Nightlong


Title           Nightlong
Game Type	Adventure
Players		1
Compatibility	030+  graphics card, 16 Mb RAM, PPC version available
                version also available
HD Installable  Yes
Company		ClickBOOM
Submission      Seppo Typpö (groucho@pp.inet.fi) Profiled Reviewer

Review
Nightlong is a traditional mouse driven adventure game, where the player
controls the main character, solves puzzles and performs various actions
according to the plot. Designed by Trecision and originally published for
the PC by Team 17 (the former Amiga game company), it was converted by
clickBOOM, who are well known for their original Amiga hits like Napalm,
T-Zero and Capital Punishment. Converting PC games to Amiga was not a new
thing to them either, the excellent Amiga versions of Myst and Quake bear
witness to that, so great things could be expected.

The story behind Nightlong is nothing new - a private detective is hired
to investigate the problems his old commander is experiencing. From there
on the plot thinkens and things start to unravel as the player progresses
through the game, until that inevitable final rock has been turned over
and the big mystery behind all the events is eventually solved.

Coming on three (!) CDs Nightlong is without doubt the largest Amiga
adventure game ever. It also is one of the best looking ones, with
excellent 16 bit rendered graphics and lifelike animation. The audio side
of the game is on a par with the visuals - dark and moody tunes, competent
voice acting and suitably sharp sound effects nicely complete the
atmosphere this game creates.

Special mention should be made of the user interface - it is by far the
smartest one I have encountered in adventure games. There are only a few
actions you can perform, but those manage to cover all the necessary ones.
You just point the mouse at the object and either pick it up, use it or
examine it by clicking the mouse button and thats it - there is no
multitude of confusing icons to learn, or building complex sentences from
various keywords.

The puzzles in the game are logical, and generally well thought out. There
are some really hard logic puzzles at the final stages of the game which
require analytical thinking and challenge even the brightest of us. Still,
the puzzles are never really unfair and can be solved if the player is
observant enough to pick up the clues that are generously sprinkled about
the game. For once the puzzles fit seamlessly into an overall plot, and
indeed, actually support it, something that cannot be said about the
puzzles found in some other recently released adventure games.

My experiences with the game are narrowed to the PPC version (which, when
bought with the game, raises the total cost of Nightlong from very pricey
to ultra expensive). I think the money invested was well spent though, as
the game and its animations (as well as the in-game movies) run nice and
fast even on my slow'ish PPC system.

Nightlong is one of the best adventure games I have ever played. I found
the plot intriguing, the puzzles fun and I loved the simplistic yet
powerful user interface that the game sports. I got stuck in the game a
few times and some of the puzzles really took ages to solve but that was
not so much the game being too difficult as yours truly being too dense to
solve those problems immediately.

I also enjoyed the slightly more adult (and futuristic) game world. One of
my favourite movies is Blade Runner, and this game is just about the
closest thing to it on the Amiga. The main character even has a commentary
like Deckard does in the original version of Blade Runner, adding a nice
'film noir' atmosphere to the game.

If your wallet and your Amiga hardware can handle it and your heart races
at the thought of fine traditional adventure games, I heartily recommend
buying this game. If you're a Amiga PPC gamer, I recommend the PPC update,
too. In my opinion there are too few really fine adventure games on the
Amiga, and even less of those which utilise the power of PowerPC. So get
it while you can.





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