GoG.com has just added six Lucasarts(films) games, three of which are enjoying their digital debut. The debutantes are 2.5 wild west shooter Outlaws, Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders, and Indiana Jones And The Emperor’s Tomb. All three will make a smattering of people very excited until those same people actually take the time to revisit the games, at which point they’ll either loudly deny the trickery of nostalgia while pulling a face like a kid pretending to enjoy a Liquorice Allsort, or they’ll quietly mutter something about the “shuddering, shifting, deceitful veil that is memory” while weeping into a pint glass. As for me – thoughts below.
I remember Outlaws fondly, even if I was more cack-handed Clive than Quick Draw Kid. I suspect it was a triumph of theme rather than technique, and I’m not sure it’ll have held up particularly well at all, but I’m tempted to test that theory. I think it has a place in my gaming biography as the first FPS that utilised frequent one-hit kills.
Then there’s Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders, which my mum bought me for Christmas when I was around ten years old. The cover has a woman holding a beaglepuss and a man holding a baguette and a goldfish in a bowl – exactly the kind of zany things a ten year old kid enjoys! It was a terrible Christmas present, mostly because I had to call the Lucasfilm hintline to finish the game and got in trouble when the itemised phonebill arrived. I did enjoy exploding eggs in a microwave though and, in a rare case of foolish imitation, I decided I’d see if the trick worked in real life. Rebel that I was, I panicked and stopped the microwave after about ten seconds. And then I probably went and phoned a premium rate hintline and spent the monetary value of twenty eggs listening to a recorded message.
As for The Emperor’s Tomb, I’ve played it to completion but couldn’t tell you very much about it at all. At the time I thought it was fine, although I remember a puzzle chamber that was half-filled with water – I think I was stuck at that part for a couple of months. Wouldn’t want to do that again. The fact that my strongest memory of the game is a vague recollection of a part that I hate, I’m not going to recommend it to anyone anytime soon.
The three games that aren’t debuting are best Monkey Island game, LeChuck’s Revenge, and two other brilliant adventures in the form of The Dig and Loom. The latter, in particular, is a wonderful game.