Monty Python’s Complete Waste of Time Overview (Synopsis and Features)

What’s all this, then? Why, it’s a CD-ROM game crammed with live action video, sounds and animations from the 1970s BBC television series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Take a ride through the Loonatorium, visit the TV Room, bask in the glories of the Portrait Gallery and test your skills with trivia.

The brain of Mrs. Zambesi is divided into six lobes, all of which are infested with Python comedy sketches. There are more than thirty live-action videos, countless sound effects and rude noises and more animation than in German painter-poet Max Ernst’s longest nightmares.

Arcade-style games are hidden away in most of the lobes. You can play slots, pinball, whack-a-mole or several other arcade games that defy description. All are heavily populated with familiar characters and locales from the TV series such as Dead Parrot, the Cheese Shop, Nudge Nudge and The Argument Clinic.

There are six mazes, one hidden in each lobe and in the center of each is a quiz. Answer four questions about the Python sketches and you receive four clues to fixing that lobe of Mrs. Zambesi’s brain. The ultimate challenge is to fix all six lobes and discover the secret of intergalactic success.

Included with the game is a control panel known as the Desktop Pythonizer that lets you install your choice of 28 screen savers, 49 desktop pictures and patterns and 150 different sounds. The CD contains a total of 49 custom icons.

Features
View over 30 classic Monty Python sketches
Includes over 20 screen savers, 40 sound effects, desktop icons, and more
Collect clues to discover the secret to Intergalactic Success

Beneath a Steel Sky PC Review

Beneath a Steel Sky begins with a comic book introduction which serves notice that the game is a bit different from the normal graphic adventure seen in the genre at the time of release (1994). Relying mainly on voice acting, humor, and a somewhat cliche-filled script to further the plot, the game scores big points for a refreshing approach because of the overall integrated presentation. Take any of the aforementioned components separately, throw in a weird but effective interface, and the result would be less than attractive. Taken as a complete package, though, Beneath a Steel Sky becomes an enjoyable and funny experience. In fact, it’s the voice acting that saves the script from sounding too amateurish along with the humor that creates an immersive counterpoint to the actual simplicity of the plot. This is one game that actually gets better after the opening sequences.

Beneath a Steel Sky would not win any prizes or awards for outstanding graphics presentation, an innovative interface, or superlative writing. It does, however, manage to overcome all those shortcomings and provide an interesting look at a future world, filled with bleak and cutthroat industrial real world problems. The interface is simplicity personified. Rather than using icons, the game makes use of a single cursor for all actions and employs the technique of screen “hot spots.” In some ways this simplifies the game by limiting on-screen choices at times, but it’s a breeze to master and breeds a comfort factor whether clicking on one of dozens of characters for interaction/dialogue, picking up or using an object, opening doors, working levers, and so forth. All good graphic adventures contain an array of puzzles to solve and Beneath a Steel Sky is no exception. Expert gamers may find the first two thirds of the game too easy but quite possibly will hit the wall near the end, when the puzzle-solving becomes much more challenging. Unfortunately, there are a couple of beat-the-clock scenes in the game which detract from the otherwise smooth flow of action. The graphics are not exciting but escape the lame label and portray a believable environment for the adventure.

The content of Beneath a Steel Sky is definitely borderline for younger players. The recipe which makes the game a treat for those who enjoy a more robust adventure contains a dose of heavy British humor, both sight gags and double entendres, a smattering of mature themes and scenes and a dash of adult language, not to mention a pinch of near-nudity. The accents of the voice actors and the delivery of the dialogue makes the experience of playing Beneath a Steel Sky a worthwhile excursion. The major complaint is the shortness of the tale. Even novice adventurers should complete the game in less than eight to ten hours tops, with the seasoned gamer finishing much quicker. No matter how quick the trip though, the ride is worth it.

Graphics

By no means spectacular but pleasingly presented in a fundamental way as are many early entries in the genre. Similar to early Indiana Jones games and some Sierra titles (e.g., King’s Quest and Space Quest adventures).

Sound

Voice acting enhances the written script and dialogue. Some players may be turned off by the staid attitude of the main character but the game comes with a text-only option.

Enjoyment

One of those games where the end result surpasses all of the individual parts. Puzzles increase in difficulty as the game progresses and the plot hangs together nicely.

Replay Value

Short enough that you might try it again (especially if you like the humor); otherwise probably a once-through is sufficient.

Documentation

Very short manual, mostly geared toward background information on the many characters in the game. Play is simplistic and the manual developed accordingly. Nice comic book by David Gibbons is included in the game box.

System Shock Overview

You were the world’s greatest hacker, at least until you were caught during one of your famous breakins. Now the TriOptimum Corporation secretly requests your services in return for your freedom. Your task? To hack into the corporate research facility named Citadel. In order to assist you, Vice President Edward Diego has agreed to pay for a special neural implant.

The drawback for such an operation is that it takes six months to heal. When you finally awaken from your comatose state, it seems the date isn’t the only thing that has changed. Citadel is now home to cyborgs, security robots, and hideous mutants under the control of SHODAN (the Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network). You’re the only one who can stop it!

System Shock is a first-person action-adventure that offers a true 3D environment complete with variable gravity. Looking through the heads-up-display of your new visual cortex, you’ll be able to plug into computers and download important data. This will be essential in order for you to bypass the secured areas and defenses set up by SHODAN.

Don’t stay online too long — SHODAN will be able to detect your presence in cyberspace and send robots to your location! In order to survive, you’ll need to find various weapons, dermal patches and hardware attachments at different points within Citadel. This enhanced CD version offers full speech for all characters while you listen to logs, e-mail, and video mail across multiple terminals.

Features
Plug into the Citadel’s computers and then download files that provide you with clues
Hack into the Citadel and then fight off the mutants and cyborgs that are hunting you down
Avoid a long prison sentence by completing several missions for the Trioptimum organization

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Al Qadim – The Genie’s Curse Synopsis

Al Qadim: The Genie’s Curse is an action/RPG hybrid based on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Arabian-styled world of the same name. As a young corsair, whose family has recently been accused of improper use of their power to control genies, players must escape the wrath of the Caliph and prove their innocence. Sailing from place to place, the young hero must battle monsters, collect wealth and magical items, and seek out the truth behind these accusations before he is put to death. Statistics take a backseat to the action, as players take full control of their characters to explore the game world and engage in battle. A long journey full of challenging puzzles awaits players as they embark upon this console-style role-playing adventure.