True to the original
Lack of sounds and music
Most, if not all of us, have heard about the brilliant Space Quest series from Sierra. So far it has spawned 6 games with a rumoured 7th on the way. But... did you ever wonder about the story behind the first game? Why Vohaul decided to make an army of Salesmen and not Warriors? What Roger Wilco's life had been like before he signed on for duty abord the Federal Spacelab, Arcada? Now you won't have to look any further, because this is Space Quest Chapter 0: Replicated!
The story begins with our hero, Roger Wilco of course, beeing abrubtly awaken from his nap in the broom closet. Upon leaving his favourite relaxation spot, he discovers that the entire crew on the Los X have been brutally murdered and that the space station is in danger of falling appart. The only other living person on the ship is a mysterious blue skinned girl, who escapes in one of the remaining escape pods before Roger can speak to her.
With little time left to think, Roger follows her example and climbs into an escape pod himself, only to find out that it has been sabotaged. From this moment on it is up to Roger to think fast, or end up as a victim to one of the many perils in the game.
The actual gameplay is extremely simple and most of the puzzles can be solved differently. Jeff Stewart worked really hard to try to eliminate all the possible dead-ends in the game, so that you wouldn't have to load a previous game because you forgot to pick up something. As with other Space Quest stories, this one uses many cross-references to popular shows. The most obvious one would be Star Wars, but there are also hints to Matrix and Spawn amongst others, and the Space Station Los X is a gigantic PlayStation controller. All in all the many references make the game extremely enjoyable, and the actual plot in the game keep you going to see what's next.
Space Quest: Replicated is programmed using AGI (the system used for the original Space Quest game). This makes the game look and feel like the "sequel" Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter. And as with the original old school Sierra games, this one doesn't use a mouse interface, but relies on commands typed in by the player. Personally I don't find this as a problem, but I know a lot of newer gamers out there will have problems with this type of control.
One thing that also must be mentioned is the steering of the character. Space Quest: Replicated is sofar the only AGI game in which the character has a different view for all 8 directions, making Roger Wilco look great and natural no matter which direction he is walking in. 8 directional movement makes it easier to navigate through some of the obstacles in the game, and is needed in order to survive the underwater plants after your crash. There is a flaw with this, however, as it needs a numpad to function properly (you can also use Page Up, Page Down, Home and End). For people who want to play this game on a laptop this suddenly becomes a bit more "interesting" as the player will have to make a numpad using the FN key, or try to remember which direction the Home key was. It's not a big issue as it only occurs on laptops, and is actually a huge plus when you play it with a real keyboard, but it's present and that takes away some of the total score.
The music and sounds in the game consist of a very few computer bleeps, the most common would be when you get a new point. Music is almost non-existent and you do miss it when you are stuck somewhere and can't hear a single thing as you try to solve the current puzzle, but as soon as the music comes back you'd wish it had never bothered showing up. It get's so frustrating at times (especially in the Bar) that you try to do whatever it is you need to do in that scene as fast as possible, just to get the heck away from the place and never return.
The endresult is a game that is a worthy member of the Space Quest family, but one that can also be frustrating at times.
Review by: Tom Henrik
Safe for all ages