Obsidian

From Segasoft

Brief Description

Lilah and Max have just successfully finished the Ceres project and on their first holiday. Lilah is just returning from a walk in the forest when you begin the game. Soon after you start the game, you'll find a computer that allows you to 'catch up' with the main characters. After you have viewed enough of the information on the computer, you'll hear Max scream in the forest. Lilah follows the path and soon finds herself in Obsidian. This is where things start to get a bit strange.

The game has five sections. The first is described above. The second is based on Lilah's dream. The third is based on Max's dream. The last is probably the oddest.

Obsidian is a wonderful older game that is well worth the effort to find and play. The storyline is good and the puzzles are excellent. There are only a few items in the game that you may carry around with you, and you shouldn't have the "try every object on every screen" problems that sometimes occur. The graphics are lovely, you 'walk' or move between each of the game locations, and the music is moody without being overly obnoxious.

Game play and hints

The basic interface is simple point and click with a cursor that changes when you can either manipulate an object or move in that direction. Most of this game is not in conventional space, so you may have to think in more directions than you are used to. Do be certain to look around carefully, there may be clues or hints nearby on how to solve the puzzle.

Pay a lot of attention to the computer that you encounter in the first stage of the game. Some clues about solving puzzles are mentioned in the various entries. You'll need to review all the entries you can, before the game will let you proceed.

The game does give you clues on how to solve the various puzzles. There was at least one time that I didn't realise when to use the clue, but that's part of the fun of playing this type of game. Sometimes you'll need a good bit of logic and deduction to solve a puzzle, sometimes you'll need to be stubborn or just 'break' the rules.

Gripes about the game

There are a few times in the game (one of the 'spider' sequences comes to mind) where timing tends to be a little too critical. The one puzzle was easy to figure out what to do, but difficult to know how.

Conclusion

I'm sorry that it took me so long to find and play this game. It's one of those very enjoyable ones that you long to play again, or play another one very much like it. I'd recommend avoiding using the hints as long as possible, this game *does* give you clues about the puzzles, but a few of them are quite tough. Also, there are times when you can't skip a step, retrieving a document from the files requires certain knowledge acquired in the game.

This game can be played by any patient member of the family, and it should appeal to almost anyone interested in thinking through a game. It probably won't take you too long to solve, if you have played a lot of adventure games. It does have some interesting variations on puzzles in the game. Highly recommended for all levels of adventure game players.

Final thoughts about the game

I found a copy for sale at ebay but you can also order it from CDAccess. I'm glad that some sellers realise that older games are worth keeping in stock.

I can't remember the last game that portrayed quite so well interactions between the main characters. This one did so well at portraying the relationship between Max and Lilah at the start.

One of the few games that specifically have a female character you are playing, even if it makes little difference to Game play or the story. It is nice for a change. So many games use a male lead character, even though it usually makes little difference whether the character is male or female.


Review written 4 July 1999.

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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