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|31 JUL 2007 at 11:55am|
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Joined: 27 JUL 2007
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|Anacapri the Dream Review|
This game is produced by G-S Software, a two people, father and son team. Their previous game was “A Quiet Weekend in Capri”. This review is of the European version distributed by Adventure’s Planet.
[ I have no reason to believe this is any different from the impending US version from GotGame. ]
Win 98se, ME, 2000, XP, Vista
4:3 aspect monitor, resolution 1024 x 768
7 GB disk space
[My monitor is wide-screen i.e. 8:5. Setting the correct resolution gave no adverse effect]
The game comes on two DVD disks. All the contents are transferred to the hard disk and the game is played without reference to the DVD drive.
This is a first person adventure in the point-and-click Myst style.
All within game control is mouse driven using left and right buttons. Once access has been made to an area there is a jump mode for quick travel between that and all previous areas. There is a facility to turn on hotspots [I advise using this otherwise the difficulty level is greatly increased!]. There are 9 save slots.
You play as Nico, an expert in ancient civilisations, called to the Island of Capri to find an infamous obsidian disk with malicious powers. You quickly discover that your reality is an illusion and you must learn from the illusionary world to solve your own real world problems. In the illusionary world you travel around Anacapri and encounter both present day and former inhabitants in various guises.
The game is linear; access to further parts of the island and consequent puzzles is blocked until the already exposed puzzles are solved. The story kept my interest and had a number of twists to maintain interest. There are two endings, only one of which is intended to be correct. The decision point is clearly signalled and a save is essential to explore both endings.
There are no timed puzzles, no arcade episodes, no mazes, no violence, and no humour [corny or otherwise]. It’s just good clean fun.
The scenes are all real photographs taken on the Isle of Capri – over 8000 of them! Scenic views there are a-plenty. Character speech is accompanied by a succession of still shots, a technique which works well. There are animations, in particular, all the sea scenes have animated water.
Most are inventory type, though there are some others, notably to play Scopa – a Neapolitan card game, a sliding puzzle and an ordering of objects game.
Paying attention to what game characters say and reading the materials encountered will usually show the way forward. The developers included automatic recording of all conversations which are easily accessible within the game.
The puzzle level is pitched midway between too hard and too easy. This was perfect for me. The developers have included cheats for the toughest puzzles in the game manual. [I did not need them].
Pixel hunting is almost absent.
Background music is not continuous throughout the game and is generally pleasant when it appears. The music is the same as that used in “A Quiet Weekend in Capri” and is composed and played by the developers. Incidental sounds are well done and realistic. There are some sound clues, but [mercifully in my case] no sound puzzles.
After the game is played out, there is a walking tour of the Island which utilises the game scenes. There is also access to the scopa game.
If you played the previous game, “A Quiet Weekend in Capri”, this game completes a tour of the whole island. Unlike in the previous game [European version of “A Quiet Weekend in Capri”], in “Anacapri the Dream” the puzzles are easier, the translations better, navigation is much improved and beta testing has eliminated coding errors.
I thoroughly enjoyed this game. It was a refreshing change from more common scenarios and extra value lies in the walking tour. It is a long game, 50+ hours, so it’s exceptional value for money too. Novel features of note, driving a bus, driving a chairlift, piloting a boat. There were no performance problems on my system. This is my game of the year. I unreservedly recommend it to all adventure gamers.
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