I Kind Of Miss Dreadful Adventure Developer Cryo

One hundred and fifteen years ago, before Rock, Paper, Shotgun was a twinkle in Horace’s eye, I used to do the bulk of my writing in a magazine called PC Gamer. Now, I’ve no idea what’s happened to that mag since, but for ten years I kept it propped up with a two page budget section, and reviews of terrible, terrible adventure games. And most terrible of them all were the always-awful but ever-so-sincere productions of French publisher and developer, Cryo Interactive.

From 1992 to 2002, the studio defied sense, taste, and coherence to produce an endless stream of the worst, most clumsy, most drearily pre-rendered Myst clones the world has ever seen. And Megarace. I think PC Gamer made me review all of them.

Well no, not all of them – I didn’t start until 1999. But it sure felt like it. Among them were Arthur’s Knights: Chapter 2: The Secret of Merlin (42%), The New Adventures Of The Time Machine (53%), The Secret of Nautilus (27%), and of course – of course – Hellboy (14%).

It’s important to understand how barmy their games were. That Time Machine game? Well, remember the H.G. Wells book? About a man identified only as the Time Traveller? Not so here. Now the Time Traveller is in fact H.G. Wells. (I forgave Lois & Clark when they did this, because dammit, they managed to make that story somehow involve Moriarty as well.) Once again he goes forward 800,000-ish years, but this time he gets turned into a little boy. You play as a little boy H.G. Wells. Of course! Or how about The Secret Of Nautilus? You remember how Verne told the tale of Captain Nemo, and his extraordinary submarine adventures, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea? What he DIDN’T tell you was that he was also secretly working on a sentient AI to control the boat, who then turns evil and traps you in the sub. It was sort of incredible, really.

At one point I was sent over to Nice to visit the studio, to see the development of their, um, sequel to From Dusk Till Dawn. A game set on a boat. No, really. After the events of the movie, it seems Seth Gecko (Clooney’s character) is condemned to death, and sent off on a prison ship. But oh my goodness, vampires get on board! What a to-do. What a conveniently confined location with re-usuable assets for an adventure company’s attempt to make a third-person shooter.

Honestly, by the time I was heading out there I’d written so many negative reviews of their games I wasn’t sure if it was all a sting. They would capture me, torture me, and post my limbs back to PCG one by one until they got a cover. In the end, either they had no idea who I was, or didn’t care, and the awkwardness of the trip was entirely derived from how obviously utterly awful the game was going to be. (It eventually got 32%.)

For me, the zenith/nadir of Cryo was Hellboy: Dogs Of The Night. The game was so extraordinarily terrible that it drew crowds in PC Gamer’s office, when a demo sent in 2000 to be on the magazine’s cover disc turned out to be, um, the entire game. Finished code never reached the magazine, and it wasn’t until 2002 that a copy showed up. Sent in by a reader (one Andrew Dobson), who found it in a charity shop. It had a note attached asking that I review it. This coincided with the news that Cryo Interactive was to be no more. Debts had piled up, and after closing down the North American studio that had “made” Hellboy the year before, they filed for insolvency. It was Frank Herbert’s Dune that killed them – an idiotic attempt to take one of the most revered names in strategy gaming history and turn it into an adventure. It was a costly flop, and creditors couldn’t be found to keep the bonkers company afloat.

Hellboy was incredible. If you can somehow find a copy, please do give it a try. And let me know where you found it. It didn’t work on any level. A sort-of third-person action game, it looked years out of date on release – the graphics were sub-Doom – was near-uncontrollable, and amazingly, had no mouse controls. A particular favourite memory was how to escape from pursuing monsters – go around a corner. The game, like an idiot dog, couldn’t remember anything it couldn’t see on screen. It’s one of gaming’s most peculiar creations, inexplicably awful. And it gave me opportunity to write a eulogy to my nemesis of those three or four years. I wrote,

“Days later, as I was walking amongst the cooled remains of where our school had once stood, I couldn’t help but be struck by the peace that lay across the broken fragments. I stopped, thinking upon the recent times, trying to equate the horror of the past few days and this gentle silence that now surrounded me. The disingenuity hovered in the air about me, as if two worlds were improperly joined. When, from betwixt the loosened bricks, came a bloodied arm, the hand grabbing me violently about the leg, it’s vice grip cold and grim against my flesh. In that very moment I felt the accumulation of pain, distress, hatred and despair that had lived inside Cryo for its entire existence. And I was gruesomely aware of my part in this anguish.

