OS: Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP CPU: Pentium 266 MX RAM: 64MB HDD: 150MB VIDEO: 8MB 3D accelerated Direct X 7 compatible. SOUND: 16 bit DirectX 7 compatible sound card AGE: TeenA lawyer, Victoria Conroy, and Darrel Boone, an expert in paranormal phenomena, meet for the first time. A few hours later a taxi deposits them at the gates of a mysterious Austrian castle. Their mission is to recover a device resembling a huge pendulum. With its ability to maximize leyline energy coupled with an approaching solar eclipse, the machine now poses a serious threat to human survival. The pendulum has been stolen by a group of religious fanatics and must be located and stopped before midnight to avoid possible global catastrophe -- at least this is what our two detectives are lead to believe. Conroy and Boone are welcomed to the castle as guests of the Multinational who now use the mysterious edifice as their headquarters. While meeting and speaking with the castle\'s inhabitants Conroy and Boone begin to realize that an intricate web of deceit, magic, and danger has been woven around the castle, a web which spans centuries and continents. Their task, and indeed that of the player, becomes increasingly more dangerous and complex. With less than twenty-four hours to go, the challenge is no longer a game. It\'s a reality.*
CharactersBesides both of your main characters that can be played, there are many others around the castle that will offer insight on solving this quest. They might not talk to you at first, but often times you can find out about their weaknesses and push the right buttons to get what your looking for. During the game you have to use the right character to get information off of certain characters. For example the wife won\'t tell Darrel how to trap a man, she\'ll only tell that to Victoria. Remember some characters are willing to help and others don\'t want you to succeed.
Solving PuzzlesLike most mystery games you have to solve many puzzles to find the pendulum. Although you are timed, the clock doesn\'t progress unless you complete a milestone in the game. Some puzzles are logical like finding and combining certain objects. For example if you mix Nitric and Sulfuric acid you can corrode locks! Other solutions are harder to come by. I would have never guessed I needed to fill the pool with bubbles to get a bracelet or look in a bird\'s nest for a pair of glasses.
Appropriate?From a Christian perspective there are a many issues with this game. There is swearing of all sorts and colorful language is used. Violence is prevalent as well. The goriness varies from gun shots to hearts being ripped out. When it comes to religion this game has a reference for just about every belief out there. For Christianity there are quotes from the book of Revelation Chapter 6, or as the game refers to it as the book of Apocalypse. Darrel\'s father was also a vicar for a church and Darrel tries to defy him by pursuing the paranormal. This game is based on time so there\'s paintings with the time god Khronos. In the castle, the supervisor\'s wife is reading a book about Karma, and you\'ll later find a bag of incense with a Hindu god Ganesha on it. Hidden in the castle you\'ll discover a secret room with a pentagram and altar in it. Finally New Age references to leylines are part of the main story.
Final ThoughtsThe game is easy to install and configure. There is a setup utility where you can adjust your video settings and resolutions. This is where you can enable high detail and shadow effects. The game ran pretty stable, my only complaint is that it cannot alt tab. For controls you use the keyboard and mouse. The interface has it\'s ups and downs. It\'s nice that you can view your inventory items in 3D and rotate them etc. However transferring items between characters can be a chore. The camera angling and object manipulation can be frustrating at times. It\'s hard to get the characters in certain spots with the mouse and sometimes it\'s a hassle using objects. Switching from first to third person is very helpful and you won\'t see certain things without going to first person mode. The wine cellar comes to mind on this one. The graphics and sound are decent. The castle rooms and decor have great detail. The characters look nice, but zoomed in sometimes they don\'t look so pretty. The sound acting for the main characters, supervisor and the bad guys are great. However some of the voice acting for the other characters are pitiful. The caretaker\'s voice is crackly and hard to understand. Also the supervisors wife sounds like she\'s depressed and hooked on valium. The musical score was relaxing and tense at the right moments. Although repetitive, I found it fitting in the game. Overall, this is a fun game. The story line is decent and the pace is just about right, giving you plenty of time to explore everything. There are many challenging puzzles, but I\'m sure mystery lovers will enjoy solving them. If you get stuck like me, there are many helpful walkthrough\'s on the publisher\'s website. If you like suspense and don\'t mind the religious themes and occult symbols, you\'ll enjoy this game.
Graphics B Game play B- Sound B- Interface C Stability A- Offensive Content F
Overall D- 60%