Back in 1996 Revolution Software Ltd developed an excellent adventure game called Broken Sword. For once an adventure game that wasn't released by the gigantic Sierra or Lucas Arts, who by all means have released several awesome games. Virgin Interactive Entertainment published this gem, which ended up selling as a critically acclaimed game.
The company BAM! which some may not have heard of, recently released their port of this game to the Gameboy Advance, and I was eager to once again play one of my favourite adventure games. My initial thought before actually playing the game was that they would have some problems with the gameplay, seeing as how you're not using a mouse to point and click. But let me tell you, it worked out great. But, more on that later.
In Broken Sword: The Shadow Of The Templars the story is set in Paris, not too long ago. You, being an American tourist named George Stobbart stumble across a devious plot involving a medieval manuscript from the 10th century, and the assassination of its owner. The storyline is in my opinion better than average, and made me want to play it 'just a bit more' several times a day. Luckily the game isn't too difficult, so you can concentrate on the actual storyline, rather than pulling your hair out while trying to figure out puzzles you would have thought came directly from hell.
One of the things about the Gameboy Advance port of Broken Sword that positively surprised me is how they managed to keep a lot of the original hand-drawn cartoonish feel that I know many liked a lot. Of course, the Gameboy Advance does have its limitations, so don't expect textures of incredibly high resolution, but it was sufficient for my liking.
BAM! also did a good job including background music and sound effects, which suit the game just fine. One of Britain's most famous composers: Barrington Pheloung, who also composed the music of the movies Truly Madly Deeply and Nostradamus. There isn't any spoken dialogue, but luckily the written dialogue is easy to read and follow. The conversations are very easy to make, because when it's your turn to speak you merely select the icon of the topic you'd like to discuss. Apart from being funny, the dialogues also look real, making the adventure something you can easier relate to.
Moving George Stobbart around in the game is done with the directional buttons. You have an action button, an inventory button and two buttons to use for cycling through what actions you can do in the area you're standing. That last feature is actually very useful, so that you don't have to click every pixel on the screen to trigger some kind of event, like you had to do in many adventure games "back in the days". You will be travelling to over 70 locations and interacting with more than 60 characters, all in beautiful scenery.
If you're in search of an adventure you can bring with you on the buss or wherever you want then Broken Sword: The Shadow of The Templars is something you should check out. A great storyline, powered by good-looking graphics and rich audio should keep you from getting bored. And if you finish the game then you can always check out its sequel, which is also a very nice game. However, so far it's only on the PC, but maybe BAM! will work their magic on it as well. I sure hope so.