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Tired and disappointing entry in a classic series

Sierra's hopeless hero, Roger Wilco, returns once more in this fifth instalment in the classic sci-fi comedy adventure series that plays out like a less serious version of the company's own Police Quest franchise. This one retains much of the expected features of the series, featuring lots of spoofs on much-loved sci-fi movies and shows alongside the usual puzzling thrills. This time around, the focus is very much on Star Trek, with Wilco now back in Starfleet Academy and who, after cheating on his exams, manages to be captain of his own ship with a mission to venture forth into the unknown depths of space. He soon gets involved in a complex plot involving illegal and hazardous dumping, the disappearance of a fellow captain and the return of an old foe, all of which are played out in small, episodic missions which together form an overall narrative. In many ways, this is very much a standard Space Quest adventure, with the usual witty script and endless references to other material and although the main point of inspiration is clearly Star Trek, there are plenty of references to the likes of Alien, Predator and Star Wars and which will no doubt entertain sci-fi fans to no end. The dialogue does feel a little tired though and lacks the usual sparkle which is disappointing. The graphics however are full of personality and detail with a great cartoon-like feel that suits the mood perfectly but the puzzles and lack of longevity do bring things down a bit. Overall, this is a decent enough adventure but is probably one for series fans only, so if you are new, head back to the original or check out something like Monkey Island or Discworld if you just want a game in this genre.

Retro futuristic adventure with a space opera story

Things could have gone wrong with this one. The team that developed the older Space Quest adventures was no longer the one working on Space Quest 5 - the Next Mutation, and so, it was in the cards that this 5th game would end up a mess. But, thankfully, it did not. The staple elements of the series are still there, some of them even more pronounced and brought in with more force and more gist. Graphically, the game is reminiscent of the Sierra games in the series, but it manages to add in some elements that are original to this project. So, you will play as Roger once again, a happy go lucky cadet in the making. Many of the puzzles have to do with the character being a nincompoop, incompetent but with a good heart. Thus, the solutions he will at times find for certain puzzles will put a smile in your face. Yes, it is a space opera, but it is not the dead serious academic and space fearing type, it is more of a happy go lucky kind of story. So, if you played any of the older games in the series and you liked them, this one will not disappoint either. If you are interested in a cool, humorous at times space story, Space Quest 5 - the Next Mutation will also have something for you either, whether you played the older games in the series, or whether this one is your first.
Space Quest 5 - the Next Mutation (pc game)
5 out of 5 (4 votes)

Images gallery:

  • Title screen
  • Intro sequence
  • Is this Star Trek or Space Quest?
  • Exploring the Academy
  • Taking a test
  • Poking my nose around
  • Cleaning the floor
  • Hello my dear
  • Ah, politics...
  • My own ship!
  • I don't think much of my crew
  • Feeling like a hero today
  • Someone made quite a mess
  • This is our mission, people!
  • A snapshot extracted from game introduction video.
  • Just walking around
  • Courtesy of Abandonware Dos.
  • Courtesy of Abandonware France.
  • Courtesy of Arena 80.
  • Image extracted from gameplay video.