Forever Worlds Review
Some things aren't meant to last forever!
Review by Rob Edmondson
Published 28th February 2005
- Developer: The Adventure Company
- Publisher: Mindscape
- Release Date: 18th June 2004
When asked what their all time least favourite game is, it is rare for any two people to give the same answer. This is no doubt due to the fact that the game their answer referred to received terrible reviews at the time of its release and very few people bought it in the first place, let alone played it. If I myself were asked this question I would spontaneously reply “Forever Worlds”, which as the observant few will have noticed, is suspiciously the subject of this article. The reasons for this choice may well become apparent if you will but remain with me for the next few minutes for a very grisly piece of work
Without giving you time to escape out the back, I’ll delve right into this carcass and proceed to do a thorough, though not too gruesome, (as I’ve already spotted a young girl at the back looking a worrying shade of green) post mortem of this hopeful point and click adventure game.
First to go under the knife will be the story, which as it happens, proves to be the root of this unfortunate beast’s demise. The problem, you see, is that Forever Worlds can’t seem to make up its mind whether to aim itself at an audience of five year olds or a group of Cambridge Doctors. This means that one minute you may find yourself conversing with an annoyingly voiced lizard and being on the receiving end of a deluge of (extremely) weak and childish jokes, and in the next, trying to comprehend exactly what is going on in an Einstein-brow-knuckling time travelling plot. So having narrowed down the potential audience to child geniuses and Doctors with a strange sense of humour already, we will penetrate deeper still to the puzzles.
They, for the most part, involve finding a hotspot, usually by randomly moving your cursor around the whole screen until it changes into a special icon, and then applying everything in your inventory to it until you achieve the correct combination. There seems to be no logic to them at all and at times you are faced with quite ridiculous combinations, which will have you scratching your head so much that you’ll be unable to wear a hat for a week. If this is indeed what you are looking for in a “game” though let me put you off further by revealing that a lot of the time you may walk past crucial items, as you will just assume they are merely part of the scenery and this will cause further frustration upon solving the puzzles.
Let’s now examine how this beast did move. From the layout of its limbs it is clear that it navigated on a node-to-node basis… but hark, what is this? One of its legs is actually pointing the wrong way! This can only mean that upon wandering it walked round in circles. How odd. “How can this be?” you may ask. Well picture yourself trying to penetrate a jungle say, in which all the nodes look exactly the same and then imagine that upon arriving at some of these nodes you will be rotated 180º. You will of course fail to notice this and continue wandering merrily on your way until you return to a landmark you recognise. After much trial and error the reason for this will eventually dawn on you and you will be forced into the arduous task of discovering which nodes actually reverse you. The irony is that if this were the one of the puzzles it would probably be one of the better ones!
Moving on to the visuals and… Oh dear what a mess. These graphics would surely have been average about four years ago in a fully 3D game. It is a rare sight indeed to find a sprite that actually moves, which is OK in some of the later levels, mostly in barren or indoor landscapes, but is completely unacceptable in a jungle or… What’s that strange retching noise? Oh no, somebody fetch the sawdust. I thought she was looking a little ill earlier. Are you all right now dear? You want to leave the room? Very well but only for five minutes. Continuing quickly on to the videos, these are slightly better, but still very poor by modern-day standards with sprites often moving against backgrounds, which are clearly stationary.
There are some strange defects indeed with this specimen’s simple vocal system. Considering that it has only the ability to produce rudimentary sound effects and occasionally speech, when appropriate, it is odd that it has to pause during movement. One could point to a respiratory problem but a more likely cause is lazy programming. Also, when there are moments of speech you may struggle to tell what is being said and, with the lack of subtitles, this is very prohibiting, as clues are often in these passages, and there is no option to replay them.
Now if you’ll just bear with me for one moment I’ll just go backstage to collect some clean knives. There we are I’m back… What? Where has everybody gone? Just you left Angus McNoLegs? How unfortunate. Very well, I shall finish by saying that if there were a good puzzle in this game it would be “Why would anybody actually buy it?” Thank you for your attention. Good Day.
Review Score: 3/10
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