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Download James Clavells Shogun

James Clavells Shogun
 
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InfoComs interactive fiction games are a brand by themselves. They represent a class of games that contain excellent writing and intelligent, difficult puzzles. By 1989 InfoCom had already produced a very long list of impressive IF titles, such as the Zork trilogy, the "Hitchikers guide to the Galaxy" and "A mind forever voyaging." That year they released "Shogun" based on the book Sh?gun by James Clavell, who also wrote the screenplay for a miniseries featured in the 1980's bearing the same title. I haven't read the book nor have I seen the series, but apparently the game follows the storyline pretty closely. Having read or seen the story will probably help in solving the puzzles.

The game is themed around the Dutch ship "Erasmus", which is captained by John Blackthorne, who is played by you. At the start of the game you find yourself in quite a predicament. Your ship is caught in a huge storm and barely manages to say afloat. Furthermore, you and your crew are starved to death, dying of thirst and are ready to kick the bucket. You have to do something or the ship will crash into the rocks and cliffs ahead and you're all going to perish ...

I must admit, this first sequence is pretty action packed for a text adventure. There are a lot of timing puzzles and you actually get kind of stressed when the ship keeps veering into the wrong direction (i.e. straight towards the rocks). You're running around frantically trying to solve puzzles while the storm tries to tear the Erasmus apart. Combine that with a hungry, terrified crew and you know when you've hit rock bottom! All in all, I died a lot the first couple of times I played. It's very, very hard to safely land the Erasmus and it'll probably take you lots of tries. And, after you've landed her, you've only completed the first of the 18 chapters the game consists of. As a matter of fact, I still haven't finished it.

The game itself looks pretty good. The texts are well written and the scenes are described nicely. Sometimes, InfoCom even included a nice illustration of the game; I always considered those a kind of reward for my progress. There's no sound, so you have to put on your own music (might I recommend the soundtrack of 'The Last Samurai'). I'd have to say, I'm not a fan -nor a connoisseur- of the genre, but I felt like trying out a good text-adventure by reviewing it. Considering the decent parser and well-written texts, combined with the high difficulty and massive amount of content, I'd give it a 4 for fans of the genre, but a 3 for the casual player. Since most of us are of the latter kind, I'll settle on that last score!


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Reviewed by: Reup / Screenshots by: Reup / Uploaded by: Reup / share on facebook
 

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