Release Date:February 2008
Somewhere in the halls of The Adventure Company there’s a bean counter shaking in his penny loafers. For someone had this crazy idea, let’s sell five games for the price of one. Not two, not three, not four, but five full-length, best-selling adventure games for only $20. This isn’t your typical collection of twenty-year old ‘classics’ repackaged for the umpteenth time either, but five relatively new games that have been released within the past sixteen months
The entire collection comes on two dvds and during install you decide which games you would like to play. Even if you choose to install all five once it will only take up 8gb of space on your hard drive. The instruction booklet for each game is included on a pdf file on the dvd. C’mon, what do you want for $20?
Now don’t think for a moment that I’m going to review each of the five games included in this collection. Dead Reefs, Keepsake, Return to Mysterious Island, Nibiru, Age of Secrets, & Secret Files: Tunguska have all been previously reviewed by the talented JA staff. So instead, let’s just do a quick recap of each game.
Dead Reefs – if you like gothic horror adventures, then this is a must play. According to JA reviewer Shannon Hall-Harris, “The makers of Dead Reefs did a fantastic job of capturing the dark, moody atmosphere of the traditional gothic horror flick. There are ghosts (naturally), hidden passages, crypts, and a witch named Benish Sue who lives in the swamp. The 3D graphics are gray-washed and somber, and the musical score is hauntingly morose. One halfway expects Vincent Price to come sauntering out of the shadows.” I actually played through Dead Reefs numerous times myself as I wrote the game’s official, published strategy guide for The Adventure Company, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Keepsake – a beautiful looking fantasy adventure about a young woman’s arrival to study magic at the prestigious Dragonvale Academy. Unfortunately, Lydia arrives to find the academy abandoned and so must, along with her newfound friend Zak – a dragon disguised as a wolf - investigate gorgeous castles and mysterious forests in search of the students and staff of Dragonvale. JA reviewer Tracy Steen thought that “the journey was more than enjoyable. So…how would I rate Keepsake overall? I’d have to give this pretty new classic a B+.”
Return to Mysterious Island – is a sequel to Jules Verne’s classic and is based on the premise that the island from the original novel was not destroyed. Mina, a young woman on a voyage around the world, finds herself stranded on the island. JA reviewer Ugur Sener stated that “this is a solid adventure game with clever puzzles, beautiful graphics, and interesting locations. The idea of surviving on a deserted island far from civilization may not be a new theme, but it has been applied very successfully in this game. Return to Mysterious Island is a great way to rediscover a Jules Verne classic. If the idea of overcoming nature’s challenges, surviving in a forgotten land, and unlocking the mysteries of an exotic island interest you, do not miss this game.”
Nibiru, Age of Secrets – a young, linguistic and archeology student travels to Prague at the behest of his uncle and soon finds himself entwined in a mystery that involves Mayas, aliens and Nazis. JA Reviewer Shannon Hall-Harris “thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the puzzles, and the graphics, and felt right at home with much of it. In the same spirit that caused me to loveBlack Mirror despite its laughable flaws, I’m going to have to give Nibiru an A-.”
Secret Files: Tunguska - On June 30, 1908 a mysterious explosion shook the Tunguska region of Siberia, Russia. Numerous theories exist - from comets to UFOs - but no one knows for sure what happened that day. Until now that is. JA reviewer Aya wasn’t particularly enamored with Secret Files, but did suggest that “If you love inventory puzzles, and that is what you mainly want from an adventure game, then Tunguska is certainly worth checking out.”
Is The Adventure Collection: Volume One worth purchasing if you already own one of the included games? Of course, it is. But what if you own two or even three of the games in the collection? Still a bargain. Should you buy it if you own four or even all of the collected games? C’mon, you’re just being stupid now!
So do some poor schlep at The Adventure Company a favor and save his job by buying a copy or two ofThe Adventure Collection: Volume One, eh.