Flight of the Amazon Queen
Playing this game after sampling the latest batch of photorealistic adventures is distinctly disorientating. I feel as though I've been bundled into a time machine and taken back to a time when the Indiana Jones and The Fate of Atlantis cd was the talk of the industry. Flight of the Amazon Queen has a lot in common with the Indy game. The graphics are similar, the main hero has a female sidekick, and the general atmosphere the game creates is spookily similar to the old classic. However, there are a number of ways in which Flight of the Amazon Queen differs dramatically to the game that it apparently uses as a role model. Unfortunately, all these differences are negative aspects of the game. What follows is a blow by blow account of how Amazon Queen got off to a disastrous start and went rapidly downhill after that.
Let's face it, you just can't get away with dodgy presentation in pc games anymore. You can say what you like about the gameplay in pc games not being what it used to, but no-one can deny that, graphically, they have come on in leaps and bounds. However, Flight of the Amazon Queen has missed the boat , as far as the graphic revolution is concerned. When I saw the intro to this game, I was more than a little bit shocked. The characters and backgrounds are badly drawn and the colours are garish. I wasn't exactly expecting photorealistic backgrounds and characters, but even compared to the original Secret of Monkey Island this game looks ugly. This is partially down to the fact that the game was originally programmed for the Amiga, and rather than redesign it for the pc, Renegade took the original code and plonked it on to pc cd, complete with dodgy graphics etc.
Consequently, the game looks bland and years out of date. To make matters even worse, the actors who did the voice-overs for the characters sound completely disinterested in the whole thing. The game is riddled with feeble witti-which were never very funny to begin with and that sound even worse due to some incredibly unconvincing verbal deliveries. It's obvious the same male actor has done the voices for not only most of the male characters but, incredibly, some of the animals in the game, too -approach an angry dog guarding his kennel and you hear some bloke grunting out a rather unimpressive "Grrrrr". So the presentation certainly won't be winning any awards, as for the game itself...
The plot puts you in the role of Joe King, a freelance pilot. While transporting a famous actress to the site of her latest movie, Joe loses control of his plane and crash lands in the Amazon jungle. The plane is a total write-off and Joe has no idea where he is or how to get out. After constructing a makeshift raft, Joe sets off to find help, leaving the disgruntled actress and his plane's mechanic behind.
You will soon discover, after messing about in the jungle for a while, that a princess has been kidnapped and everyone is expecting you to do something about it. Unfortunately for the princess, you are unlikely to stay interested in the game long enough to find her and sort it out.
You spend most of your time in the game visiting various locations in and around the jungle, chatting with pygmy types, picking things up, solving puzzles that wouldn't tax anyone who has played a couple of adventures, and generally wandering aimlessly around waiting for something exciting to happen. To say that the gameplay in Flight of the Amazon Queen is tedious is something of an understatement. The solutions to the puzzles are so obvious it's profoundly insulting. You never get to a point in the game where you get really stuck. It's more a case of going through the motions in each location until you discover something new, and then off you go again to the next place, yawning loudly as you go.
Why oh why...
I don't really understand why Renegade has taken on a game like this. Since most of its back catalogue is made up of superb arcade games from The Bitmap Brothers, Flight of the Amazon Queen is the last thing I would have expected to emerge from the Renegade stable. Apparently, the company has been messing about with it for some time now, trying to drag it kicking and screaming into the '90s.
The impression I got from one of Renegade's techy chaps was that the game was constantly held back so that they could catch up with modern graphic techniques, but by the look of things, they must have got bored trying to turn it into something half decent and so decided to sling it out and forget about it. By a spoolcy coincidence, that's what I'm about to do with it.
Download Flight of the Amazon Queen
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode