Review by Orb
Isis is an interesting blend of flavors. It's a vanity
piece to showcase the musical talents of Earth, Wind and Fire,
who slid down the slippery slope of the downfall of disco in the
early 1980s, bound with a good old-fashioned adventure game, set
in ... where else? ancient Egypt. I actually found the whole concept
rather quaint. I mean, every adventure gamer I know is also a
big Earth, Wind and Fire fanwhat about you?
The plot is thus: you have been sent through a portal from your
world to the world of Isis to assist her in sending her ship back
to your world to save it utilizing the music of a early eighties
disco band. Cha cha cha. Your job is to find three gems hidden
somewhere in a pyramid and sailing ship and return them to where
they belong, thus releasing the ship and an eight-minute Earth,
Wind and Fire concert from their respective slumbers. The finale
is definitely a retro salute to the early eightiesmade me
feel like I should be in a fern bar sipping a tequila sunrise
and listening to Morris Day and the Time.
The game areas are all prerendered and have nicely done cutscenes,
a fair to good quality for a game from this time period. The inventory
is simple and well-designed, scroll style, with the currently
viewed item to the right of the itsy bitsy viewing screen. Did
I mention that the viewing screen is particularly tiny? Sigh.
The character of Isis is played by Veena Bidasha, and she does
quite well with the acting job, which is a really pleasant surprise.
A good game actor is strange and thrilling, as anyone who has
played Phantasmagoria can attest, and certainly unexpected
from an obscure title like this.
As far as the music goes, the good news is that you can click
through the music video and senseless musician interviews quite
easily. The bad news is the game contains nonsequitur musical
sequences and musician interviews, tied into the storyline as
something that will inexplicably save mankind. The game explains
the music as something called "The Gift of Healing,"
which I suspect, as far as storylines go, is actually more along
the lines of "The Gift of a Giant Musician's Ego." There
are additionally few ambient sounds, which are limited to doors
opening, water lapping at the side of the ship, and the slight
hum of an engine.
The puzzles are simple and inventory-based but fun. They do tie
into the story well and are well-integrated into it.
The game docs give eleven pages of info on the band but fail
to explain why the viewing window is so tiny. There is, however,
thoughtfully provided, a full page in same docs on medical precautions
to ensure the player is safeguarded against seizures while playing.
I had no seizures, and I actually felt that I had been slighted,
as it looks as though this was something to be anticipated as
included in the package, and I wondered if this was an omission
in the bargain bin version.
The weird setup notwithstanding, this is a very cool little game.
Cut scenes and transitions are smooth, and the design is a pretty
mix of sci-fi and an Egyptian motif, with a great use of colors.
Buy it if you see it in the bargain binit is definitely
a good evening's entertainment.
Developer: Snow Lion Entertainment
Publisher: Panasonic Interactive
Release Date: 1995
Four Fat Chicks Links
System 7.0 or higher
8 MB RAM
2X CD-ROM drive
8 MB RAM
2X CD-ROM drive
8-bit sound card
Where to Find It