As I saw the life of Cryo flashing through my mind – the scars of hurtful reviews, the misunderstandings, the confused press releases, the slightly mistranslated instruction booklets – I was made fully aware of each wound received, each moment of self-confidence being stripped away, each sleepless night after another cruel comment. And as I saw this all, as I lived it through, I became wholly aware of something I had never before known. It became clear to me, that somehow, two years ago, I missed one.”

Of course, I wasn’t freed by their death. From the ashes rose DreamCatcher and The Adventure Company, who monstrously went on to complete unfinished Cryo games like Salammbo: Battle For Carthage, and made sequels to the hideous Atlantis and Egypt series. There was Arxel Tribe, LK Avalon, and of course Microids, all churning out similar dross. But there was something missing – something only Cryo could do. Something uniquely awful, utterly unhinged, and seemingly defiantly stupid. I… miss those games, a bit. Deadpan adventure games set in wholly ludicrous reinterpretation of out-of-copyright works of literature, in which nothing made sense, and all puzzles were unfathomable guesswork. It’s been, gosh, thirteen years since Cryo left us. It’s weird, but I kind of miss them.

Many thanks to Moby Games, who have the sense to keep screenshots where I did not.

69 Comments

Top comments

  1. BooleanBob says:

    I have in my possession an increasingly tarnished collection of PCGs that stretch from about early '98 to late '00. Due to the particularities of the way I organise the space in my house, and definitely not because I'm deeply weird/making some sort of shrine, I keep these in a box within reaching distance a̶t̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶s of my PC. So prolific (and dreadful) were the studio during what we must surely call the Peak Cryo era of PC gaming that it was with absolute confidence I could grab an issue at random from the pile, fully confident that the pages within would contain a bemused John Walker, scrutinising yet another Cryo offering like he might the scene of an upturned ice cream truck: vaguely interested in establishing what went wrong, but mostly just disappointed at all the waste.

    (PCG 90, Gift, 70%. "A competent platform game that won't offend, but won't overly excite you either.")
  1. Premium User Badge

    Ridiculous Human says:

    “And do you know what later grew in that very spot?

    Some weeds and stuff.”

    (I hope I’ve remembered that right.)

  2. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I only played one game by Cryo, which was Dune – the first one, which they made in 1992, not Frank Herbert’s Dune. It was one of the first PC games I played and I remember that I liked it a lot. Apparently it’s one of the few good games they made. Mr Cobbett wrote a nice article about it: link to pcgamer.com!

    • Shaun Green says:

      @Bluerps – I also played only one game by Cryo, and it was also the original Dune!

      In the cold light of 2015 I suspect it would not hold up well; I remember it being possible to complete the entire game in a couple of hours if you know the game well, and the strategy components were never up to much.

      But it was also one of the first proper PC games I ever played, and it had a magical, otherworldly quality that was worlds away from the other PC games I’d played – Kroz, Civilization, edutainment titles – or NES games like Mario 2 (note that I was about 10 at this point and lived in the countryside, so my range of games was very limited :).

      It’s also worth remembering that Dune was a beautiful game for 1992, and the soundtrack that Stephanie Picq & Philip Ulrich put together still holds up to this day. I’m fairly sure I still have a copy I burned to CD somewhere, complete with a cover I bodged together in Paintshop.

