PC/Mac/Linux
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System Requirements Windows 98/2000/Me/XP/Mac OSX 10.2 800MHz PC/700MHz Mac 128MB RAM 32MB 3D Video ESRB Rated E for everyone Professor Samuel Hunt is a professor at the British Museum in London. He gets a letter and a Codec talking about the Ancient Game Of Nations. Each game is in a different part of the world and has a guardian. Samuel must find these guardians and defeat them to collect ancient Runes. (If you get hooked on one of these board games you can play them outside of the game.) In episodes 1-3 Samuel travels to Lapland and Madagascar. The rest of the journeys will be covered in sequels.

Game Play

Like many adventure games you have to examine your environment closely. Read every book you can grab and study every detail of your surroundings. There are many challenging puzzles and riddles to be solved. Of course I frequently consulted some walkthroughs I found online. Typical of many adventure games, there are some easy puzzles and some of them have solutions that are out there.

What kinds of puzzles are there?

Here’s an example of a puzzle you will encounter. In Madagascar you will have to cross a massive jungle to get to an old pirate. If you feed a lemur some berries he will scurry across to the area you are heading towards. In order to get there you will have to follow his audio trail. To get back to the village tribe you will have to collect some brown berries from the pirates area and use a nutcracker to make them red berries and then follow the lemur back.

Graphics

The graphics are 3D rendered and look good. The transitioning from one area to another is nice; it doesn’t seem like you’re watching a power point presentation. The maps and locations look realistic. You can tell which objects you need to interact with. The character models look decent, though not nearly as realistic as Oblivion. ;)

Sound

The background music in this game is very good and each area has its own music. It definitely sets the mood well. The voice acting is good too, as no voices rubbed me the wrong way.

Stability

This game crashed to the desktop on me once. While reading the online walkthroughs I had a 50/50 chance of the game not alt-tabbing successfully.

Appropriateness

There isn’t any violence in this game, which is good. There is alcohol use and drunkenness. To get past a guard at the museum you prey upon his weakness to alcohol. You also have to forge some documents to get what you need. (-2.5 for decisions going against traditional values) There is some swearing but it occurs only once or twice (-3). Religion varies in this game; Samuel seems to believe in fate. Some of the other characters have other beliefs. The old pirate in Madagascar has a crucifix over his bead and the tribal people believe in spirits. Whenever you defeat a guardian at a game you help them by removing a curse from their family. (-3 for borderline magic) Finally, as a female gamer I didn’t appreciate Samuel’s attitude toward his wife and him telling the guard about how he wears the pants etc. I think he ought to be happy that she’s there waiting for him while he’s on this wild goose chase. But that’s just my .02.

Final Thoughts

I would highly recommend this game for adventure gamers. The story line is good and the game itself is fun. I even enjoyed the board games. It’s suitable for many ages but the puzzles will be hard for people at any age.

Final Ratings

Game Play 16/20 Graphics 7/10 Sound 8/10 Stability 4/5 Controls 5/5 Appropriateness 41.5/50

Final Score 81.5%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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