The Crystal Key

The Crystal Key’s graphics are indicative of the type of game it seeks to emulate – the eternal Myst clone – but the problem is that you don’t see that in the game. It is all a question or resolution. Half of the game is 640×480, and the other half is a measly 288×164. Try stretching out those 288×164 images across a 21″ monitor, and the sight is truly bad.

9_1Ok, so the graphics are horrible, but what about the rest of the game? Well the story isn’t much better. A radio communication from was intercepted, “Danger: Ozgar has been defeated but not destroyed. Suralon is sinking. Return to Arkonia. Abandon all colonies at once.” Now Ozgar has found our planet, and he’s launched “powerful satellites” which cause a variety of persistent natural disasters. The unnamed hero is sent alone in the first light-speed capable ship to find the Arkonians and stop the vicious Ozgar. That’s where the plot ends.

Unless you count the guys that shoot you, the only characters you’ll see in the game are a couple of talking holographic heads and Ozgar (if you get to the end). There is no text at any point in the game, so the plot is left largely undeveloped. You simply wander around various worlds solving cryptic puzzles. About a half dozen hours into the game, your explorations will be interrupted when you realize that you just saved the universe and the game is over. Yay.

Crippling your efforts is a crappy saving issue. Corrupt saves are a common occurrence unless the game is patched. If your idea of a joyous occasion is finding that none of your saves work anymore when you are way into the game, then The Crystal Key is the perfect title for you. Otherwise, ignore the title.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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