Clandestiny

From Virgin and Trilobyte

Brief Description

Andrew MacPhiles is the last of the MacPhiles clan. He has been summoned to Scotland to answer the call of destiny. As the game unfolds, you will learn what happens to Andrew and his fiance Paula. You will also learn the truth about the clan MacPhiles. The first fact and most obvious is that the clan is full of cowards. But there is a deeper story.

The game is another puzzle solving ghost game from Trilobyte. Unlike 7th Guest or 11th Hour, this game uses normal computer animation and not embedded real videos. The puzzles are of two types in this game. The first are the house puzzles. These are the brain teasers that you find scattered throughout games of this type. Like 7th Guest, solving these puzzles opens more parts of the house to explore.

The other type of puzzle is the door puzzle. Each door that is locked must have a riddle or word puzzle solved to open the door. The words that you find will go toward making up the slogon on the clan MacPhiles coat of arms. After a bit, you may even notice a good place to look for the words.

Game play and hints

This game uses pretty much the same navigation system as 7th Guest. I found from time to time that I was a bit disoriented as I turned around because of where doors appeared on the screen. The worst part of the game though is finding the house puzzles so you can solve them. Usually the door you need will be close to the puzzle, but some of those puzzles seemed hard to find. Usually there is only one house puzzle available to solve at a time, so you have to follow the path set by the game developers.

The game has three levels of difficulty: brave, nervous and cowardly. Taking the last probably means that you have Macphiles blood in you. Brave puzzles are the hardest. You may have a set number of moves to solve the puzzle, a particularly hard starting point or just more puzzle to solve in the brave mode. Nervous is enough to get you some tough puzzles, but not "going off my head trying to find the answer" puzzles. I didn't try cowardly, but it sounds like a good way to quickly see the story or introduce some kids to this type of game without frustrating them too far.

Conclusion

If you loved 7th Guest, or 11th Hour, you should have this game. It uses many of the same interface, many similar puzzles, and it does have an interesting story. Actually, I found this game much more entertaining and engaging than 11th Hour. I'd certainly recommend it from any bargain bin you happen to run across.

Some final thoughts on the game.

Currently available in bargain bins and if you know someone who needs a small present, it might be just the ticket. With the three levels of difficulty, it would be easy to play the game through at least twice, once to see the story unfold and once to try the tough versions of the puzzles.

One of the more entertaining things about this game is what is in your Guidebook. It has a glossary and bits of Scottish lore, legend and history. What they tell you seems to be reasonably accurate, though I'm far from an expert on Scottish lore. Fergus is rather cute as well.


Review originally written 14 Dec 1998.

For more game reviews, either read the full list of games reviewed on this site or the main game page which includes brief descriptions of all the games reviewed.

This review is copyright © by Lynn J. Alford (more about the author). Send mail lynn.alford@deletethis.gmail.com.


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