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"You mind has a taste for adventure and we've got
the game to fill it"
In the planet Nodus,
there is a ring of magical orbs that ensure great power to those who own
them. To ensure the safety of his people, the good king of Nodus discovered
these orbs and sought to collect them so that the orbs could never fall
into evil hands.
But upon finding the
orbs, the King discovers of Krylin, a wicked creature seeking the power
of the orbs to fill its own evil energies. In hopes of preventing such
an evil force from gathering all this power, the King scatters these orbs
across the kingdom and hires you to find the orbs again before Krylin can
discover that they are no longer in the King's possession. But before your
quest begins, you must pass a simple test...
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|A lot of QB gamers miscategorize this
game as an RPG instead of a Puzzle/Adventure game because the view of this
game is overhead, much like Dragon Warrior, the SNES Final Fantasy series,
and a lot of other classic console RPGs. The Void even comes with that
slight tileishness that is simply a trademark of the RPG genre.
But The Void is more than just these RPG
graphics, as a lot of subtle graphic details were attributed to this game.
One nice touch is the clean day/night element that takes place in this
game. If you just sit there for a while you actually see the town fade
as if nighttime is coming. There's even a subtle change of the palette
that simulates the sun rising before morning begins.
Another nice touch is the different pieces
of attire that the main hero uses in each of the towns. Appropriately,
he only wears his winter gear when walking in the snow! A nice touch, and
we certainly do notice. And Ribbonsoft even threw in some flickerfree animations
and more subtle details... all in all, nothing will blow your mind here
but The Void certainly does hit the graphic standard.
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|I don't think The Void has it's sound
and music capabilities 100% functional left, but there are some signs of
life if you listen to your PC speakers and sound card. I was able to hear
a light humming noise whenever you do something stupid. Maybe it's an accident,
but it does give your ears something to listen to (which is a lot more
than some other QB games).
|Gameplay (n.)The precision of control
and involvement of character within its universe
|The gameplay in this game is very easily
what makes The Void stand out among other QB Puzzle games. You get the
feeling as soon as the opening demo clears and you're taken to a town whose
only purpose is to change the game's sound, music, and control options.
As soon as the setup is done, you're taken
to the first town in the game. Your mission is to find the key in the middle
of this busy town so you can unlock the door and prove your worthiness
to the king to take on a grand adventure. But it won't be as easy as inching
your way around a cave... in this puzzler you have to talk to everyone,
find items, and know how to use the items on the game's various objects.
This is literally the kind of mind-boggling propaganda that Strategy Guides
were made for (note that we're working on ours for you guys as we write
Ribbonsoft's decision to use the mouse
for this puzzle game is excellent, as it gives you easy access to your
items and walking around, all without the extra trouble of going to a menu
screen or sifting through an items list.
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|If this game got any story points, it
certainly wasn't for its originality. The fact that you have to hunt down
for orbs reminded me a lot of Final Fantasy I, and fragments of this game's
plot development stem directly from some PC puzzle/adventure game classics.
What I did like about this game are the
cleverly animated demo sequences. After you accomplish each of the game's
mini-tasks, you're treated to a cut-scene where you figure out what happens
to all the other off-screen characters in the game, including some of your
closest friends and most canniving villains. So, while the whole "gotta
catch the orbs" thing isn't so original, at least you see some solid plot
development along the way.
|Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience
can be repeated again and again
|It takes a little getting used to the
fact that this bird's eye-view game is not a QBRPG but in fact a very involving
Adventure-type game that requires you to utilize items instead of bludgeoning
everything you see. But once you get deep enough into the game and you
can travel to more places, The Void develops a sort of addictive itch.
And once you reach the end of The Void's demo, you'll probably look back
at all the clever things you've done, all the adventures you've had, and
play the game through again.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|Ironically, it's the challenge factor
that appears to be the Achilles heel for this interesting Puzzle/Adventure
game. The problem with The Void is that there wasn't a lot of creativity
thought out in terms of the game's puzzles. One of the puzzles early on
in the game is to find some purple paint to give to a friend. Not to spoil
the obvious, but there just happens to be a red bucket and a blue bucket
laying around in the middle of nowhere! Mix it up and BAM! You got purple
To make matters worse, the puzzles that
required some thinking were ripped out of Lucasfilm's popular PC/Sega
CD game, Monkey Island. I was particularly aggravated when I found a Grog
Machine (a popular Monkey Island item) in the middle of what I thought
was going to be a heartwarmingly, original QB game... some more original,
creative puzzles would have been nicer.
|Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|The Void was not fun at first because
the controls do take a little getting used to and the mouse routines still
need a little polishing around the edges. I also thought that the Ribbonsoft
logo and the British flag in the beginning of this game were a nice touch,
but after turning on the game for the tenth time I wished there was a way
to skip the minute-long intro and go straight to the game.
And what a game it is. Though The Void
would have really been great had there been some music and maybe a little
more attention to graphic detail, these faults are really expected of a
demo this young. What else can you say but, "So far, so good." Now if some
original, tricky puzzles are thrown in for the rest of The Void you can
expect this demo to be climbing up the charts by the time Ribbonsoft finally
releases the complete copy of this game.
||To solve: 3-4 hours Final Rating: 16/35
To download this game, click here.
play The Void, unzip the file and run "INSTALL.EXE". Then, follow the installation
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