Labyrinth of Time (CD32)


Title		Labyrinth of Time (CD32)
Game Type	Adventure
Players		1
Company		Electronic Arts
Compatibility	CD32, Amiga+CD
Submission	Courtesy of Sean Caszatt

Review
Electronic Arts has thrown it's hat into the CD│▓ arena with it's first
Amiga CD-ROM game.  Although the game will work with the CD│▓, it is not a
CD│▓áspecific release.  It will also work on the Commodore CDTV as well as
any Amiga with a CD-ROM drive and at least 1 megabyte of chip memory.

As a result of this cross platform compatibility, the game does not use
the CD│▓'s AGA chipset.  However, this does not stop it from being the
best looking CD│▓ game on the market right now.

How is that possible?  LABYRINTH OF TIME uses interlaced HAM mode to
display fully rendered 3D objects.  HAM is capable of displaying pictures
in 4,096 colors at the same time.  HAM is available on ALL Amiga models.
(It's also known as HAM6 now that the AGA machines such as the Amiga 1200
and Amiga 4000 have what is known as HAM8, which can display 262,000
simultaneous colors.)

The object of the game is to manuever your way through the Labyrinth to
break the evil grip of a wizard over the Earth and the world of the
mortals...or something like that.  Along the way, you will have to piece
together puzzles and navigate through a dreamlike world full of all sorts
of interesting things: Like an old movie theatre, a mirror maze, and an
old hotel.  Everything looks fantastic.

Your movements are controlled via a panel at the bottom of the screen. It
features arrows to control your direction, a hand icon to pick things up
and use them, a look icon to examine objects more closely and an inventory
list (with an automatic mapper so you can't get lost too easily.)

All that aside, the gameplay is slow.  Moving from one scene to the next
is time consuming as each screen needs to be read from the CD and then
displayed.  There is also no way to turn completely around in one move,
one must turn twice to the right or left to reverse direction.  Also, the
CD│▓'s controller moves the pointer very slowly.  Plugging an Amiga mouse
into the second port provides much speedier control.

Some of the objects are out of perspective from one scene to the next,
which can possibly cause confusion.  It's possible to think something was
hidden behind another object and is suddenly visible because you moved.
When in fact, it's the same object drawn out of perspective.  This leads
to unnecessary confusion for the player who is given enough to explore
without looking at the same item and wondering if it's new or not.

The music that accompanies the game is wonderfully atmospheric, but don't
expect it to give you clues or encouragement that you're going in the
right direction.  It's the best sounding music on any Amiga game ever.  It
just doesn't seem appropriate sometimes.

Overall, the game is wonderful to look at and listen to, but not as fun to
play.  I desperately wanted to say that this is THE CD│▓ game to get right
now, but it's not.  It's too slow and clunky on the user interface side of
things to be fun.  It's interesting to explore, but not something that
will keep you coming back to again and again.  It does allow you to save
games in the CD│▓'s memory and the auto-mapping feature is a definite
plus. But, it just doesn't have the UMPH in the gameplay department.



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