Hexuma: Das Auge des Kal
Interactive finction; point and click execution
Hexuma: Das Auge des Kal is an interactive fiction kind of game, however, because it can be controlled via mouse, and it also has a point and click interface it was easy for the developers to include within the game puzzles that were classic point and click styled, based around collecting item, and around inventory. The game is also a bit of a master of controls; there are, at times, up to six different methods to execute the same command; you can type it, in different ways, as the parser will recognize lots of verbs and will understand a command even if worded in different ways. Also, the game allows you to point and click at it, to solve a puzzle. So, for a 92 game, it tried to entice both oldschool text based adventurers but also to catch the new breed of point and click adventurers. And, for all the above, Hexuma: Das Auge des Kal did a great job. Storywise it's nothing too special; you have to explore a seemingly haunted mansion, and will find yourself in different temporal and spatial areas, which are not that coherently linked. Not that it matters, because Hexuma: Das Auge des Kal is just more about the puzzles rather than the puzles. A good alternative, download The Clue, an adventure game released 2 years later, with much more thriving graphics, and a thieves and lawmen story.
Spooky and memorable interactive fiction
Unless you can read German extremely well, you might want to steer clear of Hexuma, seeing as though it's a text adventure that is written entirely in that language. If you are fortunate enough to speak it though, there is an enjoyable adventure to be had here and which mixes some nice graphics with a time-travelling tale involving a battle against an ancient god. The game starts with players being sent into an old and haunted mansion but it soon transpires that it is actually a portal that allows access to multiple periods in Earth's history. It's your task to travel to these six periods and collect the shards of a shatter crystal that bring an end to the plans of the vengeful god, Kal. What follows is an epic quest that generally plays out in typical text adventure fashion, with players exploring the various environments, collecting objects and solving the myriad puzzles. For anyone well versed in German, Hexuma makes for a top notch adventure. The writing is atmospheric, with evocative descriptions that really bring the brooding sense of a haunted world to life, while the plot itself is compelling and is certain to keep you hooked. The puzzles are a particular highlight, being both imaginative and stimulating, but which are extremely challenging and which will test even hardened genre veterans. Make sure you get the manual though, as you will be hopelessly lost without it. The visuals too are extremely well done, with suitably spooky and moody illustrations that further enhance the game's unique feel. If you are lucky enough to speak German and enjoy text adventures like Zork, then this is a must play, as are Das Stundenglas and Die Kathedrale from the same developers.