Retail Price: £9.95
Author: Gilles Blancon
This is another Infogrames product, this time composed of three parts. As with all these games, the lack of instruction is seen as an integral part of the challenge. To progress its best just to start pressing keys and learn from what happens.
Here's some of the everyday story of how our chap, down on his luck, is whisked off to Las Vegas to earn bags loads of money. The buildings were mostly dilapidated, and succeeded each other with monotonous regularity. In his sordid room on the 17th floor in one such squalid building, Peter lay dejectedly on his bed. Debts were mounting up and there was not even a glimmer of hope on the horizon. He hardly dared move outside his room for fear of meeting one of his creditors. With no rent paid for several months the landlady was on the verge of throwing him out. Then a letter arrived with an airline ticket to Las Vegas, £200, and a note explaining the death of his aunt, and how he was the sole heir to her fortune. Just one problem - he has to repeat her achievement of winning a million dollars in one night in Las Vegas.
Part One has a very familiar look to it where the object is to move a cursor round a screen and find items of varying interest. In this case you must pack a bag full of goodies to distribute to the various creditors who prevent you leaving the building for the airport. Giving up to each character what you have borrowed placates them long enough to make good your escape. There are some nice touches here with one set of keys on the keyboard packing and unpacking your bag and separating and sorting the various objects you meet. Movement via doors is achieved by placing the roaming cursor onto a door handle, while placing it on the doorbell in some cases sees a c hap opening his door. If this part is going well it shouldn't be too long before you see the taxi, that is if you don't run out of time, an occurrence of which you will be made fully aware as you will end up buried, dead and gone.
Part Two has you at the airport where you must get your passport, and sees you becoming involved with a hijacker, before leaving and looking for a bus to Vegas. Part Three is pure gambling.
Inheritance is a typically good-looking Infogrames game, consisting of three parts which are played in order, with a code transferred between each. I don't know if I was that much impressed, and remain puzzled at the lack of lucid instructions, even for a reviewer, but no-one can doubt the superb graphics and the clever ideas which have become an Infogrames hallmark.
Difficulty: lack of instruction causes some difficulty
Graphics: very good
Input facility: keywords and sentences
Game: The Inheritance
When I first loaded this game up I admit to thinking it was rather poorly documented and took a little time to get into, but I'm glad I persisted as it's starting to give me a great deal of enjoyment, despite some major irritations.
It's an icon-driven game, so it's more a case of cursor control than your actual GET LAMP, DROP TROUSERS, and the basic storyline is that you're living in New Haven, Connecticut, in the 1960's, in a squalid room in an apartment block. You haven't paid your rent for months, and life looks pretty grim till you receive a lawyer's letter informing you that you're heir to an inheritance from your rich aunt. As if all this wasn't implausible enough, there's a condition to the inheritance - you have to repeat your aunt's feat of 30 years earlier, when she won a million dollars in one night at Las Vegas. Luckily for you the letter also contains $200 and an airline ticket to Las Vegas. Unluckily for you, the flight leaves almost at once, meaning you have to pack your bags and find a way of getting out past the landlady and various neighbours who impede your progress by insisting you return various things that you've borrowed.
The game's in three parts, the first being 'In the Building', and this is where the cursor control comes in. You start in your own room, the graphic of which takes up most of the screen, and you move a cursor around as in Infogrames' earlier Vera Cruz, this time using the DELETE key to move objects about and open and close cupboards and doors. Place the cursor over the doorhandle and you go through the door to the corridor outside, where you can move around and try your luck opening other doors.
In your room is a bag, and you can store eight objects in this, though you only have one key to cover all operations. In the cupboards are a variety of objects, from broken radios to battered trumpets, but you can only display one at a time on the screen. You can't flip through the objects, you have to pick one up in order to have the next one displayed, and then drop the one you've just picked up to allow you to pick up object two and so see what object three is.
