Review by Orb
Celtica is a good, old-fashioned, first-person, point-and-click,
Myst-style adventure. Anyone who's read any of my reviews
will certainly realize that I am someone who leans toward and
loves this genre, so it seemed a natural, once I got a copy of
the new Virtual PC 4, to give this one a whirl right away.
The premise of Celtica is that in an ancient time, an
alien race traveled to earth and left behind an Ascension Amulet,
Ascension Harp, and Ascension Book, all of which hold powerful
secrets and can allow the one who possesses them to ascend to
the domain of the alien race. Celtica takes place on an
island, and as gameplay progresses, you uncover the story of the
people that went before and have since disappeared from the island
and their search for the items you are also trying to find. The
story is actually quite detailed, and part of the fun of the game
is getting more pieces of it as gameplay progresses, so I'm not
going to give away any more here.
Graphics are quite beautiful. Despite the Myst style of
the game, it holds up completely on its own, with really well-rendered
environments to explore, including some rolling countryside dotted
with ancient Celtic statuary, a monastery, Stonehenge-style ruins,
a mansion, caves, lighthouse, graveyardthe island is really
filled with explorable locations. There are a couple of areas
where path hotspots can be missed or are not really clear, and
this can hang up gameplay a bit as you retrace steps or looking
for which way a path should go, or even if there is a path.
I heartily enjoyed the accompanying music. It was designed and
presented in keeping with the Celtic theme, and it certainly gave
the environment the definite air of the ancient Celts. Lots of
harp and flute, all of which was certainly right on target as
far as I was concerned.
The puzzles were an absolute blast. Some were more difficult
than others, but all fit into what was happening in the game.
The game also was linear, but it was designed in three big open
sections so that the player has a tremendous freedom of movement
right from the starting point of the game but cannot progress
past each section until all puzzles in that one area are completed.
The game also features an unusually beautiful interface, with
Celtic-styled designs bordering the overall game screen, and also
a very aesthetic and complex (in style, not use) interface, where
the player can see what portions of the overall puzzles have been
won and how much of the quest of the game has been completed.
There is also a separate clues menu interface, which stores books
with clues that are found by the player. As such, it acts as a
hint file and also tracks various collected manuscripts that enable
the player to piece together the story.
If you love peaceful, leisurely paced, first-person games where
you can take your time, explore, and uncover a good story, Celtica
is definitely going to be right up your alley.
Release Date: 1998
Four Fat Chicks Links
I played this with Virtual PC 4, on a 466 MHZ iBook with no glitches.
8 MB hard drive space
16 MB memory
4X CD-ROM drive
8-bit Sound Blaster or 100% DirectX compatible
1 MB video card
Where to Find It