      This will be complete supposition as I can’t reference any books right now, but I wonder if early Cryo games benefited from the 80s French tradition of many games developers coming into games out of music and art, rather than out of computing disciplines and industries, and if the movement toward more technically complex and demanding 3D games in those days of in-house engines just presented too many challenges for them? It might explain how they fucked up so many games so badly. But like I said, that’s complete supposition, and it wouldn’t explain terrible writing or how ugly those later games were.

      P.S. I remember reading the tiny HellBoy review in PC Gamer circa 2002. I laughed. I laughed hard.

      P.P.S. I always wanted to play Cryo’s RiverWorld as it looked gorgeous in the previews of the mid-90s. I never did. Only realised it actually saw release a few years ago when I remembered it and checked the googs.

      P.P.P.S. Just looked at the list of games Cryo developed – Commander Blood is on there! Never played it, but I’ve been told that is worth a look.

      • forddent says:

        Commander Blood is I think the only good Cryo game I’ve ever encountered. I’m a huge fan of that weird, puppet-filled game (and the soundtrack is dope as all hell.

        • Dale Winton says:

          Oh you’ve just brought back some good memories of playing Captain Blood on my old Amiga. I must have been only 10 or 11 when that come out. Had no idea what I was doing , loved it all the same

        • Yglorba says:

          I knew I’d heard this studio’s name before!

          Commander Blood is a good game, but I can see, thinking about it, how it could have been a game made by a studio that never produced anything else worth playing. Its sheer bizarre nature was the very thing that made it good — it’s like a game that was produced by aliens who had never played a game before in their lives, and were instead working off of a description of what games were like given to them by an old blind man who heard about them from his grandson and occasionally rambles off into unrelated topics. It works solely because they had no idea that you weren’t supposed to do any of the stuff they did.

          Seriously, it’s a game where you start with a “blow up planet” button, where the main challenge is interpreting alien linguistics, and where you’re under a strict timer set by the interface steadily becoming more unusable as the game continues. It was gloriously insane.

      • zapatapon says:

        Rémi Herbulot, who was a co-founder of Cryo, was actually in my opinion an incredibly talented programmer of the 8-bit era (he made a number of remarkably well coded 8-bit games published by what were at the time the predecessors of Cryo — ERE informatique and Exxos). But somehow the transition to new technology in the 90s (and his progressively leaving programming for direction and management) was not for the best.

      • Emeraude says:

        Captain Blood was utterly insane, and I loved it to pieces. There’s nothing quite like it and I keep hoping someone has the gusto, talent and skill to do a more modern iteration of its linguistic-based gameplay that would be just as gloriously demented, yet more robust and complex.

        I don’t even care about approachable.

        The game is one of the reasons I became a linguist. To my 10 year old self, finishing that game, finding the way to communicate, decipher and make actual sense of the exchanges with those aliens, all on my own, that was the greatest adventure ever.

        • Emeraude says:

          And then a quick search gave me this (sorry, in French) about a new Captain Blood in the making… and I must say I’m disgruntled. MMO social game ?

          Urgh….

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I play Dune pretty regularly – it’s one of my favourite games of all time. In the cold light of day it’s about as good as it was back then (though quite quaint now)

      • SanguineAngel says:

        Also, the soundtrack for Cryo’s Dune was released as an album called Spice Opera that has been ever present on my media player of choice for decades.

    • Renevent says:

      Dune and Myst were the first CD-Rom games I owned, both were fantastic. I actually replayed Dune a few years ago and it held up surprisingly well. I think there was a nice amount of nostalgia involved, but the game still looks pretty good and it’s a unique mix of adventure, strategy, and story telling. I know Dune II is credited with being among the first RTS games but I think the first game had some interesting ideas on that front as well once you get to the end of the game and fighting the Harkonnens.

      Also, the intro movie blew me away and was really cool how they took the scene out of the movie for the game which really puts you in game. The CGI ornithopter flights were really awesome as well, at least the first dozen or so times you saw it lol.

    • CutieKnucklePie says:

      I loved Dune, it remains one of my favorite games from that era. There was nothing like it.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I used to fly those ornithopter journeys in real time when I just wanted to bliss out for a while.

