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Utterly absorbing and compelling mystery
Anyone who has played and enjoyed the esoteric adventure that is Myst would be well advised to check out Amerzone, as it offers a similar combination of beautiful graphics, stimulating puzzles and well-realised world to create a thoroughly compelling experience. The game starts in great fashion, presenting an intriguing storyline that hooks you immediately and drags you into an imaginative mystery of epic proportions. You take the role of a journalist interviewing an ageing explorer who once ventured into the mysterious depths of the Amerzone and stole the egg of a rare bird just to prove its existence to the civilised world. Now regretting his decision, he charges you with returning to the Amerzone to rectify his mistake, thus beginning a life-changing adventure that sees you venturing into the heart of darkness. To say much more of the story would be to spoil much of the game's appeal but rest assured it is haunting, perplexing and utterly absorbing. The gameplay itself is similar to Myst or Syberia and Syberia 2 and sees players exploring a series of environments, searching for clues and solving the various puzzles they encounter. While the puzzles are certainly interesting, they contribute to one of the game's failings in that they are not very difficult and thus render the adventure shorter than in should be. Another issue is that the user interface is somewhat awkward and unintuitive and thus provides a few frustrating moments that could otherwise have been avoided. Apart from these niggles however, this is a first rate adventure that deserves to be played. It is visually stunning, with gorgeous and detailed environments that just beg to be explored, while the story is unique and original, so whatever its minor faults, it remains a wonderful experience.