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Imagine if you could go back through time - I don't mean just reliving recent events, I mean travelling back through hundreds of years. Imagine what you could do. The possibilities are endless! You could even go back and see the dinosaurs.
Meet Kay. She comes from a world in the future, where time-travel IS possible. Kay works for a mysterious council which keeps time-travellers in check. Now, Kay has been urgently summoned by the Elders and given a new assignment: Apparently, Morgana La Fey has been causing trouble again - she has been jumping around in time, causing chaos in the past. Now it's up to Kay to find Morgana, bring her back, and repair any damage that Morgana has caused in the time-line.
So Kay uses her time machine to travel back in time, in search of the evil Morgana; everything has been prepared for her, and she is sent back to prehistoric times. She must find Morgana's time-machine, destroy it before anyone else finds it, then bring Morgana back. Of course, nothing is ever that simple. As Kay investigates things, Morgana's influence becomes more and more obvious. Poor Kay must overcome many obstacles before finally coming face-to-face with her nemesis.
Time Paradox is a traditional point & click adventure game that has a lot of both good and bad points. It's controlled by the mouse, which makes it very easy to play: Actions such as 'Take', 'Talk', 'Use', 'Give', 'Look', and 'Open' allow you to interact with the game world simply by clicking on an action, then clicking somewhere in the game window. You can choose if you want the interface at the top or bottom of the screen. (Just right-click to make it disappear, then right-click again at the top or bottom of the screen to make it re-appear.) Load and Save options are also shown here, and you can save your progress at any time. You are given 11 save slots, and these can be overwritten as many times as you like. However, games are saved alphabetically, instead of in the order that you saved them. This means that your latest saved game may not be at the top (or bottom), making things quite awkward. Pressing Esc allows you to quit the game at any time.
The Inventory screen is accessed by clicking on 'Use' or 'Give', and can be closed again by right-clicking your mouse. Scroll through your inventory by clicking on the red Up & Down arrows. Puzzles are a mixed bag - some puzzles are fairly easy, while others are quite illogical. Sometimes, it's not very clear just what you are supposed to be doing, so you end up trying everything on anything, in the hope that something works. At one point, Kay has the option of asking about a character she hasn't even met yet, which is quite confusing. The game has full speech (except for the intro), but text is also shown on screen. There is some amusing dialogue that will make you chuckle, but the story seems old and stale, somehow. And after all the trouble Kay goes to to find Morgana, the ending feels very rushed (don't worry, I won't tell you what happens, lol), as if they had run out of ideas. It's quite disappointing.
Time Paradox is absolutely gorgeous to look at. It reminds me very much of the Kyrandia games. Graphics are wonderfully rich and detailed, and animation is incredibly smooth. After a short introduction, Kay finds herself in the forest. Everything from dragonflies, butterflies, bees, and even cavemen and dinosaurs are a pleasure to see. Half-way through the game, Kay changes into a gorgeous red gown, to fit in with the time-period. The town is filled with interesting characters, such as the Smith, the beggar, the man in stocks, and even a dragon. But my favourite has to be the little devil - he's just adorable. When you talk to someone, dialogue options appear at the top, so simply click on an option to use that response.
As impressed as I am with the graphics, the whole thing can be quite a pixel-hunter at times. Items can be well hidden, and hard to find. You could spend hours searching for an object, and still have no clue as to where it could be. Exits are sometimes not very obvious, which makes things quite frustrating at times.
MUSIC & SOUND EFFECTS
Sound effects are wonderful to hear. As soon as you enter the forest, you can hear dragon flies fluttering away, bees in the tree - even the stream gurgling is nice, and relaxing. Voices are very much a hit-and-miss affair. For example, Kay's voice is spot on. It's just right for her character. So is Merlin's voice, and the red devil's. But the cavemen were way off - they didn't sound at all like cavemen should sound. One of the crones kept changing her voice, from sounding like a frail old lady, to a mysterious healer. I guess it's just a matter of personal taste. Also, throughout the game, we are treated to some beautiful background music.
Time Paradox is a nice, old-school adventure game. It uses a Sierra-style interface, with action words showing at the top of the screen, and you click on these words to interact with the game world. Graphics and sound are where the game really shines; everything is so smooth, and the creatures that Kay encounters in the forest are simply awesome, as is the forest itself. Characters from the medieval town all seem to have their own wee personalities, and they have some amusing dialogue. Music and sound effects are equally impressive. Things like bees buzzing away, or the stream gurgling, are a joy to hear. The game has full speech, and it's nice to hear everyone's voices. I especially like Kay's voice.
But the game is not without its faults. One thing I found annoying was the Save Game system. The games are saved alphabetically, so you can't rely on the last game you saved being at the top - you have to always remember what you named your last saved game. Some of the puzzles are quite illogical, and items are sometimes hard to find. Exits are not always too clear, which can be a bit confusing. I found the ending quite disappointing, as it felt very rushed. All in all, Time Paradox is a nice game for adventure fans, but don't expect anything spectacular.
The game needs DosBox to run properly. Use Start.exe in DosBox to start the game, and then crank up the cycles to 10000.
As the game starts, you will be asked to select your required language. You can choose from English, German, or French, so press 1, 2, or 3 as required. Now press Y(es) to confirm. Next step is choosing your soundcard. I highly recommend you choose SoundBlaster (and Compatibles), so press 1 to select it, then Y(es) to confirm. Now enjoy the game.