Part two is 'At the Airport', which so far seems to be on a similar basis to part one, which I have to keep going back to as I discover I haven't got the things that I need. Part three is 'In Las Vegas', and I haven't seen that yet as mean old Infogrames didn't give me the code that you need to load up each separate part. In part three you can then choose to enter a variety of gambling games which you're given the rules for, in your attempt to win $1 million. A great deal of graphic complexity has gone into the program, and it's certainly an adventure with a difference. I don't normally go for icon-driven games, but this one won me over. And if you do win $1 million, by the way, I hope you'll remember who recommended the game to you.
Reviewer: John Gilbert
Your dear old aunt's popped her sox just in the nick of time.
You're up to your light bulbs in debt, sitting on a worm worn mattress and twisting a tightly knotted noose through your fingers when the caretaker delivers a life saving telegram. Aunty's left you a whacking parcel of money to sweep clear away all your problems. All you've got to do is fly to Las Vegas and win a million dollars in one night. Do that and her huge fortune is yours.
By itself the problem might be simple but this game's in three Loads of logic crunching conundrums.
When you first load the game you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's some sort of a sequel to Vera Cruz - Infogrames' first epic. You're in a bedsit this time with a sink - complete with toothbrush holder, suitcase, tallboy, and no instructions but, the Vera Cruz Pick up/Drop/Inspect cursor is there to let you scan the scene with joystick or keyboard.
You've got to escape from your high rise end travel across town before you get the 'plane to Vegas. You're on the seventh floor and the lift stops at almost every level where you'll be accosted by an irate friend or associate demanding that you hand back objects that they've loaned you. If you don't have the particular item you're sent back to your room to collect it - and time keeps ticking away...
All the objects on loan are stored in the draws and cupboards of the tallboy. Pick up the bag with the cursor, select an object and drop it inside. The bag'll hold six objects, but you can pick up the $200 on the plate by the window and stuff it in your pocket. Look after that money.
If you play properly, you'll only have to make one trip back to your room to pick up more goodies. The people who pop up on the various floors look fairly randomly distributed but there are only four or five of them. At first you'll have to take pot luck with what belongs to whom, but soon you'll see that the gun belongs to the man with the wicked looking face, the iron belongs to the woman in curlers and the comb belongs to the swarthy-looking dude with the greasy looking hair. Real stereotypes.
It's a tight run thing. If everything goes to plan you'll only have a few moments to dash down the final flight of stairs, out of the doors and into the waiting taxi.
On to the airport and aboard the plane where you could be hi-jacked. If so, open your trusty bag and hand the hijackers what they want.
Once the plane lands, and if you're still alive, you'll be taken to the Casino where you have to play Jackpot, Boule and Craps. They're all games of chance so this is the part of the game which is totally out of your hands. You just have to choose the numbers and symbols and hope for the best. This Casino end game is the weakest part of the package.
It's a pity. You'll find the first two sections of Inheritance fun but be really let down by the third.
Things are looking bleak for penniless Peter when suddenly, a letter arrives; his aunt has made him sole heir to her vast fortune. However, to gain it, he must make a million dollars in Las Vegas in a single night. In game one of this three-parter, you must escape your apartment block, having first satisfied the numerous fellow inhabitants who want the return of items you borrowed from them. Part two is set at the airport, while part three is in Las Vegas itself, where you can participate in several gambling games (fruit machines, craps, etc) in your quest for the magic million.
Control is via a roving (and sometimes flickering) cursor. With this you can pick up objects, open doors and move. This gives an endearing sense of real exploration. The graphics are large, colourful and generally rather good. You encounter various characters, all well drawn in cartoon style, who utter stilted dialogue (the translation from French shows, unfortunately); their mouths are animated - impressively - to show this. There's very little text except their captions.
The Inheritance has many genuinely original touches, and is cleverly designed. Unfortunately, the gameplay is weak. The characters' mouths take ages to recite speeches you've already read countless times before, so you become bored. The tasks are mostly repetitive and tedious - especially making the money in the final part (the gambling machines are entirely based on luck - hardly enthralling tests of skill). At some points you are required to sit there and do nothing for over a minute. The game system (ie the roving cursor) has great potential - but sadly The Inheritance doesn't use it. Nice try.
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