The Daedalus Encounter
As yet another FMV riding on the wave of CD-ROMs, The Daedalus Encounter is a science fiction game whose most notable accomplishment is casting Tia Carrere. Daedalus takes place in a universe not too dissimilar from that of the film Starship Troopers. It’s right after a nasty war with some nasty aliens, and three former soldiers find themselves compatriots in a mission of interstellar salvage. You play the role of Casey, a former gunner who was smashed to bits by space debris and is now a floating brain in a jar.
As Casey, you have control of a number of analysis and manipulation devices linked to the probe, notably a grapple arm to pick up things, although this is used infrequently, and a multi-frequency light emission system that allows you to broadcast several colours and intensities of light. Also at your disposal is a laser that can be used as a cutting tool or as a weapon. Yes, there is one combat scene in this game where you must shoot down flying jaws-of-death called Krin, to save your friends and yourself from certain annihilation. And quick reflexes are a help here as those Krin fly fast.
Controlling the probe, however, is what you’ll be doing for most of your time; that and watching the superb animation and acting throughout the game in the quarter screen video window, or full screen if your system will allow it. You can steer the probe to investigate areas of interest and use your built-in analysis system to examine objects. As well as all this, you’ll come to the mainstay of the game, puzzles.
Indeed, Daedalus is a game that can be compared with Entombed in that every door is locked with a puzzle that must be solved before you can proceed. The puzzles range from the dreadfully simple to the nightmarishly difficult. Some defy understanding at all, but luckily there is a small hint system to shed some light on their meaning. Luckily, also, there is a three level difficulty control setting.
Daedalus would have been one of the better FMV games. The acting, I admit, isn’t terrible, and the graphics are good as well. But two enormous problems – a faulty saving system and a crash-prone attitude – can make it a nightmare to play. You can’t save anytime you want, but have to rely on checkpoints. The problem comes when you miss one or more puzzles that had to be solved before and you must backtrack. If, for instance, you have to go back and solve a bunch of puzzles and you die again, then you will find yourself replaying large chunkc of the game again and again.
System Requirements: 386 CPU, 4 MB RAM, DOS
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