• Mini review: Laura Bow The dagger of Amon Ra

    From Rudi@21:1/5 to All on Fri Mar 3 13:22:18 2017
    Hi Guys.
    GOG launched this early Sierra On-Line title this week. I remembered
    it very dearly, both being an exciting and intelligent murder mystery,
    set in an New York City museum of (or a department of museum) of

    Story revolves around a theft of a priceless ancient Egyptian
    arfifact, the Dagger of Amon Ra (which btw is fictitious, as most
    of egyptological facts presented in the game) and its theft as soon
    as it arrives New York, along with a entourage of quite eccentric
    characters - the chief archaeologist, his secretary, representative of
    Egyptian government, and a Greek professor of egyptology (huh :)

    You play the role of a young woman, whose thru connections of her
    famous father, starts her first job at a New York newspaper. She is
    initially assigned to cover the opening of the egyptology exhibition
    to the paper's socialite column, but soon she finds herself
    researching the dagger theft, and several murders connected to the

    Script is quite entertaining,and even as some of the murders are
    quite gruesomely and graphicly presented, overall tone is still very
    light, even humorous. At times we are even close to level of Leisure
    suit Larry or Freddy Pharkas types of zany slaptick.

    The game is divided into 6 chapters, of which the first is really a
    tutorial, and initial inventory gathering exercise, and the game
    concludes with chapter 6, in which you must present your conclusions
    and evidence at the Coroner's Inquest. Chapters 2-5 are the game

    Game engine works in the same principle as in Gabriel Knight III:
    events and people proceed in a preprogrammed schedule and
    do their work timed. It is your job to either by accident or following
    other leads, be at those places at those times, that something
    happens. Game clock advances at certain trigger events, and if
    you might have missed something, it is gone for good and you
    can no longer return to that point in time (except of course by
    restoring a savegame)

    The system is quite frustrating at first go, because apart from a
    very few clues, you really can just guess where and when. you
    are supposed to go. And then all of a sudden you stumble on
    yet another corpse, or by accident, set off trigger to advance
    clock, and you are left scratching your head asto what the heck
    just happened.

    As it iwas with GK III, the system however opens up replay
    possibilitiies, although admittedly not as profound as in GKIII,
    but still some.

    Game has few, but even so more than annoying features, which
    are clearly a mark of its age. Most often, and also most in volume,
    you curse fhe outdated graphics. As I ponted out in one of my
    previous reviews, inventory colectiing and object hunting are really
    pixel clicking - no clear indication what *that single purple pixel*
    serves, let's click it - OH DEAR, it was just revealed to be a
    phone book, crucial to the solution !!! Grrrrr...

    And no auto-save system. Quick and unexpected character
    deaths are common (ok some very humorous, such as getting
    eaten by scarabs or getting burned by incinerator flame :) but
    still, without autosave you may be forced to backtrack lord
    only knows how far, and redo everyting you have covered,
    after that save. And yes, remember to save more often in
    the future :)

    All in all, still entertaining and humorous piece of whodunit.
    At 5 euros (and change) not a bad deal, but unfortunately
    age shows. Final judgment: recommended with some reserve,
    but be prepared for the technical shortcomings.

    Cheers !!

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)