I doubt a whole lot of people have heard of the company Sanctuary Woods, and that is actually in my opinion perfectly understandable, it's not like they've made a whooping number of killer games or anything. There is one game though, a game which in my opinion signifies the utmost of quality in an adventure game, and the name; The Riddle of Master Lu.
The year is 1936. The planet is teetering on the brink of a world war. An archaeological treasure could tip the balance of power to the one who possesses it! One man races from cintinent to continent, battling the forces of evil. His name: Robert Ripley. Believe It or Not!
Your character Robert Ripley owns a museum of oddities, which sadly is somewhat going down the drain. He's got two chinese helpers: Feng Li, a somewhat strange chinese man and Mei Ching, a chinese woman.
During a visit to Egypt two chinese men stole a satchel you somehow got, and they also attempted to kill your buddy Feng Li. This naturally calls for investigation, and during that investigation you should also pick up the relic which could save the world for a whole lot of 'crap'.
The first place you visit on your travels is the city of Peiping, here you're out to search the great hall, and your very first problem is to get in! You see in order to get inside you need a pass, and the only place to get one is inside..
I can assure you that this is not a game you finish fast, not at all! A few years ago when I first bought it I got so frustrated that I ended up using the walkthrough, and even with it I couldn't finish the game, quite funny when I come to think about it.
Quite astounding to say the least! The characters look very life-like, so does the rooms and locations, and it's all animated greatly! There were not a whole lot of games from 95 which animation were at that level. Every room has a whole lot of details, and much of it looks as if it's been modeled in 3d studio r4 (which is very nice cosidering the year).
Also very high quality. The voices sound 'the way they should', with some people who sound just "funny", and beggars sounding annoying. You also have great sounds whenever something 'special' happens, such as in the beginning of the game when a snake gets departed, and something as little as when one of your helper unties the other helper. You don't have an excessive number of sounds, just as many as it should be (or at least as many is I'd like it to be).
Decent menu music. Ingame-music when something exciting happens again such as in the beginning when a snake gets depared. Actually, one thing I'm glad about is the fact that you don't have some strange ingame music when what you need to be doing is to THINK. Countless times I've tried to concetrate myself at some puzzle, and loose time because of a lack at concetrating. I guess it depends on the person who plays the game, but my opinion is that in a game like this there should only be music when something happens, of course you need to concetrate when something happens, but for me a puzzle requires silence.
Basic point and click interface. A large plus in my opinion is that when you're walking from one side of the screen to the other you can click on the right mouse button and you won't have to see the oh-so-boring walk when you're just sitting there looking at the screen. You can not do the same thing when there's a dialog involved, or when something else is moving along with you (such as the beggar in Peiping whom I would very much like to beat up).
I'm fairly sure no gamer will have any problems understanding how to play the game as for instance there's only 3 buttons to press; pick up, use, look, and of course there's your inventory which needs to be used at many times.
Sadly because The Riddle of Master Lu uses a somewhat strange graphics mode I couldn't print screen anything, neither could I get anything with HyperSnap, so you'll have to survive without the screenshots.