Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado
Review by Old
Rooster (with a little help from Allison)
A Delightful Full-Family Game
Movie tie-in games generally don't do very well, and often they
may be viewed by the gaming public as attempts to cash in on the
success of the film. Die Hard and Planet of the Apes come
to mind. Of course, there are exceptionssee Skinny Minnie's
laudatory review of Wild
Wild West, as well as the wonderful and frightening
action games based on the Alien films. And today we encourage
you to look at another notable exceptiona game not likely
on your radarand yet one I feel has been vastly underappreciated:
Gold and Glory.
the fine U.K. developer of In
Cold Blood and Broken
Sword, has created a very good adventure game; like
the film, it is targeted for kids and their families.
Gold and Glory, based on the Dreamworks film, The Road
to El Dorado, retells the tale from the point of view of the
two heroes, Tulio and Miguel. Through a series of 20 levels, our
comical and inept con men (no Butch Cassidy and Sundance, these
two) pretty much move along the path of the filmfrom the town
to the docks, a conquistador's ship, jungle, El Dorado itself, and
How Is the Game Set up and Managed?
Gold and Glory installs easily and plays from one CD466
MB required. It runs in one setting, 640x480, which loaded nicely
on my PIII 450 PC. The 20-page manual is clear, though small (jewel
case size). Save/load can be done anytime and is quick and smooth.
Subtitles are available, which is a boon for scrolling quickly through
conversations. Controls can be configured to a joystick (Playstation
version is available), though I found the keyboard fine. Character
movement is done with the arrow keys. "Hot spots," with
which you can interact, are shown by a flashing object/person as
you approach. There's some awkwardness to the movement/direction
of the heroes, but all in all I and my associate found the going
straightforward and manageable.
How Does Gold and Glory Look and Sound?
The graphics are extremely well done, resembling the quality of
the Broken Sword series. This doesn't pretend to be a 3D
game, and you shouldn't expect the visuals of American
McGee's Alice, for example. They do rival, in their cartoon
way, the best of current 2D adventure titles. Even the limitation
of running at only 640x480 is not a serious concern.
Voice acting isn't up to the level of Kevin Kline and others in
the film, but is still well done, albeit in an often corny and overstated
way, particularly with Miguel. Sound effects, ambient noises, and
music all work clearly and purposefullynothing award-winning
here, but more than satisfactory.
"Dr. [Rooster], You're Not Very Smart!" Allison
I'm stuck in the town, wandering, and considering how in the world
to get enough pesos to venture to the docks. Realizing this is a
child's game, I invited a neighbor's visiting granddaughter over
for a little tea and advice. After a bit of play, eleven-year-old
Allison proceeded to get us to the docks and further, capping things
off with the above insulting (but accurate, in this case) comment.
Of course, she had seen the filmthat must have been
the reason for her success!
Gameplay is fairly linear, in that certain tasks need to be accomplished
before new areas open up. Allison and I discovered a bartering system
(well, Allison discovered it) used to work our way up to a dice
game (don't tell the kid's grandma), which led to ... sorry, no
As to puzzles, there isn't anything really obscure or nonsensical,
with all solutions to problems rather obvious (especially afterwards!),
and no need for a walkthrough, especially if you have Allison or
her equivalent around.
This is a comic adventure. The humor is at a children's levelmaking
Allison laugh and me groan. Miguel and Tulio are engaging, especially
with their sidekicks Altivo and Chel. As I helped Allison along
("yeah, sure, you helped her" Helga),
we did finish the game over several days, across about a ten-hour
span. This was her first real try with a PC adventure, and I think
we may have a convert. Maybe I'll give her a copy of Max Payne
or Kingpin as a "thank you."
"We're on the Road to El Dorado!" Miguel
Gold and Glory was a pleasant surprise to this often jaded
player/reviewer. It was an added review-making treat to play this
with a child, observing her enjoyment, as well as her flexible thinking
and problem-solving skills. This isn't the kind of major production
we find with Grim
Fandango, but Revolution has to be pleased with and
proud of this product. There are rich graphics, an entertaining
story, and solid, integrated puzzles. Taking it as a full-family
adventure title, with little to no violence, and the strongest language
being when one of our heroes is called "craven worm and popinjay,"
I am pleased to heartily award a Gold Star. Our thanks to Revolution,
What I Liked the Most
Enjoyable story with fine levels; beautiful graphics; logical and
What I Liked the Least
Controls are sometimes awkward (a touch of consolitis); voice acting
is sometimes corny; the game is fairly short (about 10 hours).
Release Date: November 2000
Four Fat Chicks Links
PII 233 (PII 300 recommended)
32 MB RAM (64 MB recommended)
Where to Find It
Links provided for informational purposes only.
FFC makes no warranty with regard to any transaction entered into
by any party(ies).