    • AriochRN says:

      I first played Dune of the Amiga but fell in love with it on my first PC (a 486 SX25 monster, with a CR-ROM! a snip at £1200). Lip-synched dialogue and wonderful pre-rendered deserts to fly/worm ride across.

      Played though it last month for the first time in years; lovely. Still not sure what Gurney Halleck is trying to hint at though, he’s always winking and waggling his eyebrows at me.

      • AriochRN says:

        I mean, just check this out at around the 2:55 mark:

        link to youtube.com

        “I’ve served the Atreides for a long time” *wiggles eyebrows*
        “I’ve just come into contact with the Fremen” *wink*
        “Okay Paul, I’m going with you!” *salacious eyebrows, meow*
        Oh aye Gurney?

  3. G-Lord says:

    The only Cryo game I was actually tempted to get was The Devil Inside. Played the demo and found it entertainingly odd.

    • bill says:

      The Devil Inside was pretty good actually, but it also had some horrible bugs and flaws.
      I enjoyed it, but I think I got stuck at one point where there was no way for me to complete the game.

  4. Continuity says:

    I actually loved Dune, the only game I played of theirs. I got it at roughly the same time I discovered the novels, but really my route in was Westwood’s Dune 2. I’d assumed Dune would be something similar to Dune 2 but with older graphics.. I was very wrong, but still, it turned out to be one of my better Amiga game purchases.

    • Continuity says:

      Actually believe it or not I have Dune’s OST on my phone right now.

      • Crafter says:

        I have got it in my music library as well, and regurlarly in my phone’s memory.
        IIRC, the original music creator shared this album himself recently.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I have found My People!

    • Optimaximal says:

      John is referring to their third-person RPG based on the TV reboot.

      Everyone worth their salt knows that the original ’92 Dune was the best game Cryo ever made. They should have just stopped there… Well, ok, maybe after KGB.

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    Dukey says:

    I think the only Cryo game I played was Lost Eden. Which I absolutely adored. One of the surprisingly few games I’ve actually managed to finish.

    I remember the 7 or 8 year old version of myself thought the story was incredible and the puzzles just the right level of difficulty. And then in the middle it suddenly turned into a weird strategy game for a while and took me completely by surprise.

    Probably actually one of my fondest gaming memories now that I think of it. Thanks for reminding me.

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      John Walker says:

      The best thing about Lost Eden was definitely the way the baddy’s shoulder went up and down with his jaw when he laughed.

    • Orix says:

      Lost Eden! My word, I remember playing a demo of that game, but never actually purchased it. I must have been around 7 years old at the time, Jurassic Park fever was everywhere, but from the little I remember Lost Eden was more civilised and fantastical than JP, it basically embodied Dinotopia in computer game form from what I could remember, and that alone was incredibly exciting. I could never find a copy of it.

      As I was playing the the demo I had a one time friend from next door sitting next to me, laughing at the questionable voice acting. I remember the actual graphics being pretty neat.

      Years later I did find a copy, but weirdly I have not had the heart to play it for fear of it ruining the tiny bit of nostalgia I have for it… should I? :-/

  6. Malibu Stacey says:

    As a Commodore Amiga owner, the only games of theirs I ever saw were KGB & Dune as I wasn’t a “IBM PC and Compatibles” owner until the very late ’90s.
    Dune was pretty good once you got the hang of it. I’d not read the book(s) at that point nor seen the movie so working out what characters do was a challenge (their descriptions like “Stilgar, Fremen Leader” kept myself & my brothers amused for hours though but anything would amuse pre-teenage lads in those days).
    I never played KGB much but I recall some of my Amiga owning friends enjoyed it.

    • Optimaximal says:

      KGB was gritty as hell. Both in plot and the roughness of its design.

  7. rondertaker says:

    “this looks like peter’s lighter”

  8. Sinomatic says:

    Those reviews were the first thing I’d read in pcgamer. To be honest they were one of the main draws of buying it in the first place.

