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Adam's Venture: The Search for the Lost Garden (PC) artwork

Adam's Venture: The Search for the Lost Garden (PC) review


"There’s not many locations you can squeeze into two hours, so they’ve all been gussied up accordingly. It’s only when the slightly subtle motifs of beating back darkness with your light are replaced by silver-tongued snakes and comments about how disaster befell the last woman to eat an apple in the Garden of Eden that you start forgetting it’s meant to be a game and start to wonder when you’re going to be told that when the Rapture comes, you’re going to be the first to die."



Today’s review is sponsored by OVERBEARING RELIGIOUS UNDERTONES. Ones as subtle as the preceding statement made in all caps and upgraded with a bold HTML. Just be thankful I couldn’t figure out how to make it flash.

Adam’s Venture: Episode 1: The Search for the Lost Garden has such undertones running throughout the two hours or so of gameplay, making the experience shorter than its title, and there’s nothing like being preached to in a game with length applicable to most demos. Game lead Adam, is a rugged archaeologist with a week’s growth of stubble and a silly floppy hat because outright stealing Dr. Jones’ would take him outside of the tribute zone and drop him feet first into copyright infringement, and he seeks the biblical Lost Garden. He’s joined by his doting girlfriend Evelyn, their faithful dog and a grumpy scientist with a wonderfully ludicrous handlebar moustache.

It’s worth pointing out how well the game makes use of the Unreal 3 engine, as is the current trend, and things do manage to look good. The metaphorical darkness is beaten back by your torch’s guiding light as you explore in the third person, and the environments, from rustic desert airstrips to dank, underground caverns, to, well, more underground stuff with slightly different lighting effects. There’s not many locations you can squeeze into two hours, so they’ve all been gussied up accordingly. It’s only when the slightly subtle motifs of beating back darkness with your light are replaced by silver-tongued snakes and comments about how disaster befell the last woman to eat an apple in the Garden of Eden that you start forgetting it’s meant to be a game and start to wonder when you’re going to be told that when the Rapture comes, you’re going to be the first to die.

Adam’s biggest problem is just how short it is. These examples wouldn’t have felt anywhere near as overbearing if they weren’t all crammed into such a small window and, while the puzzles are often clever, and the prominent use of non-violence carried out notably, the game’s done and finished before it can flaunt these pros. It’s perhaps understandable of an episodic release, as the second section of the game’s mammoth title tries to warn you, but Venture is priced way outside the usual episodic fare, asking instead for a price tag only justifiable from a much more complete game.

Perhaps the answer would be bundling a handful of episodes together, but asking the gaming public to pay Ł10 an hour for a decent bit of eye candy and a preachy message isn’t something I can get behind.

Rating: 3/10

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (October 24, 2009)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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