Review by Orb
Puppet Motel is a great quirky little title. Created by
well-known performance artist Laurie Anderson, it is intriguing
and enthralling, and it obviously means to be. It follows no specific
path; rather, you are allowed to roam from room to room, experimenting
with objects and exploring, which is one of my favorite things
to do, so I was right at home.
Laurie Anderson herself is involving and mesmerizing, and Puppet
Motel itself so engrossing several hours passed without my
realizing it. She is also the only performance artist, to my knowledge,
to venture into the realm of CD-ROM, which legitimizes her abilities
furtherit is obvious she intends to push creativity to the
edge. This is definitely art for the last portion of the 20th
Century, so drink up.
The nice thing about Puppet Motel is there are no wrong
moves. Anderson shows you her set for performances; after she
finishes, a completed shooting ducks game is rewarded with a bizarre
display, which is an outgrowth of the set she was on. Art, music,
and stories are combined as you explore the various rooms. The
game of it is to figure out what is to be done in each room and
complete it, then find your way back out, which is done in a completely
nonlinear style. There are puzzles to solve, but these are more
interactive art than anything. You don't get to leave any of the
rooms until she's done with you. The stories keep your interest,
and you get to follow Anderson through life's foibles.
You begin in the Hall of Time, which is your main navigation
center. The rooms themselves are very cool, stylized pieces of
art, done by designer Hsin-Chien Huang working in coordination
with Anderson. In the hotel room, you get to find out just how
many rooms there are, 33 in all, and their names. Other than this,
there is no particular beginning or end.
This should definitely be listened to with headphones, which
is also recommended in the packaging! There are subtle nuances
that would otherwise be missed, small sounds and poetry conveyed
using the flow back and forth from one ear to the other to impart
the message. The music is ethereal, Anderson whispering in your
ear unnerving, and she has a dark, soothing voice.
Additional movies can be downloaded from the Voyager
site for use within Puppet Motel.
This is avant-garde art that communicates well its messages and
is a perfect change of pace for any adventure gamer. Think of
it as a big fat Playskool activity center for adults. By the time
I was done I didn't want to leave.
Release Date: 1995 (Mac), 1998 (Win)
Four Fat Chicks Links
Any color-capable Macintosh
8 MB RAM, 12 MB for Power PC
13 inch or larger monitor
14 MB free HD space
2x ROM Drive recommended
External speakers or headphone recommended
System 7 or better
486 DX 66
8 MB RAM
4X CD-ROM drive
Where to Find It