Altered Destiny offers solid puzzle gaming for adventure fans and a number of problems that keep it from being on par with the classics of the genre. As evidenced by the introduction sequence, Altered Destiny strives for a wacky humorous effect that, after the opening, seems to be only sporadically humorous, as if the developers forgot their original premise. Likewise, the storyline isn’t particularly interesting as, starting from the cliché setup, the story never really manages to captivate you. As a result, you play to get to the next puzzle instead of trying to see what happens next.
Nevertheless, Altered Destiny’s puzzles are quite good and go a long way towards making up for the so-so storytelling. The puzzles are difficult and don’t all rely on the “take object A to location B and use it” mold. They are logical. Enough so, that when you do finally figure out the solutions, you don’t feel like the game is cheating you by requiring unwarranted leaps of logic.
And the game’s text parser is remarkably versatile, with few instances where the parser is unable to interpret what you typed. In most cases, when you enter input incorrectly or when the parser doesn’t understand your command, it will come up with some sort of suggestion to help clear up the meaning.
This does come with a price, however, as the parser sometimes tries to guess your intentions. Typing in “look at thing” will result in the response “I don’t see the strange sign.” Trying to look at a device or contraption will result in similar results for the silencer and the machinery. This tendency to give away the identities of important objects is a bit disappointing, but not terribly damaging to the game’s fun factor.
The reason you have to use the word “device” or “contraption” to interact with items in the background is because the artwork isn’t particularly good, and the game suffers from washed out coloring. More than once, you’ll find yourself looking at something in the background and wondering about its identity. If the description of the room doesn’t give you any clues, you have to guess until you come up with a noun close enough for the game to respond.
Additionally, the game’s sound and music, while not hampering gameplay like the graphics, doesn’t really help it along either. The songs are filler music — short note sequences played repeatedly so the game can have sound playing in the background. After you quit, you’ll be hard pressed to remember any of the tunes.
In conclusion, Altered Destiny has the same gameplay as Sierra’s King’s Quest and Space Quest without the charm. If you’re a fan of the genre, play it after the classics. If you’re not a fan, playing Altered Destiny probably won’t change your mind.
Poorly drawn and colored graphics sometimes make it difficult to tell what you’re looking at.
Forgettable music and sound effects.
Lots of interesting puzzles are difficult but quite logical.
After you beat the game, the only reason to replay would be to explore every nook and cranny for the points.
Basic documentation explains gameplay.