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Journey to the Center of the Earth - Box

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Ages: Everyone

Although I read Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth a long time ago and don't remember much detail about it, it was immediately obvious that this game was inspired by the book. Whether or not it follows the original story doesn't much matter - Viva Adventure has used this well as a framework for an exploration/puzzle type game.

Creating these types of games is really a very difficult enterprise - you need graphic artistry, user interface skills, as well as puzzle creation and story telling talent. While this game somewhat misses the mark, I cannot say that I could have done it better.

The game proceeds in a strictly linear fashion, which means that all steps in a particular section must be satisfied before you can go on to the next section. Navigation in the 3D environment is quirky; some of the 'hot spots' on the screen are very small so you can easily get completely stuck for lack of discovering a required object or place.

The land beneath the surface of the earth is modelled after France a century ago. Although it is carefully drawn, it lacks the magic feeling of some of the other games of this genre. Conversations with the inhabitants take place by menu selection - but at least this place is inhabited and doesn't leave you with a spooky deserted feeling.

The game has you work through plots and conspiracies which stand in the way of the heroine's return to the surface of the earth. I strongly recommend getting a walkthrough or strategy guide - even with this in hand the game will take you many tens or hours. Or, you can read the original book - I think that the pictures there are better.

Reviewed by: LuLu - 12/03

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • © Viva Media $16.99
  • W98 Me XP 2000
  • To Order: http://www.amazon.com

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