Adventure gamers take note! This one’s for you. Explore different worlds, seek “answers” and save humankind from an eternity of slavery. Allan Glogauer goes on a quest to find the pieces of the Grand Key…
If I were a country and western singer who had been ditched by a mean-hearted personal computer, I might write a song that went a li’l like-a this (please feel free to add your own accent and sing along):
PC, you been treatin’ me unkindly
Gone ‘n locked me out with my secrets in yaw registrys
And muh personal stuff’s lyin’ all over yaw hard-drive
‘m beggin you – please just gimme the keys
Well, I may not be no country singer, but aah am a darn tootin’ fine adventure game player, yessirree. And finding keys and discovering secrets is generally what adventure games are all about.
The Crystal Key is just such an adventure, with a little slant on the keys angle – it’s your job to find all the pieces of one grand key. In the process, you evade a pretty ominous bad guy and his foot soldiers, and save your planet and its people from destruction and eternal slavery.
Think you’re up to it? Then let’s hold The Crystal Key to the light of the Gadget Four Question User test, and check its quality.
1. Is it ready to use?
The set-up file is on the first of the Key’s two CDs, and double-clicking it puts the 115 MB game files and other bits and pieces on your hard-drive.
2. Is it easy to use?
The game offers a short introduction from its title screen. The Evil (and he looks it) Ozgar and co. have shown up in their space craft and caused havoc on your planet, so it`s time for you to get into your own craft to go and jolly well sort them out.
You also have to gather the pieces of the crystal key of the title. As you do so, the key allows access to a number of different “”worlds””. The worlds, quite different from one another, offer visual variety and maintain interest.
Some of the puzzles are pretty tricky, while the initial ones are easy enough to let you explore a little and get you intrigued. The final one, in which you get to fry the bad guy, though an imaginative peril for the dastardly creature, takes quite some figuring out and – er – executing.
3. Does it work as advertised?
It certainly does. Navigation is easy, as is managing your inventory. And the game is exciting and its puzzles interesting. Three points, though. Yes, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing atmospheric background music – but sometimes, after a while, the music is intrusive and you can`t turn it off. Also, while moving from one place to another, the animated graphics are great, but at some locations, the static and panoramic pictures don`t match that quality. Finally, to continue playing after saving a game, you have to restore the game you`ve just saved. An annoying waste of time.
4. Is it value for money?
The Crystal Key’s Web page says that it offers exciting, non-violent game play, beautifully rendered graphics and an imaginative story. All this is true, and the game’s pros outweigh my niggling concerns
The game is surprisingly lengthy for its two CD’s, and should keep the average player busy for a while. That makes its price of $19.99, from http://www.dreamcatchergames.com, a fair one.
New Pokémon adventures coming to Nintendo Switch
The Pokémon Company announced two new Pokémon games on the franchise’s 23rd birthday.
Nintendo announced two new Pokémon games: Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. The games take place in the Galar region, which is an expansive region with diverse environments— an idyllic countryside, contemporary cities, thick forest, and craggy, snow-covered mountains.
The people and the Pokémon who live there work together closely to develop the industries in the region. Fans will have the opportunity to visit various Gyms in the Galar region in their quest to become Champion. They will not be alone, since the newly discovered Pokémon they choose to be their first partner will be by their side.
The announcement was made at Nintendo’s Pokémon Direct online presentation today by Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company.
Ishihara said: “Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the latest adventures in the Pokémon video game journey that began twenty-three years ago on this day. Since then, Trainers around the world have discovered new Pokémon, engaged in epic battles, and made countless memories along the way. We look forward to continuing this journey by exploring a stunning new region in the Pokémon universe when the games launch later this year on Nintendo Switch.”
The adventure begins in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield when players choose one of three new Pokémon—Grookey, Scorbunny, or Sobble. Grookey, a Grass-type Chimp Pokémon, is mischievous and full of boundless curiosity. Bursting with energy, Scorbunny, a Fire-type Rabbit Pokémon, is always running about. The stealthy Sobble, a Water-type Water Lizard Pokémon, shoots out attacks as it hides itself in water.
Click here to watch the trailer for the latest Pokémon game.
Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, developed by Game Freak Inc., will be launching late 2019 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch system.
Spider-Verse gets mobile AR
8th Wall, Trigger and Amazon Web Services Bring Spider-Man to Life with Mobile Web AR Experience.
In anticipation of the recently release of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, last week, 8th Wall and Trigger announced the launch of the film’s Mobile Web AR Experience. The immersive AR camera is built using 8th Wall Web and Amazon Sumerian technology running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is designed to let users interact with Spider-Man in augmented reality (AR) where they can take pictures and share them with friends.
The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience, powered by 8th Wall Web and Amazon Sumerian technology and produced by Trigger, is designed to allow users to easily jump directly into Spider-Man’s AR world on any smartphone, without having to download an app.
“Spider-Man is a perfect match for AR not only because his acrobatic moves and iconic poses lend themselves well to the format, but because he’s one of the most relatable superheroes,” said Rose Phillips, SVP, Digital Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment. “We’re excited to collaborate with 8th Wall, Amazon Sumerian and Trigger on Spider-Verse Web AR Experience and bring it to all – and new – Spider-Man fans.”
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique sensibilities to a fresh version of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where anyone can wear the mask. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman from a screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman and story by Phil Lord, the producers are Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller and Christina Steinberg.
“The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience demonstrates how established brands can dramatically enrich their customer experiences and better engage with their fans,” said Erik Murphy-Chutorian, CEO at 8th Wall. “Augmented reality allows consumers to dive deeper into the worlds of their favorite products and characters. Sony Pictures has deepened and enriched the Spider-Man experience with the innovative work they’ve produced with Trigger and 8th Wall, and powered by AWS. It’s the perfect example of how AR for the web is the best new medium for brands to make their content come to life while increasing the accessibility and interactivity of their stories.”
“Spider-Man is in our DNA. My team has been a digital developer since the first Spider-Man film and Trigger has been developing AR for Spider-Man properties at Sony Pictures since 2014. We’re excited to continue this longstanding collaboration with this experience for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” says Jason Yim, CEO and Executive Creative Director for Trigger. “We believe Web AR is the final barrier for mass adoption of AR and we are honored to be part of the first large-scale web AR campaign with Sony Pictures, AWS, and 8th Wall as partners. Web AR will not only become the first entry to AR for most audiences, but it will build a foundation of behavior that will lift adoption in social, mobile and head mounted AR.”
“Mobile Web AR is making possible for Sony Pictures to bring people into the world of Spider-Man and engage with the character like never before,” said Kyle Roche, General Manager, Amazon Sumerian, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Using Amazon Sumerian, the teams at 8th Wall and Trigger were able to deliver an immersive browser based AR experience and do so without any specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise. Together with Sony Pictures, we’re changing the way fans experience their favorite web slinger.”