Sinkha

Review by Orb

Where Oh Where Has Mojave Gone ...

Sinkha is a very creative and unusual fiction title brought to us by the folks at Mojave, who produced this and the extremely playable Secrets of the Luxor, which when mentioned, leads to a scavenger-huntish search to find. Sinkha is a similar sort of title, differing completely from Secrets in execution but nevertheless very cutting-edge for having been made in the middle of the nineties. It has a style so timeless that it will most assuredly never go out of fashion, but rather become a rare and valued piece sought out and paid top dollar for by collectors. After giving us these titles, Mojave inexplicably and unfortunately dropped off the face of the earth, thus making these ever so much more rare and causing some serious extracurricular surfing by those looking for an unusual and wonderful gaming or multimedia pick-me-up.

Sinkha, not your usual gaming experience, is explained by its creators as being simply a multimedia project. Okay, it's actually a comic book. Now before I get the raspberries from those that don't want their reading mixed with their exploration and puzzle-solving, let me just say in Sinkha's defense that this is the fruition of why multimedia titles were initially created. This is a seriously cool item.

Produced in five languages, all of them contained on the disk, Sinkha is a creation realized by artist Marco Patrito, a science fiction illustrator, who began work on this project in 1991. His idea was to create a complete graphic novel using 3D computer graphics. It then was transformed into a CD-ROM multimedia project in 1994. The degree of depth and clarity of the images created is absolutely nothing short of amazing. It is possible to zoom in on the image of the main spacecraft in the tale without losing any of the definition. The rendering of this spacecraft also became the splashscreen for Studio Pro 1.5.

The story is of a girl named Hyleyn, who lives with her grandfather on Thalissar, a "desolate city of stricken buildings" on the planet Ogon in an oppressed society, and her driving ambition to escape the joyless existence there. It is written as timeless science fiction, and the story moves as well as any classic science fiction short story—it is actually reminiscent of a number of Bradbury tales; "Invisible Boy" from The Golden Apples of the Sun came to mind.

Sinkha is played out in 23 chapters that are very smooth transition-wise, with nothing more than opening and closing animation and a small tab at the bottom of the screen to signify the end of one and the beginning of another. The title simply has jaw-dropping graphics, both static prerendered pictures and animations. You are moved through the environment by the novel, which only gives up control to the player when there is text to read. To my surprise, despite being a point-and-click fan, I quite enjoyed this. The animations are as clever as any of Lucas's, and if it hasn't already been done, this designer should be snapped up by the film community.

Some serious work went into this, and despite its increasing age, it does not look dated in the slightest. The images are quite simply serene, for lack of a better word. It is not an excessively long piece; rather it is like reading a comic book (to use again an unfavorable analogy) or watching a full-length feature film, which for this is just about the right amount of time.

The music was composed and performed by Fancyfruit, which is made up of musicians Sandro Bruni and Fabrizio Goria. The disk also provides an added songlist and play feature, and it is a very listenable score. The music is very unearthly and ethereal, and the sound effects are entirely appropriate.

There is a sequel mentioned at the end of the story, promised as an "interactive adventure" titled Escape from Thalissar; this has not been released. However, if you go to http://www.sinkha.com/, you'll find quite a few more screenshots and a larger portion of the story, as well as the promise of Sinkha being the first in a series of stories, with the next release, Meltdown, currently under production. This also looks as though it is being produced to be more of an interactive adventure title than Sinkha. The site is kept fairly up to date, so future releases appear likely.

With stunning animations and awe-inspiring prerendered shots, along with sci-fi design that is truly elevated from the run-of-the-mill, my biggest problem with Sinkha became choosing which of the gorgeous shots I took to include with this review. This title is a must-have for any completist. The End

The Verdict

The Lowdown

Developer: Virtual Views
Publisher: Mojave
Release Date: 1995

Available for: Macintosh Windows

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Screenshots

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System Requirements

Mac:
68K or Power PC
256 colors
2X CD-ROM drive
System 7
8 MB RAM

PC:
Win 3.1 or 95, 486 or higher
2X CD-ROM drive
8 MB RAM
8-bit sound
256 colors

Where to Find It

Check the Game TZ

 
   
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