Yet another alien invasion sci-fi story, this time based on the movie with the same name, and wrapped in adventure gaming motifs. Technically, adventure games are relatively simple to design. Itâ€™s surprising, then, that The Arrival ships with so many minor but potentially show-stopping glitches. While much of the game plays quite nicely, borrowing interface and puzzle ideas from Trilobyte, and working with a kind of semi-3D rendered environment, the kinds of gotchas guaranteed to kill enjoyment of an adventure game surface frequently.
While solution of the various puzzles is optional, for instance (again, imitating Trilobyteâ€™s system of solving the puzzle for you if you donâ€™t want to keep trying past a certain point), discovery of the necessary items to get past certain areas is sometimes unintuitive and difficult. The layout of the space stations is logical enough to retain in memory during play (no mean feat for this kind of game), but the placing of and conception of objects is inconsistent.
Thereâ€™s nothing in the story to suggest why certain things are where they are, and more importantly, all too frequently youâ€™ll discover you need items from a long ways back in the game which you didnâ€™t find even after careful exploration the first time around (especially a problem with excessive CD-swapping at certain points during play). All told, The Arrival makes a good attempt at a kind of game thatâ€™s difficult to do well; the technology is good, the adventure template is formulaic and the gameplay itself needs work.
System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95
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