Myst meets the Photoshop water-color filter.
Golden Gate, as the name suggests, is centered around exploring San Francisco and nearby Angel Island (alas, we never encounter Alcatraz), wandering through what feels like a surreal painting as you solve an obscure mystery. Indeed all of the backgrounds have been crafted from photographs with a water-color filter applied to them. The buildings, land and seascapes, wooded byways and countless detailed close-ups all have an odd visual quality to the.
The gameâ€™s very-Myst-like experience is a bit strange when it takes place in a huge American metropolis. We accept the barrenness of Myst because itâ€™s Myst; But a barren San Francisco? Ambient sounds of occasional inhabitants help a bit, but donâ€™t solve this particular dilemma. Oh, there are flashbacks of characters from the past, and a particularly annoying chap named Jake who appears from time to time, but itâ€™s still a disturbing stretch of the imagination to be investigating a painting.
The puzzles are a mixed bag â€“ from downright simplistic (a 3 by 3 Magic Square) to quite challenging. There are only 9 or 10 of them, and the real challenge is sniffing out their locations and the clues to their solutions, many of which may be overlooked in the gamescape. The gameplay and exposition are extremely slow, even with assorted FMV clips.
In the end, Golden Gate is a merely average Myst-style adventure clone, and that’s if you’re feeling rather generous. There are simply better point and click games out there.
System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95
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