Copyright © Annemarie für Adventure-Archiv, 06. Juli 2000


Rating system:

  • 80% - 100%  excellent game, very recommandable
  • 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)

Translated by slydos


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