Synnergist is a fairly typical third-person point and click mystery adventure game with digitized actors set against pre-rendered backdrops – a lot like those classic Tex Murphy titles. It’s the near future and you play as newspaper reporter Tim Machin working for the sleazy New Arhus Chronicle. But a long string of killings in the city might give Tim just the right reason to do some serious investigative reporting. Nick, an old friend who helped you out on a previous story, supposedly has a lead that can help you out. And so begins the game.

The controls in Synnergist are pretty simple. You use the left and right mouse button to move around, examine and use objects, just as you would in a number of similar games. As you move your mouse cursor over the different items that you can click on or use, the name of the object will appear at the bottom of the screen. Your inventory appears at the top of the screen, and it’s also where you can access the menu from which you can save and load games.

3The quality of Synnergist is all over the place. For one thing, the game is rendered in VGA (a consequence of it being in the works for so many years), and the live acting is likewise a mixed bag. Some actors put on a better show than others, but none of them look particularly engaged. The backdrops are somewhat interesting, and the game does make good use of VGA for all it’s worth – the gloomy futuristic sci-fi / goth look is quite vivid in this game. But because of the low-res VGA, some details (such as character animations) look awfully grainy.

The game is somewhat friendly towards beginners. There’s an optional hint system (accessed when playing the game in Novice mode). Puzzles are spread all across the difficulty spectrum. Some are reasonable, others require a lot of trial and error and a few are quite impossible to figure out without a walkthrough.

System Requirements: 80486/33 Mhz, 4 MB RAM, DOS

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