Brilliant sound effects
Henrik Liaw has an unusual job. He repairs defective electronic machines, by using a Katharsis Interface to enter their psyche. To put it simply, he is a machine psychiatrist. He works for a company called Mental Repairs (hence the title), and it's his job to 'fix' machines by entering their psyche, and solving any problems they might have.
So late one night, he gets called out to an emergency at the Rhosonit Engineering building. Apparently, their Main Computer has had a nervous breakdown, and they want Henrik to treat it. But when he arrives, there is no-one in sight. It seems that he is all alone in a strange building. To make matters worse, the building goes into lockdown, trapping poor Henrik inside, with no way out. Oh well, may as well get on with things then. The Main Computer is located in the Executive Level on the First Floor. But... the elevator is broken as well. What on earth is going on here? Henrik soon realises that he can't leave the building until he fixes the Main Computer. And he can't get to the Main Computer until he fixes the elevator. But as explores, he finds more machines, each with their own problems. And guess who has to sort out these problems? Henrik has a busy night ahead of him.
Mental Repairs is a game with a unique concept, and a great story. 'Machine Psychiatrists' are not something you hear about every day. Poor Henrik has to deal with a colour-blind photocopier, a paranoid coffee dispenser, an elevator with split personality, and more. There is an interesting twist at end of the game, which brings a whole new meaning to the game title,
The game itself is controlled by the mouse, which makes it easy to play. Simply click & hold your mouse over an object, to see a list of possible actions for that object (talk, use, open etc), then highlight that action, and release your mouse. Voila, Henrik will perform the selected action. When you are talking, simply right-click to advance through the text. There are 3 green buttons at bottom of screen. Clicking on 'M' button brings up the main menu. From here, you can Continue the current game, Save your game, Load a previously saved game, Quit the game, or Start a new therapy. Click on 'Question Mark' button to see a help screen, which tells you how to control the game. Finally, clicking on the 'Magnifying Glass' (or pressing Space Bar) shows all the hotspots in the current screen. Puzzles are logical, and well thought out. The only exception to this is the Copier puzzle, as the colours appear very similar, and it is hard to distinguish them from each other.
Since the game takes place at night, the whole Rhosonit building is quite dark and moody to emphasise this. But lighting (be it from freestanding lamps, lights on the wall, or low-hanging lights from the ceiling) casts shadows, and create wonderful atmosphere. When you talk to a machine, a list of options is shown at the bottom, and you just click on whatever you want to talk about. Dialogue is shown as text on the screen, and everyone has their own colour of text, so you can tell who is talking. There is some wonderful dialogue, which will have you chuckling to yourself. One of my favourite scenes is when Pictogram Man refers to Henrik as 'Sir Threedimensional', lol. Your inventory items are shown as icons at bottom of screen, so it's easy to see at a glance what you are carrying. Blinking of the coffee dispenser is very effective, and I love how (in the psyche) it twists round to talk to you. Even the 'whooshing' effect as the elevator moves up and down, is very effective. Henrik himself, moves very smoothly, and his mouth moves as he talks. But my favourite has to be seeing Henrik enter the psyche - that is just amazing.
MUSIC & SOUND EFFECTS
There are some wonderful sound effects in Mental Repairs. Right from the start, there is a loud 'clank' sound as the main doors slam shut, trapping you inside. Henrik's footsteps differ, as he walks over soft carpet or hard floor. Crumpling \\ unfolding paper, as well as walking around in the Copier's psyche really sounds as though paper is being scrunched up. I love the blinking sound coming from the coffee dispenser. Funky elevator music played, while you were... you guessed it... in the elevator. Watching the bully-boots tap away impatiently, as they wait for coffee, made me giggle (hee hee).
Mental Repairs is a wonderful game that I highly recommend. The game has a very unique concept - the whole idea of machines having personal problems, and needing psychiatric help, is something you rarely see. And this game pulls it off nicely. There is a wonderful twist at the end, but I won't tell you what it is. You'll just have to play to find out (hee hee). The game is easy to control, as all you need is your mouse. You don't need to memorize a whole lot of keys to do one simple task - simply use your mouse for everything. Graphics are very impressive. Even little things like sheets of paper looking like they have really been crumpled, textures on the floors and walls, lighting, and even Henrik himself, all help bring the game to life. And your inventory items are clearly shown at the bottom, so you always know what you are carrying. The sound effects are equally impressive, and general background ambience noise is heard throughout the game. My only complaint (as I said before) is that Copier puzzle. I think the colours should have been more distinctive, so you could tell them apart. But why take my word for it? Why not download it for yourself?
Review by: Frodo
Safe for all ages