Amber: Journeys Beyond
By Hue Forrest Entertainment
Brief Description of Amber
The game starts with an email, asking you to go and check on an old friend of yours. You arrive at the house with an interesting angle for your view. Then you have to start unraveling what happened there. You can quickly find that your friend is in no shape to give you help, so you need to work out what you can do. Fortunately, she has left some notes around, and some items that are very interesting.
Great puzzles (only one seemed a bit arbitrary to me), a good story and some nice graphics and music all go toward making this a fine game. I was very rapt in finding out how I could proceed in each section of the game. There are several parts where proceding may be a bit different then what you are used to in a game.
Parts of this game are really quite spooky, and not for the squimish. Not horrifying, but definitely weird and scary sometimes. Then again, what do you expect in a haunted house?
The bad news about this game is that it is old and rare. You may be able to buy a copy from CdAccess. I heard from friends back in early 97 that I would enjoy this game. They were quite right, I did. But it was never so widely distributed that I found a copy in my hometown (far north Queensland in Australia is not the best and biggest place to find this stuff.) And while I vaguely kept in mind that I should play the game, I didn't find a copy for sale until late in '98. (no, don't ask, you cannot have mine!)
The basic interface of the game is pretty simple. The cursor displays an x if you can't do anything, a question mark for times when you can get a closer look and a diamond if you can take a step in that direction. Sometimes turning or moving can leave you a bit disoriented as to where you are and where you should go because the angles may look a bit different as you turn.
The first thing you need to do in the game is get the electricity back on in the house, and find some equipment (and an instruction manual). After that, work out what is haunted and get the psychic impressions left by the ghosts. As usual, you need to be careful about looking around, look closely at anything you can, and make sure that you have found every exit/entrance to a room.
If you haven't played this game, try very very hard to get a copy. It has a good plot, no 'hunt the pixel' puzzles, your character is not threatened with death - well, once but that is an exception and there are no critical timing puzzles. I enjoyed this game thoroughly and would recommend it highly to all. It didn't take very long to work through, but it was particularly satisfying.
Order Amber: Journeys Beyond (Jewel Case) from Amazon.com
This game review is the 50th since I started doing this in early 96. Given that most of my games are bought, and the majority of games reviewed are finished, I think this is pretty remarkable.