Simon's fifth puzzling adventure
Guest Reviewer: Kopite
At the end of the last century adventure games were pronounced dead as a genre. The game that seemed to seal the fate of the adventure genre was Grim Fandango. In my opinion Grim Fandango is Tim Schafer’s greatest game and while reviews were very positive gamers didn’t seem very interested. Lucas Arts moth-balled development on further adventure games to concentrate on Star Wars games while Sierra seemed to lose its way completely.
This is a stark contrast to the genre`s height in the mid 80`s to mid-90`s. Sierra initially led the way with three game series: Kings Quest, Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry. Lucas Arts came a little later but revolutionised the genre with the release of Maniac Mansions and SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion.)
Lately though, point and click games have been making something of a renaissance thanks in no small part to Telltale Games creating episodic games based around Sam and Max, Bones and more recently Monkey Island.
Simon Sorcerer 5 – who’d even want contact?! is the latest instalment in the Simon the sorcerer series. The original game was released in 1993 to positive reviews, which spawned five direct sequels and two spin-off games. Simon is a pretty ordinary teenager who hates doing homework. After finding his dog hiding in a large wooden chest in the attic he picks up “Ye Olde Spellbooke.” After throwing it onto the floor a portal appears and Simon is magically transported to a fantasy world filled with Fairy tale characters and nods to Lord of the Rings and chronicles of Narnia.
Since his last adventure Simon has settled down with Alix and opened a magic shop. It’s New Year’s Eve and Simon’s home town is having a party. Simon wants to launch a rocket to celebrate the occasion but is reminded by several people about his past failures (blowing up a cow and making it rain frogs.) Simon agrees and instead amuses himself by putting firecrackers in the guard’s pants. Roll on to the next day and Simon is watching his New Year’s video whilst Alix is shouting at him to tidy up. Simon falls asleep but is woken up by a knock on the door. After a very brief introduction from Simon to the fundamentals of point and click games we are given control and can start our adventure.
After some quite simple puzzles Simon escapes just in time to see Alix get kidnapped by the aliens. What follows is an adventure across five chapters to try and rescue Alix and save the world from aliens. The journey takes in a tropical island which is home to Captain Narrow and his grounded ship the black pear, an underground mole city, a space ship made from the black pear, before finally arriving at the eye of death.