Review by odino
"Gold before ready: rushed release"
I usually do not like timed adventure games but this one is pretty well done. What is extremely frustrating is having to pan and dig for so much gold, even if it is just a bonus for extra points and the game can be completed without getting all.
As primitive graphic engine this may be, it is slight more advanced that the first Larry or first few King's Quest games. It easily could be better at some points. The mule gets lost to much and the ladders in the cave are an accident waiting to happen. I bet every gamer falls down them at least once per game. Other things old Sierra games were flawed with are climbing stairs and the game takes over and alters the direction as required until the end of the staircase. I wish the other games such as King's Quest 1 through 3 would have that.
Random events can be fun and getting hunted down by an alligator once in a while is a nice touch. However, taking a long trip around Cape Horn and contracting cholera is no fun matter, especially as this happens a lot. Ok so it is realistic that the trip is dangerous and the ship can sink but it is no fun for the player. This is probably the most frustrating part in the game next to running out of oil in the cave. On the other hand, this is an optional route and if one is having trouble they can take the land route instead.
At the time of the release, other Sierra games were already further ahead with the SCI engine. Nevertheless, the creators did a good job in enhancing the gameplay and add nice touches. The streets of Brooklyn are lively and many try to interact with you. A lot of locations only exist for a minor use yet the creators managed to add plenty of detail. A negative point is that the pixels are too large and item locations are sometimes not obvious, something that was still well done in other games using this engine.
Not bad, uplifting and usually fitting. After a while it feels a little recycled but for the time of the release I would not expect much more.
It is tough, especially because random events screw up the game too often. Gold digging should be more fun. The first part of the game is top notch. Three routes to take is a great idea and increases replayability. The second part of the game is a little lousy. Finding gold in the river, running through the scenery, stubborn mules and the entire cave are more of an afterthought than really planned out.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/02/08
Game Release: Gold Rush! (US, 1988)
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