Review by Orb
April 2003

Ever heard of this game? If you have, you most likely are in the depths of a adventure game collecting binge that knows no cure. Just when I'd thought I'd played every point-and-click adventure known to man, and some that should be known to no one, I stumbled upon Milo, minding its own business at the bottom of my endless "to play" pile.

Milo is one of those minute titles, released to less than no fanfare, inexplicably floating around on Ebay, unrecognized and forgotten. But to those of you that do collect, or at least like to find and play, rare or forgotten adventure titles, this one will be right up your alley. Take it from a fellow addict.

Milo is a first-person, point-and-click game that anyone with even a slight aversion to this sort of gameplay will hate. I loved it. The full title on the box says: "Milo: Find the Key to the Universe." Of course, the player in this sort of game mostly is just trying to find the other end of the game, let alone the universe. Milo is one of those forgotten titles whose makers had delusions of grandeur regarding the importance of their work. I love these sorts of games. Reading the overblown text of the docs becomes equally as entertaining as the game itself. Here's another blurb: "This CrystalVision Software Collection is an unparalleled value in computer software." What a hoot!

Okay, down to the nuts and bolts. The game itself is a very straightforward play. There is a laborious storyline, explained in detail, regarding an advanced race of beings who have discovered the keys to the universe. These beings then transcend time and space and embark on an inexplicable but purportedly epic journey, leaving their home world in the hands of a giant computer—excuse me—"supreme creation" called Milo. Milo needs you to keep him busy, to somehow reenergize his circuits by playing puzzle games with him. Of course! This is how all big computers, er, supreme creations would be spending their time, right?

Adventure and puzzle gamers will recognize the format. The player accesses seven different worlds, all available via a spaceship "hub," each of which has two puzzles to find and solve. Each puzzle has three difficulty settings. The player explores each world, finds a room with a puzzle in it, and goes to work.

The puzzles themselves have a huge disparity in degrees of difficulty and patience required. All are variations of the usual suspects. Fans of puzzle games will find them perfectly enjoyable. One drawback to them is that the difficulty levels can only be reduced for the puzzles three times in the game. In other words, all are set to the hardest design, and difficulty can be reduced after accessing them, but you can only do this three times in the entire game. And once these three are used up, the remaining puzzles are set to "hardest." This is a huge design flaw, as you have no idea which will be easy and which will be the hardest without exploring and trying all of the puzzles, then going back and using these three actions on the ones you genuinely cannot solve. Nevertheless, the puzzles still are a lot of fun.

Some care was obviously taken to make each environment aesthetic, and the look and style of the game is most reminiscent of Gord@k or L-Zone. The format is entirely slideshow-style, and thus movement is extremely limited.

The music should be mentioned. Much is very ethereal, creepy, and spacey and plays in small, solemn loops. Wearing headphones, it throbs in one of the listener's ears.

I'd recommend this game for those that are collectors and those that are fans of puzzle games in general, such as Jewels of the Oracle, Cassandra Galleries, or Pandora's Box. If you go into this with those in mind, you'll have a great time.

Milo occasionally can be found on Ebay, usually for just a few bucks, as most of the sellers and buyers have no idea what it is. The packaging is obtuse regarding just what the heck this thing is, which of course adds to the fun for the collector. The End

The Verdict

The Lowdown

Developer: CrystalVision Software
Publisher: CrystalVision Software
Release Date: 1996

Available for: Windows

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System Requirements

486 DX 33 MHz
Windows 3.1/95
Super VGA graphics card (640x480, 256 colors)
MPC compliant sound card
Mouse or other pointing device
6 MB free hard disk space
2X CD-ROM drive

Where to Find It

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