Inside Outing (The Edge) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

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Inside Outing
By The Edge
Commodore 64

 
Published in Zzap #34

Inside Outing

Old man Crutcher has died, leaving his widow all alone in the big old house on the hill. By all accounts, Lady Crutcher should now be stinking rich, but the old man never trusted banks, and left his untold riches hidden within the building.

The player takes the role of a master criminal whom the old lady has lured to the house in order to find the hidden jewels. Seeing the chance to make off with a gem or two himself, he agrees to her strange request...

The action is displayed in 3D isometric perspective. Most objects and furnishings that appear are moved by pushing or dragging them. Smaller items are picked up and used to stand on, giving rise to some of the more inaccessible areas of the rooms.

There are twelve gems concealed about the house, which are collected individually and taken to Lady Crutcher, who resides in her boudoir during the game.

The task is made more complex by the appearance of old Man Crutcher's failed experiments: giant canaries and mutant mice (!) hinder progress by reducing the character's energy, displayed as a diminishing bar. Only one life is provided, so a total loss of energy signals the end of the game.

Escape from the house is possible only when all twelve gems have been retrieved.

SJ

There are very few effective 3D arcade adventures on the C64, the only notable exceptions being Head Over Heels and Nosferatu. The Edge's latest game redresses the balance somewhat, and also provides a more colourful (if at times rather gaudy) adventure.

Speed of movement is quite rapid, and new locations are drawn with reasonable speed. The 3D is very effective, with objects and furnishings all appearing to exist within the confines of the game, which is itself quite entertaining.

I do have doubts about its lasting appeal, however - each room presents puzzles of rather similar nature, and it is rather difficult. Recommended for seasoned adventurers only.

PS

The Edge are certainly making a comeback, what with RISK last month and now Inside Outing. At first, my lack of progress was off-putting, but then I found some of the neat details which the programmers have incorporated into the game, like the bonus points awarded after collecting the phone when it rings!

By the time I had found my first jewel, I was beginning to realise two things: Firstly, the game has plenty of depth, and secondly, I was growing to like it.

The slow speed of the action detracts from the playability slightly, as does the difficulty imposed by the dogged accuracy of the mice and the canaries.

On the whole though, I would recommend this, especially to arcade-adventure aficionados.

JR

The arcade adaventure genre has become a little stagnant over the past few months, so Inside Outing comes as a breath of fresh air. The action is displayed in very fast isometric perspective 3D, and although the colours used on the backdrops and household items are gaudy, a convincing 3D environment is conveyed.

The main character moves around smoothly, and is able to interact with an incredible array of items, giving a great feeling of freedom within the game's environment.

The puzzles require quite a lot of lateral thought, and it takes quite a lot of hard work to recover the first jewel. Even though the going is difficult though, the action remains absorbing, and discovering the location of a new jewel is very rewarding indeed.

Inside Outing is both engrossing and worthwhile - if you're an arcade adventurer check it out.

Verdict

Presentation 64%
Intentionally sparse instructions, with useful pause and restart options. The omission of a game save is particularly frustrating.

Graphics 81%
Effective backdrops and sprites, marred only by the somewhat gaudy colour schemes.

Sound 62%
Reasonable title track, but few spot effects.

Hookability 80%
Exploration is a strong lure, although the first couple of attempts don't last very long.

Lastability 83%
There are plenty of rooms to map out, mysteries to discover and gems to find.

Overall 85%
A difficult but enjoyable arcade adventure.