My memory of the late 90s is predominantly reviewing abysmal games for PC Gamer. I found a niche in those early days of what I like to amuse folks by calling a career. And most terriblest of all were the Cryo games. Pre-rendered graphics adventures, each attempting to emulate the awful, awful Myst, and yet each somehow finding new ways to be even more dreadful. So Faust was a bit confusing.
Seemingly also called Seven Games Of The Soul, this was indeed yet another Vaseline-smeared pre-rendered smudge of a game. But also, impossibly, not all that dreadful.
Cryo made a habit of basing projects on out-of-copyright texts, but making games that were barely about them. H.G Wells and Jules Verne were frequent victims. Frequent collaborators Arxel Tribes made some of the worst of them – in fact, pretty much everything that came after Faust was a fart in gaming form. Jerusalem: The Three Roads To The Holy Land (49%), Mistmare (40%), Hitchcock: The Final Cut (I’ve lost my review of it, and can’t remember which ish it was in!), all absolute colossal stinkers. But while Faust wasn’t good or anything, it was surprisingly not horrible.
A big part of that was the voice acting, but a bigger part was the soundtrack. Not an orchestral score, nor the bleep-bloop music you kids like so much, but a bunch of actual jazz tunes. Which most importantly, introduced me in 2000 to the existence of Stan Getz. But also this track, that I’ve loved ever since:
It was an enormous flop, selling fewer than 10,000 copies, presumably because it wasn’t gut-punchingly terrible enough for idiot fans of Myst to want to play.