Gilbert Goodmate and the Mushroom of Phungoria
by FastTrak Software Publishing
Designed by Prelusion Inc & ClearWater Interactive
Platform: PC CD/ROM
Price £29.99 Released: Out Now
Windows 95/98/98SE/ME/2000/NT4 (SP5)
Pentium 166 or better
32MB of RAM
4x CD/ROM drive
2MB graphics/video card
click adventures were supposed to be dead and buried. Typical! we struggled
to get the mouse working in DOS whilst still having enough conventional memory
left to do anything with and now we have all those problems solved in the safety
of the Windows environment and they do away with the mouse. Well this is certainly
the way it looked with Monkey Island 4 & Grim Fandango eschewing the mouse
in favour of the keyboard however this year sees something of a revival for
the good old mouse. This revival comes in the shape of CDV's The Mystery
of the Druids and FastTrak's Gilbert Goodmate.
Gilbert Goodmate really is an old school point 'n' click. In fact on playing the game it does take you back to the times of Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island. This game will feel very familiar to anyone who enjoyed any of the LucasArts classics. The interface is pretty much identical to Monkey Island 3 in that a right click will bring up the interface and you have to hold down the left mouse button in order to bring up the mushroom interface. The mushroom interface allows you to perform all the action necessary and is very simple to use. In case you do have any problems the manual does a good job of explaining the interface in quick and simple fashion. Incidentally for an adventure game the manual is very well written and has a good contents page so you can find what you want very quickly.
The story behind the game goes something like this. Long ago Phungoria was under the evil shadow of an evil wizard named Karn. Various men tried to rid Phungoria of the wizard but they all failed except Marvin who rather unwittingly used a 'magic' mushroom which somehow defeated the wizard. The mushroom has since been classed as a sacred item and was given pride of place in the town square. However disaster struck when Gilbert's grandfather was watering the mushroom. He was knocked out and the mushroom was stolen and he now faces been executed as the town find him responsible for the crime as they have no idea who stole the mushroom. Gilbert saw the mushroom being stolen and now he has to prove his grandfather's innocence before he is executed.
The game has subtitles (by default) on the introduction and all other cutscenes. Each character's subtitles has a specific colour which is a nice touch and fully allows deaf gamers to be aware of what's going on. You can also alter the text speed for real adaptability. I think that games' developers should take a good long hard look at how Prelusion Inc and ClearWater Interactive have carried out their subtitling, you can't fault them! The quality is superb and sets a benchmark for developers today. Well done, Prelusion!
criticism I found with the game was the length of the conversations. Conversations
are usually very long and although this shows that the developers have put a
lot of hard work into the script it does get a little tiresome when your talking
to a character for well over five minutes. Not all the conversations are huge
and to be honest this was the only niggle with the game. Puzzles are not too
abstract and with a little bit of thought most are easily solved but there are
some tough ones in there. The graphics are virtually identical to Monkey
Island 3 but the animation of the characters is slightly wooden but as any
adventure gamer will tell you that doesn't really matter with this type of game.
Overall Gilbert Goodmate and the Mushroom of Phungoria is a point 'n' click that is worthy of your time. The story is a little bizarre (especially the feminine Vikings) but when did one of the classic adventure games of old have a sensible story. With around 40 hours of gameplay to be had, Gilbert Goodmate is a recommended purchase and to all adventure game fans it's an essential one.
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Overall Game Rating: 8.3/10 A refreshingly familiar style of adventure game.
Quality of text: 10/10 Text feedback is perfect. All verbal info is displayed.
Graphics: 7/10 Never the strong point of adventure games but pleasant anyway.
Interface: 8/10 Uses a similar style to Monkey Island 3.
Gameplay: 8/10 Only the overly long conversations are a problem here.