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Martian Memorandum is a lovely point and click adventure game made by Access Software in 1991. It is the 2nd Tex Murphy game, and is based in a bleak future in San Francisco in 2039. If you want a good, well-written detective game, then look no further.
Tex Murphy (your character) is a loveable private investigator who is down on his luck. You are contacted by a rich tycoon named Marshall Alexander who tells you his daughter has been kidnapped, along with ‘something else’ that must remain a secret. You do not yet know what the 'something else' is, but you are hired to find it and Marshall's daughter. Of course, Tex being Tex, nothing is that simple.
You start off in your office. You need to travel to Terraform, talk to Marshall Alexander, and find clues as to what to do next. Just remember - the comlink is your friend (if you can find it). You have to go from place to place, talking to people and getting more information. Make sure you pick up everything you can, as you never know when it might be useful. You will find yourself running backwards and forwards between various places trying to get more clues, and desperate to solve the whole mystery.
There are options along the bottom of the screen (look, open, move, get etc) that you click on to do varies actions. When you talk to people, you get a choice of what to say (Response 1, Response 2 etc), or you can offer items from your inventory, or ask about things. However, it is easy to get 'trapped' in this game. If you choose the wrong dialogue when talking to some one, that person may not give you any more information and you cannot progress in the game. It is also possible to die in this game, so I highly recommend saving frequently using different save-game names. When you want to walk anywhere, make sure none of the options at the bottom are highlighted.
If you get stuck, click on 'HELP'. You are given clues on items in the room, what you can do in that room.
The graphics are a nice mixture of drawn backgrounds and real actors, which works really well. When a character is talking, you see a nice animated close up of that person. This adds greatly to the whole appeal of the game.
There is lovely music and sound effects in this game. You can hear Tex's footsteps as he walks around, and you can hear things like the dog barking, thunder and other simple sound effects. Not so good by today's standards, but it seems just right for this game There is also some speech in this game. When you are talking to some one, you actually hear the characters talking to you.
The game is quite hard, and it is easy to find yourself running in circles when you choose the wrong dialogue, but that is just a minor complaint. As long as you save often, you can't go far wrong. The graphics are lovely and the speech is a nice touch. This is a lovely game that every adventure fan (and every Tex fan) will LOVE. I highly recommend it.
I give this game 4 out of 5.
Remember to save your game often, and use different names to save your game. If you want to quit the game, press Crtl Q. If you want to skip the duct-maze in the casino, press Insert O, then click the left arrow.
This game works with Windows XP, and the Dos Command Prompt in Windows XP. It doesn't seem to work with VDM Sound. DosBox gives mixed results on various configurations. Use the newest version.