Twinsen's Odyssey

From Activision and Adeline Software International. Review first written for WindoWatch magazine.

Brief Description

Twinsen is the hero of his planet of Twinsun. In a previous adventure, he saved the world and so forth. Twinsen's odyssey starts some time after his first adventure. It begins innocuously enough with a storm, during which his friend/pet Dino-Fly gets injured. Twinsen rushes off to the pharmacy for a cure, but life isn't that easy for him.

Twinsen's Odyssey is an action/adventure game. He needs to explore his world, examine anything sitting around that may be used as storage, and fight evil doers. It is the last that makes this an action game, the fights are necessary (even early in the game, you must defeat the monsters to gain keys etc.) Control of Twinsen is strictly via keyboard.

The game has a lot of game locations, the 3D rendering of the world is quite good. The people doing the voices aren't bad, but not great either. The game itself should take some time to finish, if everything is as complicated as the first quest you begin, finding the cure for the Dino-Fly.

Game play and hints

The booklet contains a lot of hints about playing this game. It is a keyboard based game, so you'll spend a lot of time on the keyboard. I found that leaving the booklet open to the page of key commands was the only way to go. You just need to have a quick look from time to time to know what key to press to change to a particular mode, etc.

Sometimes mode is very important. I rapidly discovered in a cave that there were fireballs being shot from the walls, but in discreet mode, you crouch under such hazards. When entering a cave with an aggressive monster, aggressive behaviour is the only way to go.

Save the game often. It is an action game, and sometimes you will lose all lives pretty fast. And if you aren't used to playing action games, save the game after each successful fight. It's the only way to go for those of us that are a bit slowish with the keyboard.

Warning, when you change rooms in a dungeon, monsters in the previous location regenerate. In other words, if you are not proficient at fighting, you should treat dungeons as a one-way trip. Usually, the game gives you a set of rooms at one time. As long as you stay in the area displayed, any monsters that you remove stay that way. But once you leave, they regenerate immediately.


If there was a wimpy option for fights, I would have made it much further in this game. Unfortunately for those of us not properly belonging to the twitch generation, there is no wimp option and there is a lot of real time game puzzles. Not merely the fights, but when you have to retrieve Twinsen's medallion from a museum, you have to run around two corners fast enough or the opened protective bell will close again.

The game is free with hints on what to do next. You can talk to characters any number of times if you have forgotten the information that they told you last time. In the early stages, the characters even remind you of various abilities Twinsen has that you will need to exploit to go through the game.

Generally, if you like action games that require something more than simply shoot-it-if-it-moves, I'd recommend this. It does require observation, some thought, and attention to other characters. If you like straight adventure games, puzzle-solving and no action, then you should avoid this game. If you are somewhere between, you should give this game a try by looking at a demo at least. If you save after each particularly successful fight/solution, you should manage to get through. I must say that I liked the way the game was going, and the story. I just found the fights to be a bit too hard when you got to certain monsters.

Some final thoughts

I put this on my brand new computer. It installed with no problem. When I had some trouble getting past a necessary monster, I decided to quit and put Grim Fandango on my machine to test. Grim Fandango wanted to put a newer version of DirectX on my machine. I let it. Now Twinsen's Odyssey refuses to recognise that I have DirectX on my machine and wants to install a definitely older version. Most annoying. There is a way around that bug, it is available on some web pages.