I have always been kind of picky when it comes to games, and even more so when it comes to adventure games. More and more adventure games these days stray far from the original style, which is the best in my opinion. This is known as the `2D point-and-click` genre. I was happily surprised however when I read the description on the eye of Kraken, a newly developed adventure game created by Absurdus, a newly formed Canadian developer.
It's always difficult to introduce a new concept and stay true to the genre, however, the people at Absurdus have pulled this off without losing any of its glory. Unlike the normal 2D adventure point-and-click games, this game features very nice pre-rendered 3D backgrounds and animation. I know, I know...this has been done before. However, unlike the other attempts The eye of Kraken has lost nothing of its classic look and feel.
You play Abdullah, your average bagpipe-playing (yes you heard me right, bagpipes) Ottoman who is on a mission for the sultan to deliver a very important document to Hyade Island. However, he receives a letter from his friend Titien Granzoub informing him that a valuable item of his, the eye of Kraken (duh), has been stolen and that the thief is in fact aboard the very ship Abdullah is to use to go to Hyade Island. Titien asks Abdullah in his letter if he can retrieve his stolen eye of Kraken for him and apprehend whoever stole it.
Now Abdullah only has one week (the average travel time to Hyade Island) to find out who stole the eye. Luckily, he is on a ship, The Glutomax, which doesn't carry many people. The crew and 9 passengers are the only possible suspects and wouldn't you know it, most of the passengers turn out to be quite famous people. You have Rasputin the crazy Russian monk and even Count Dracula, plainly named "Vlad", makes the occasional appearance. Other characters making an appearance include people like Ophelia, a Danish woman who had to get away from her crazy family (the people who were educated in the classic stores know the family I am talking about ;) ). Another person who makes an appearance (you first find him vomiting over the side of the ship) is Villon (Francois Villon was a famous French poet in the late 15th century), he is on the run because he insulted the wife of a count who now wants his head. Other characters who you can encounter in the game include: Aboubakar, an African sorcerer who wants to help you solve the mystery; Ingrid, a German opera singer on her way to the island to become famous; Olaf, the philosopher Viking of rationalistic orientation (hell yes!) who is taking a break from pillaging and murdering to take a relaxing vacation on the island and lastly Fitzcarraldo who wants to open his very own Alpine Ski club on the island. All in all, a colourful bunch of characters
Now to get back to the humour in the game, the game consists of your basic hilarious adventure game story. Now I?m sure many of you remember such classics as Monkey Island - a young man wanting to become an infamous pirate and doing this in a very funny way. The eye of Kraken is, like these old classics, a hilarious game. For example on his voyage Abdullah comes into possession of a 200 pound lucky cannonball, which he happily carries around in his baggy ottoman pants (just like his 20 inch sword ).The entire game is filled with this slapstick humour, plenty of references to well known computer games, your average variety of sick-people jokes and much much more.
Graphics and Sounds
Graphics wise the game is very nice looking for its genre. The 3D rendered backgrounds look great and the animation of the characters is also brilliantly done. One of the real downsides is the fact that the game does not uses speech, now I know that this wasn?t a feature in the older point-and-click adventure games but it could have really brought Abdullah and the other characters to life (and it would have been great to hear a drunken Rasputin speak). A nice touch I noticed in the game is that the music is controlled within the gameplay, you can change tunes with the old gramophone found in a cabin of one of the passengers (who just happens to be a famous inventor). The music ranges from a nice Arabic tune, to a Russian classic. Another big plus about the game is the low system spec required, even a 3 year old PC could play this release without any problems and for the die hard fans, located on the CD's are some self proclaimed "youth mistakes" from the people at Absurdus. Real amazing stuff.
Overall, I really loved playing The eye of Kraken, it has everything that is needed to make a pleasing and, most of all, very funny adventure game. It?s also a bargain selling for the retail price of $15 (+ $3 shipping). Compared to even very bad budget titles these days that?s very cheap and for your $18 you really get an awesome title worth every penny. I hope to see more from Absurdus in the near feature, a great debut title.