Friday, September 12, 2008

The Several Journeys of Reemus: Chapter 1

The somewhat-confusingly named The Several Journeys of Reemus: Chapter 1 is, despite the "1" in the title, a sequel to the original The Several Journeys of Reemus (review here); apparently, they've decided to adopt the Half-Life 2 method of naming. (In all fairness, The Several Journeys of Reemus did bill itself as "Prologue", but you still get the feeling that this could have been handled more simply.)

Anyway, there's really not too much to say about Chapter 1, since it's pretty much identical to its predecessor -- it's your standard point-and-click adventure game. The puzzles are clever, but since they're always confined to a single screen, most of their difficulty stems from the struggle in trying to find the objects on that screen which can be manipulated, rather than complex interactions among the various items. This a little frustrating, at times, but the puzzles all make sense when you solve them; there's none of the "and why did that work, anyway?" feeling that you can get when playing poorer examples of the genre.

Unlike its predecessor, Chapter 1 is not big on killing you -- in fact, I don't think there's any point when you can actually manage to get yourself killed -- you just end up stuck until you figure out what you need to do. This is definitely a step forward. Like its predecessor, there are two endings, one of which is a great deal trickier than the other; fortunately, once you've finished the game, you can go back and replay any scene that you want, so you don't have to go through the whole game just to retry the last scene (not that it would take particularly long anyway).

The graphics are still very cartoony, and a little crudely animated, but it's a good, distinctive look (although, like other Zeebarf games, it can get a little graphic with the violence at points). The music varies from scene to scene, which is very nice -- some of the tunes are good, but some will drive you crazy after a little while (especially if you happen to be stuck on the puzzle).

Anyway, overall this is an enjoyable experience, and Zeebarf does do a good job crafting puzzles within the limitations of Flash, but this isn't a game which will leave me breathlessly awaiting Chapter 2. But I will be happy to play it when it does come out.

2 comments:

Calvin said...

Chapter 2 is out on Kongregate ;) http://www.kongregate.com/games/zeebarf/the-several-journeys-of-reemus-chapter-2

Paul said...

Oh, I know! I'm just waiting for it to get badges, since it certainly will.