Theme Park Mystery

Action 1990 Dos Dosbox Joined Up Writing Software Horror Mystery

Magic, gypsies, illusions... what else to ask an adventure?

Theme Park Mystery is a pretty conceited adventure game, in that it puts you in charge and allows you to follow a story that is, I'd argue pretty rare in games. It's not the actual elements that make it up, which have been used in other games for ages, mystery, magic, and so on. Nope, it's the actual way you're included within the story. Now, I don't want to be too preachy or out of hand in my explanation, but let's consider the concept of agency, of actually being involved in a story, of direction the way it moves. Well, the idea is that games can only create the illusion of agency as long as the characters inside are without free will, desires of their own and so on. Thus, you'll rarely get to feel like you own the story. But in Theme Park Mystery your shift is focused from this storytelling mode to the story getting told through puzzles. The puzzles are the story, and the way you solve them tells the story. Yap, it's somehow unique, maybe just as much a conceit as having multiple endings to a game, but nevertheless, it works here. And all if this is done, unassumingly in a colorful adventure, the kind you wouldn't think twice to pack anything original. Well, maybe not that original if you've played Syberia or The Longest Journey, though, definitely, the quality level of these games, and the stories told by these are without a doubt levels above Theme Park Mystery, which, after all is a regular puzzler with a twist, no matter how generous you are with it.

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