The Oracle is a first person adventure. The name of the protagonist is not being revealed throughout the game. You return home to Canada from a business trip and find a message on your answering machine from your friend Alex who needs help. He sent you a postcard which you have to get to learn more. After some puzzling - you lost your mailbox key and have to get a new one (why didn't Alex send an email, we wonder, this game was made in 2006!)- you are on your way to Portugal. There, in a small town named Nazare, you stay in the same room that Alex had rented. He has vanished and no-one knows where he is. In his room, you find a mysterious box with an even more mysterious metal container… It's your quest to find him and reveal the secret of the container and the oracle.
As you advance, new locations will open up in a map which you can use to drive there (yes, we have a car, and we have money in this game!) and find out a lot more once you found Alex's journal (very "Mysty" again) and another book which talks about three stones that have to be brought back to the Chamber of Union. Read both books, as they contain important clues and open up a new location. The plot thickens while you play, and in the end you will have found Alex and revealed the secret of The Oracle.
Very comfortable point & click. Moving the mouse to the top of the screen brings up your inventory and the control pad. Right clicking somewhere in the game screen also brings up the inventory in which you can use and combine items (sometimes left, sometimes right mouse click). Moving the mouse off the inventory pad makes it disappear. You have descriptions for spots of interest in every screen, yet, sometimes there is useless pixel hunting (like at the beginning of the wind generator). Saving a game takes a picture of the spot where you are at (like in some of the Myst games). As you cannot die in this game, you don't have to save every other minute. There aren’t many dialogs in the game. Except for the woman at the elevator, only a few people can give you useful hints
Graphics, Music, SFX
The graphics are clear, realistic photos which really make you dive into the game. Unfortunately, there is no animation which makes it quite static. The music, whenever used, is atmospheric and fits in well, as do the SFX. Whenever you pick up a new item, your inventory backpack blinks and you are alerted by the sound of chimes.
The puzzles are a mixture of inventory combinations, finding and placing items at the right spot, one music puzzle and a good amount of logical thinking. If you are stuck, there is an ingame hint system in the control pad which you are free to use at any time and which saves you looking up a walkthrough.
A very interesting game with a good story and good puzzles. Fans of mystic stories should like it. I give it 4 out of 5 points because of the static looks and the few pixel-hunting spots, but it's logical and interesting and grants you some hours of fun play.