Infogrames have released a sequel to the innovative game based on a comic book, with the imaginative title of Passengers On The Wind 2.
Passengers On The Wind was set on the eve of the French revolution and centered around Isa, Hoel, Mary and John trying to escape France and head for Africa. Disaster has struck the adventurers and each of them has their own problems. John has gone completely round the twist, Hoel is ill and could die and Isa and Mary are exposed to the plans of the diabolical duo of Viaroux and Montaguere.
The game is played in a series of episodes. Each episode begins with you trying to find the place on the screen where the characters are. In the first episode, the bridge is the place to fire on and then the face of Isa will appear at the bottom of the screen. Any other characters present can be cycled through.
Occasionally the text in the window will go green and this is an indication that you must make a decision. Depending on your decisions you will affect how people react throughout the game. At the end of the first five episodes, the wise man asks you a riddle. To solve a riddle you select the character that you think knows the answer. These riddles are to keep you on track for the end of the story.
Sometimes, if you move the cursor into the graphics screen, you can act in this area and certain actions can be taken or objects used. The best example is pulling the trigger on a gun.
Different tunes play in each episode and all of these sound good. The graphics of the characters are clear and colourful. The scenery itself is detailed, including the windows that pop up during the episodes. Colour is used extremely well throughout the whole game.
One thing that really irritated me in the game is the cursor response which is incredibly slow. I felt more like a spectator than a player with this game, as the characters appeared to just want me to press the fire button at the appropriate time. There doesn't appear to be any significant improvement in Passengers II, so unless you were a fan of the original you are unlikely to enjoy the sequel.
I recall my words from issue 22 about the original game "the shape of the future for computer games". I also remember writing "this new game format still needs work"; unfortunately I don't think they've improved upon it enough. There is more interaction but the storyline still isn't clear enough for the player. I still think this is the shape of the future, but it may only reach its potential on the 16-bit machines. A good follow-up which will delight fans of the first game.
Perfectly playable, but the pictures don't look as good of course.
P. Good use of colour and detail.
P. Excellent window system for events.
P. Varied tunes play throughout the game.
N. No spot effects.
Grab Factor 65%
P. Fans of the original will love it...
N. ...but there is no real improvement in the format.
Staying Power 74%
P. Seven episodes to complete
N. You seem to have little control over the actions.
Overall 68% P. The original was innovative, but this fails to capitalise.