Take a trip to Russia
While something of a mixed bag, this little known graphic adventure makes for a pleasant change from the usual fantasy or science fiction graphic adventures, like Beneath a Steel Sky or Discworld, and makes for an occasionally entertaining ride. It's the sequel to the equally obscure Nippon Safes and shares many similarities. The unusual setting for this particular adventure is, as the name suggests, Russia, with the player taking control of three characters as they get involved in a complex heist which sees them appearing on game shows, breaking into museums and escaping from the authorities when it inevitably all goes wrong. In terms of gameplay, it's all fairly familiar stuff, taking the form of a classic point and click adventure, with the player exploring a series of hand drawn backgrounds while collecting items and using them solve a variety of puzzles and conundrums. For the most part, The Big Red Adventure is largely successful, with some nicely drawn and animated characters and environments to explore, which are all highly stylish and full of personality. The plot itself is quite engaging, with generally sharp and witty dialogue that is genuinely humorous, although some of the cultural gags fall flat and may even cause offense. The puzzles can sometimes be a little obtuse and obscure, leading to frustration, particularly for newcomers to the genre, but veterans of this kind of thing should be quite accustomed to what's on display here. If you're looking for an alternative adventure a little different from Monkey Island, then this is well worth digging out.