  9. Crafter says:

    I have got good memories of Commander Blood. I was a kid when I discovered it though, so I might have excused many oddities.

    • Crafter says:

      Actually, the original Dune game, Devil Inside and Commander Blood, I liked several of their games.

  10. Lanfranc says:

    “One hundred and fifteen years ago, before Rock, Paper, Shotgun was a twinkle in Horace’s eye…”

    What, what? Your logo clearly says “PC Gaming Since 1873”. Explain this discrepancy, sir! >:-|

    (PS. I liked both Dune and KGB. I had no idea Cryo had made anything else, and I shall attempt to return to this blissful ignorance.)

  11. Retrofrank says:

    That was back, when they were called “Exxos”.
    Had some pretty interesting and unique games back then, like Captain Blood, Kult, and Purple Saturn Day, before they fell in love, with the early rendered art of 90´s gaming.

  12. Doc Revelator says:

    I adore the soundtrack to Dune. It was a great game, too, and still the most successful realisation of Frank Herbert’s world in other media. They took the bits of the David Lynch film that worked well and threw everything else out. Commander Blood was also a work of eccentric wonder. It’s surprising to me that this article didn’t include the good stuff too – Cryo weren’t always crap.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      I should have said – their soundtracks were often the best in the industry. The soundtrack for Faust is amazing.

      • phlebas says:

        It was! I remember the actual game being pretty good too, though. One of the few.

  13. BooleanBob says:

    I have in my possession an increasingly tarnished collection of PCGs that stretch from about early ’98 to late ’00. Due to the particularities of the way I organise the space in my house, and definitely not because I’m deeply weird/making some sort of shrine, I keep these in a box within reaching distance a̶t̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶s of my PC. So prolific (and dreadful) were the studio during what we must surely call the Peak Cryo era of PC gaming that it was with absolute confidence I could grab an issue at random from the pile, fully confident that the pages within would contain a bemused John Walker, scrutinising yet another Cryo offering like he might the scene of an upturned ice cream truck: vaguely interested in establishing what went wrong, but mostly just disappointed at all the waste.

    (PCG 90, Gift, 70%. “A competent platform game that won’t offend, but won’t overly excite you either.”)

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Your beautiful metaphor only falls down at the point there I’d fall face first into the ice cream and start scoffing.

  14. Laurentius says:

    Who cares ? They made Dune, all time classic with one of the best soundtracks of all time. I love DUNE and I love that soundtrack. link to youtube.com

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    Risingson says:

    “t was Frank Herbert’s Dune that killed them – an idiotic attempt to take one of the most revered names in strategy gaming history and turn it into an adventure.”

    You know that the strategic game was Dune II, TWO, THE SEQUEL, and the first one was basically an adventure game with strategic elements, don’t you?

    Now, OPINIONS:

    – The first Atlantis game is FUN. No, really, the first and the second. And I did the better test I could think of to prove this point: I only played them last year, and I had a lot of fun with them. Obscure? Maybe. There are a lot of time sequences in the first one? Of course. But FUN. I only had played the Evolution title back then, which I enjoyed inmensely with its many nods to classic adventure stories and pop culture, and I did not expect the first two titles to be that good. Maybe they are taken as bad because few people actually played them. As it happened with that [sarcasm] difficult and ilogic Discworld 2, heh [/sarcasm].
    – Visually and musically they were amazing, really great. Among these names, just everyone that has had any little interest in the company knows the name of Stephane Picq, a really talented man that took classic ambient, new age, Realworld kind if artists and 90s techno and did works of amazing musicality and composition in KGB, Dune or Lost Eden. But there were many other talented people there: even their worst and most obscure titles as Ubik or Deo Gratias (did someone actually learn to play that one?) had the best soundtracks a computer had enjoyed.
    – Cmon, don’t mix distribution with development. Nautilus was made by T-Bot, who actually would become Frogwares. Yes, it was a terrible game.
    – Zero Zone was actually very fine. Bad CGI, anyway
    – There is a fantastic piece here about KGB. Maybe you should have read it for documentation. link to rockpapershotgun.com
    – But yes, Cryo games were a nightmare. The worst of it all was when you went to the “adventure” section of a video game store and everything was their edutainment titles, the oh so serious ones, so dark.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      More importantly, the original Dune was an adventure game by Cryo themselves and it was pretty great. It also sported an amazing soundtrack by Stéphane Picq.

