Ringworld: Revenge of the Patriarch
Now here is a game which might ring a bell to science fiction fans. Ever heard of Larry Niven? A very well-known american science fiction writer known for his Ringworld books and other works amongst which is a personal favourite of mine, Inferno (an interpretation of Dante Alighieri's Inferno). The Ringworld books tell the tale of a world built in the shape of a ring, around a sun. This ringworld is in an artificial orbit around this sun, with such a speed, that the atmosphere in the inner ring is kept inside its enormously tall walls, creating gravity and a livable environment. The Ringworld is a mystical world with many strange creatures. Untouched for years, but alas, that has changed.
For Louis Wu and his Kzin companion had set foot there, along with a Pierson's Puppeteer. Now, after returning from the Ringworld, Louis Wu has a message for a Kzin friend of his, and sends his good friend Quinn to deliver the message. As Quinn steps up to the gate of where he needs to be, a big Kzin, with the title of Iacch Captain, greets him. But as they speak, the fort is attacked. And that's where the fun starts. The Kzin Emperor has decreed that the Iacch Captain's family is under Rucch La, which can be translated to 'execution of all blood relatives', obviously a very bad thing to have decreed on your family.
Ringworld plays like any adventure game, really, but the nice thing about this game is the interface. It's a lot like the verb coin found in LucasArts' Full Throttle and Curse of Monkey Island, though a bit more elaborate. The game itself is lacking in some areas. The puzzles are usually not too hard, but some puzzles are illogical in such a way, that it's frustrating. Especially at the beginning of the game, it's a lot of blasting and simply looking at text and giving the right item to the guy who asked for it. Later on in the game, the puzzles get a bit more intense, but still don't really pose a challenge.
The overall feel of the game is fine, however. If you have read the books, you will love this game's graphics and visualization of the Ringworld. It's obvious Larry Niven worked closely with the development team because the Ringworld looked exactly as I expected it to after reading the books. If you haven't read the books yet, go do so!
I think it all boils down to preference. I love this game to death because I love the books. I have to admit that it lacks severely in the facet of gameplay (and especially gametime, since calling it short is giving it too much credit, given the 4 hours it took me to complete) and the puzzles aren't top-notch, but it gives the authentic feel of Ringworld, which is a feat I didn't expect it to meet.
A decent adventure game with high quality graphics from an era where everything was possible. Good for a couple of hours of fun, but not the cult classic Tsunami thought it would be. Shame.