Ahoy, Muppet fans and fanatics! Muppet Treasure Island, the CD-ROM adventure is out. This is a children's adventure game. Some of us just don't outgrow Muppets and so will take them in whatever form we can. In the game are Kermit (Captain Smollett), Gonzo the Great (Gonzo), Rizzo the Rat (Rizzo), Fozzy Bear (Squire Trelawny), and the non-muppets in the game are Billy Connelly (Billy Bones) and Tim Curry (Long John Silver).
This is a funny (and not too involved) adventure game. The game is divided into four parts. In each part, there will be a number of tasks for you to do. The tasks are fairly simple, and it shouldn't take much practice for any youngster to get the hang of each of the little games.
The game is based on the Muppet Treasure Island movie. It isn't necessary to have seen the movie to play the game, but if you haven't seen the movie and you're over the age of about 12, you're probably not a devoted enough fan to play this game.
If you have seen the movie, the good news is that the dialogue and most of what happens in the game are new to the game, not merely recycled movie pieces. Sample bits of dialogue would be "So you likes Mr. Arrow do ya? Tell ya what, you can have a drumstick," After a brief fanfare, Long John Silver rolls his eyes and mutters "I thought I told those guys to take care of the band!" as he exits. "Tweak his nose, that sounds like fun. Do mine next." Gonzo the Great.
Many objects to click on in the game. Different ones have different effects, and many will do different things each time you click on it. Do be sure to run through all the things Billy Bone's mother has to say, it's a scream. In fact, it is vital to do some things in the game multiple times. Otherwise, you may have problems at the end. Three times seems to be the charm for most of the items that I played with.
Never be afraid to experiment. You just never know what might happen. Such as ringing for Long John Silver before the pie is filled with apples. One of the two results is a *real* killer. Look up in the sky after your first astronomy lesson and get a second.
Another must-do is go to Squire Trelawny's at least once before you get a suit of new clothes. The line the butler gives you is a classic, and I refuse to type it in and spoil the surprise.
Do be sure and let the end credits run all the way through at least once. As is traditional with Muppets, you will get more than just names running up your screen.
You may want to save one game where you are on Treasure Island with all the rocks. This will let you jump directly to the last bit of the game without hassles. The other three scenes, you can just jump in and play with, if you want to.
The Shanghai game has a bug. Sometimes the last two tiles don't match. Small but annoying as anything.
The game warns you to run it in 256 colours when you start. I tend not to reset Windows just for colour depth. The game would periodically completely lock. I don't know if it is a genuine bug or just a small fault because of the colour. It did require a reboot of the computer.
I like the idea of how saved games work, but it does have one problem. When saving a game, you get a screen shot to put into one of the available slots. The problem is that it is the full screen shot which is reduced in size by a factor of around 10. When you go to load this, it can be very hard to tell which screen it was, everything on it is very very tiny. It would have been better to use a bigger picture or select one easily identified item from the scene to use for the save game; the helm, the cannon, just Captain Smollett's desk, etc.
I wish that the level of difficulty of some of the games could be set by the user. It would make playing the Shanghai game and others more interesting. Also, a slightly more difficult version of shipbuilding would be nice. Being able to build the ship from the top down may be entertaining, but *very* unrealistic to have a mast with no deck under it for support.
If your children loved the movie, they should love the game. There is enough silly stuff to watch that the replayability of the game is quite high for youngsters. Actually, if you love the silly dialogue of Muppets, then this game will have a high-replay factor for anyone. It would be very difficult to hit every possible item enough times to successfully get them to do everything that they can in one time through the game. There are surprises hidden everywhere.
Because it is a children's game, expect the initial run through the game to take about 3-5 hours. Once you finish the game, you'll have 9 clips from the movie that you can view (all of the major musical numbers and the entrance scenes for Captain Smollett, Benjamina Gunn and Fozzy Bear.) Also, once you've finished, it is easy to return to any of the four major game areas so you can go back and play the games, or look at the scenes again. Actually the third CD has a total of ten clips on it, one of them is a trailer for the game. I don't know how you are supposed to find it unless they expect everyone to go checking out CD-ROMs for little extras. It has a very funny ending to it.
In best game tradition this game kept a group of adults, no children in sight, occupied happily for half an hour. If it hadn't been during the middle of a work day, I'm sure that the group would have lasted much longer. So don't be amazed if the adults in the household chase the kids away from the computer just so they can have a go at this game.
Educational value of this game is fairly minimal. You learn about the parts of a ship, port vs starboard and some names of constellations. That's about all I can think of that might be considered educational in the game.
More muppets can be found in the The Muppet CD-ROM Muppets Inside. That CD-ROM uses a lot of material from the old Muppet Show. The downside is that the game in Windows95 only. If you have a PC, upgrade if necessary and play Muppets Inside now.
Cute and necessary for those who must have more Muppets in their life. Also recommended for those who haven't enough of Tim Curry lurking on their computer (then again, can there be enough of that?). This problem can be solved by Gabriel Knight , Frankenstein or a small dose can be found in Toonstruck
I have a small problem with a phrase from the box about Connelly and Curry being "live-action characters". I know this is as opposed to being Muppets, but I keep thinking that it's opposed to dead-action characters. This is not a pretty thought.
Handy hints for gentlemen of fortune: if planning a mutiny, be sure to bring along a change of clothes.
Muppet Treasure Island movie is threatening to overtake the original Muppet Movie as my favourite Muppet Movie (it will take a few more viewings to determine this.) It has some of the best music in any Muppet movie, and I didn't think any human *could* steal a scene from muppets. My favourite movie of '96, I watched it three times in the year. The CD-ROM game was worthwhile for me.