      Frank Herbert’s Dune was a misguided attempt to remake their old adventure game into a grand, big budget adventure more in line with the books. It was a nice idea but missed the mark in terms of what made the original great

      • phlebas says:

        To be fair, the ‘original’ came out after the ‘sequel’.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          It was a confusing time! Yeah, the 2 was misleading really. Presumably that was just because they were being developed at around the same time and so westwood probably had to differentiate – implying they got the licence after cryo?

    • Orix says:

      Whoah, wait, someone made a game based on Philip K. Dick’s Ubik?

      If so, I kinda don’t care how awful it is, I have to play it! I’m a massive PKD fan… just started reading the Exegesis ^_^

  16. RogerioFM says:

    I’ve played them all and I wasn’t even being paid to do it. My favorite was megarace, now that game was awesome. KGB, terribly great game too. And Dragon Lore? man…. no, actually Dragon Lore was awful, but I still played to the end. Varsailles was also great, the puzzles didn’t make sense but I loved that game for some reason, I was so young.

  17. Hadjimurad says:

    i remember my first cryo experience -admittedly pretty far into their history- was FRANK HERBERT’S DUNE – a game i wanted so much to love, but was just an unplayable, boring mess of my favorite property.

  18. Shelley says:

    They developed Black Moon Chronicles, an RTS I enjoyed great deal. I don’t think it’d have stood test of time, however.

  19. nottorp says:

    I think you’re too young :)
    Dune (the one from 1992, not the Frank Herbert’s Dune abomination), KGB, Lost Eden… were brilliant for the time.
    It went downhill from there though, and that’s the period you reviewed.
    MobyGames links:
    link to mobygames.com
    link to mobygames.com
    link to mobygames.com

    Some of us remember Cryo fondly because of those.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      I stuck to games I played for work, but I did have some experience of them before that. Lost Eden was TERRIBLE! But bloody hell, those graphics. It was like actual magic happening on the screen.

  20. Zaxwerks says:

    I think my first and only encounter with Cyro was with their 1999 game “Ring: The Legend of the Nibelungen” that they had transported to a science fiction setting with lots of long boring dialog expositions, and truly obscure and confusing puzzles. I think I uninstalled it after a day as I just could stand it any more.

  21. tomimt says:

    Ah Cryo. While their games were mostly bad or mediocre, I still always liked what they did with pre-rendered graphics, at least in some of their titles. I remember being awed by Dragon Lore 2 and 1, though as games they were pretty bad (Sallambo I think is their best game. It has quite a bizarre atmosphere).

    Dragon Lore 1 was the first time I actually heard a term “walking simulator”. It was used in a Finnish games magazine “Pelit” i believe by the grand old man of Finnish games journalism Nirvi (though I might be mistaken about that, it’s been ages I’ve seen that magazine)

  22. vorador says:

    Oh man. I remember when Cryo where good.

    Oh wait, that’s not it. It never happened.

    They sure had an obsession with FMV. And they were good doing those FMV, but little else. Still, i confess i have an original copy of Dragon Lore 1 here somewhere. Big cardboard box and all. Never got very far into it, not only because it was bad, but also because of language barrier. The game wasn’t translated to my native language, and i was like 12.

    And i played a lot a demo of MegaRace 2 i had around. That one was weird, with the FMV circuit.

  23. ansionnach says:

    I’d also like to add my approval of Cryo’s Dune. Incredible Adlib soundtrack, great atmosphere and an interesting mix of adventure and strategy. I liked being a corporeal commander who needed to act as well as order to succeed. You could really tell that they loved the book and the importance of diplomacy and who you, as Paul Atreides, are really came through in the game.

