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Download Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess, The

Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess, The
 
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First things first: the game is strange. That's the proper word. Or maybe "haphazard" would be better.

You are Raven, member of the Tuner Netwerk, whose leader - the eponymous Sci-Mutant Priestess, appropriately named Sci-Fi - has been kidnapped by evil Protozorqs. The only way to get her back is to pass the ordeals in the ancient Protozorq temple. You must gather five Vort Skulls, which will grant you the title of Divo, "The Messenger of the Final Solution". This, combined with a highly abstract and eerie design, sends the rather obvious message that you're dealing with French science-fiction (the game itself appears to be heavily influenced by Moebius and Caza). Maybe it was me, but the design and general feeling of the game was highly reminiscent of the animated cult classic Heavy Metal, especially a part titled 'Taarna'.

The game is played on semi-static screens with some animated features, seen in first-person perspective (akin to KGB). After clicking on various active elements on the screen, the circular menu appears, allowing the player to perform some context-sensitive actions (like "open", "shake", "fill" and the like). Sometimes you get items you can use; and then you can always utilize your psi-powers. The puzzles are partially of the Myst variety and partially classical 'find item and use it' puzzles that are a staple of classical adventure. Then again, the possibility of using your special powers adds another dimension. Characters you meet speak to you, but there are no dialogues in the classic sense.

The graphics are, as I said before, strange and abstract, with a definite 'organic' look. From what I've seen, this is a trademark of Exxos. Tech-wise it's rather nice, even commendably good, given the year of production.

When it comes to music, there's really not much to be told. It was made by Stephane Picq of Dune and Lost Eden fame. In this game, he hasn't shown his talent, though, so the music is almost non-existent and the sound effects consist mainly of rather discordant beeps, gurgles, screeches, and mediocre attempts at imitating speech. Could be much better, but could also be much worse.

The game itself is very short: It can be finished in about half an hour if you are a veteran player. It's a shame, really, especially given the sheer potential of an adventure in highly unusual settings and an interesting premise. On the other hand, some elements seem to be randomly generated, which slightly increases its replayability.

When it comes to the final verdict, I wish I could give this game a three as a game but a four as an experiment; the unusual setting, eerie atmosphere and innovative interface add greatly to the gaming experience, but a short length and poor sound mar this gem. If you're looking for a standard, solid adventure, you might not find it to your taste. On the other hand, if you like new experiences and greatly prefer uncommon solutions and experimentation, then by all means play this little gem. You won't be disappointed.

P.S. The original title is KULT or at least this is what it says on the title screen. It was marketed as KULT: The Temple of the Flying Saucer for Amiga. Then it was released for PC under the title The Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess.


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Reviewed by: Wereboar / Screenshots by: Wereboar / Uploaded by: marko river / share on facebook
 

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genre:
Adventure
theme:
Futuristic, Sci-Fi,
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