the writings of a mind

Title: Simon the Sorcerer 3D
Strap: Read another review. This one doesnít deserve your time.

Blink. Blink. Squeegee. Whoís this again? Oh. Oh yes. It slowly emerges from the dusty pages of the album of oneís memory. Sometime, back in the mid 90s, there was a company called Adventure Soft who made a computer game about a bad mannered young man named Simon - dragged into a world of magic and wizardry. It was a sarcastic, oh-so ironic take on adventure gaming world, mocking the foibles of the genre, and spoofing the nuances that were present in so many games of the time. (Read, ripped off Lucasarts, and thought it was clever). And now, entering a very different world, itís back.

Simon the Sorcerer 3D is an unpleasant little game. Surprisingly so, in fact. We all knew that it wasnít exactly going to be very good Ė when first offered for review, PCG pointed out to the developers that they might want to half-way finish the thing before releasing it. A year and a half since, and a few distributors later, they have rather too literally taken this advice. A fair estimate would say that the game is, ooooh, about half-way finished.

The end of part two saw Simonís body being taken over by some wizard or other, leaving an open door for a trilogy-completing sequel. However, Simon 3D begins with a hastily scrawled hackneyed cop-out of an opening sequence, not only cough-coughing its way out of the previous storyline, but utterly failing to introduce anything of a new one. Instead of exploring the comic potential of a soul trying to get its body back, this is instead the same tired old crap from the first two, but this time with the finest threads of charisma thoroughly torn out.

It is utterly horrible to play Simon. In what is an attempt to write him as sarcastic, Adventure Soft have only managed sneering and vulgar. The things he says are rude and offensive, making him intensely uncomfortable to be responsible for. This is only increased by the reprehensible puzzles (opening puzzleís solution Ė /kill/ a man for no reason so you donít have to be a bit bored), and the requirement to solve challenges in the most offensive way possible (theft, violence, bullying, etc).

But never mind all that, since the archaic 3D engine, intellectual theft from LucasArts (Grim Fandango, Escape From Monkey Island), unfinished dialogue recording (subtitles appear in the middle of conversations from the start), and complete lack of any humour, will stop you from buying this in the first place. Wonít they?

 Cruel and unpleasant, and not redeemed by any sense of humour. Dispose of.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Crucial Entertainment
Developer: Adventure Soft