    I remember Megarace being very well received. I could probably pull out the magazine that gave it a glowing review and 80-odd percent. Could have sworn it was PC Gamer…

    • ansionnach says:

      Couldn’t find the pile of old magazines. Looking at release dates, Magarace possibly predates PC Gamer’s first issue (December 1993) so I might have read the positive review in either PC Review, PC Format or PC Zone. Or I could be wrong! I think PC Gamer might have been the magazine that gave it a lower score (in the fifties), reviewing it when it came out on budget or something.

  24. Thankmar says:

    Whenever I read about Dune (1992) its a an explanation why Dune 2 is named Dune 2, and how crappy the first one was. Glad to read other people enjoyed it as well, because I did and don’t understand the hate. I remember an early summer morning, my room filling with sunlight, when I finished it. Happy times.

    • ansionnach says:

      Was never a big fan of Dune 2 and it has aged horribly. Cryo’s Dune is still as mysterious and fun as it always was.

  25. Nestorius says:

    I played Dune and KGB both I thought were really quite good with KGB in particular being a fun game

  26. SanguineAngel says:

    What my heart wants more than anything else in this life is a vastly expanded version of Cryo’s original Dune game with the same music, art and voice work that makes the original so evocative

  27. Premium User Badge

    Acosta says:

    Seeing “John Walker” and “miss Cryo” is something I wouldn’t expect to happen in any dimension. Your reviews for it were the stuff of legends, actually, the first thing I read at PC Gamer at the time were the low scores because they were always hilarious.

    I will always be grateful to Cryo for Lost Eden. I know John wouldn’t say it´s a good game not even under torture, but for me it was really magical, a real turning point in the way I experienced games (it was my first cd-rom game, so there is that, and I was younger of course, that helps too). I have avoided playing it again because I’m fully aware that I would be disappointed (but I listen the soundtrack from time to time, it´s still as magical as I remember).

  28. Terje says:

    Cryo made several great games back in the old days. In addition to things allready mentioned: am I the only one who remembers Universe? That was a fantastic adventure with great graphics and a brilliant soundtrack by Martin Iveson. I hear the DOS port is terrible, but the Amiga version I played was ace.

  29. M4st0d0n says:

    I remember Dragon Lore. Two or three CDs. It was unconceivable.

    Cryo basically brought surrealism to the medium. I associate them with early CGIs. It was the time of Imagina. Of experimentations. There was a weird documentary named “La Nuit Cyber” where Cryo guys were interviewed, while sacrificing an extraterrestrial muppet as a creativity rite. After the documentary they broadcasted Tron and late that night there was an “interactive” porn movie.

  30. KenTWOu says:

    After watching Megarace game on my friend’s PC I thought that Cryo was a good developer for some reason. Well, FMV was the reason. That’s why I bought Aliens: A Comic Book Adventure game. Gosh, I was wrong. I hated the game so much, It taught me that Alien games mostly suck and helped me to understand why Lucas Arts adventures were so glorious. I didn’t finish it because of time limits and horrible save system, but watched a youtube walkthrough recently. It was entertaining to watch, when you know the difference between a good design and a bad design.

  31. bill says:

    I didn’t realise that they made the original Dune game. That game was awesome.

    The devil inside (from much later) was ok too.. but with big control flaws and bugs.

    I remember often seeing their games in the store, with big beautiful boxes and lovely looking screenshots (Things like Riverworld and The Ring). They looked great, but I never actually tried them. I think even then I suspected that the games wouldn’t play as good as they looked in the screenshots.

    Dune was awesome though.

  32. adpdl says:

    I agree that Cryo produced some utter crap but Dune, KGB, Megarace, Lost Eden, Captain Blood and Commander Blood were fantastic games. This studio had a very unique visual style, the soundtracks were fantastic and the game worlds alien and immersive. And I loved their approach to gameplay in these games. This is more than most studios can boast about.

  33. Charles de Goal says:

    Nice ? Cryo was based in Paris. But perhaps they shot some stuff in Nice.