plot of the game reminds me somewhat of an old CCS title
called The Prince. This was a multi-player game
in which the adventurers had to make and break alliances
in their attempts to locate a series of symbolic 'tokens',
possession of which would secure them the throne.
Princes in Amber sets four women and their nine
brothers off on a quest for power. You take the part
of Corwyn, one of the princes, and must attain your
goal by allying with other members of your family. Since
alliances can be broken, re-forged and betrayed at any
moment during the game, you have to keep your wits about
fact, the game is dominated by these processes of interaction
between characters. More than half of the 140-odd verbs
in the game are to do with communication, so you have
DISAGREE, NOD, LAUGH, EXPLAIN, SNARL, PLACATE and many,
many more to use when it comes to confrontations. The
characters are so central to the game that objects take
on rather less significance, though you have to learn
to use words well if you are to survive.
Princes in Amber has all those other touches that
have distinguished recent American disk-based games,
such as Activision's Mindshadow and Borrowed
Time. The graphics are excellent (though not quite
as good as those in the Activision range) and there
is music as well, both on loading and during the game.
it does take some getting used to, this game. Most adventurers
will not be used to the large range of interaction required
between characters. To help you though, there is a list
of all the available verbs and, even better, there is
a short demonstration game on the disk as well, which
is a considerable help in getting you to grips with
the way the program works.
Princes in Amber is a very different game. If you're
tired of wandering round collecting treasure or fighting
dragons, try this instead. You will find your fellow
men and women a darn slight trickier to deal with than
Balrogs, I warrant you. You start off in a hospital
bed with both legs in plaster and a burly doctor coming
towards you with a hypodermic. You need to resort to
violence here before you can get anywhere -- and believe
me it isn't easy!
only criticism about this game is the slow disk accessing.
In one case, after entering the simple command WAIT,
the disk whirred for nearly 30 seconds before giving
me the message: 'You wait patiently . . . ' Well, maybe
I do, but I wish I didn't have to.
quibbles like that aside, this is an excellent game.
The parser isn't that brilliant, but once you get used
to it you will find that the gameplay is very complex
and quite absorbing -- and the location descriptions
aren't bad either. Different, but refreshingly so.