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It Came From The Desert

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Released: 1989

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Mirrorsoft

Developer: Cinemaware

Submitted by: Paul Driscoll

Absolute classic adventure action!!! The game is a homage to the B movie sci-fi flicks of the 1950’s (Them! and It came from Out of Space springs to mind) you play a meteorologist called Greg who has come to a dusty desert town called Lizard Breath which have had some strange meteorites hit near by. As you progress (or read the manual) you quickly discover that the meteorites have mutated the ants and they are now gigantic monsters and in 15 days will reach the town and destroy it. Being the hero of the story you must talk your way around the town to try and discover where the ants nest is and take out these freaks of nature.

As with many Cinemaware games the adventure sections are interspersed with loads of mini games which must be beaten to help progress in the game. The mini games are fun and varied (about 20 of them from knife fights to flying a plane) and the games helps offer variety from your usual town explorations. The real success though of this game, is that it really captures the feeling of being in a film. With the graphics being of high quality throughout and music that really adds to the ambience and tension. But it is the believable dialogue in the game thats the real winner, the inhabitants of the town are all well written and have suitable wackiness and depth, meaning that visiting all the locales and chatting to the locals is great fun.

The game isn’t without its frustrations with it being very rigid in playing it properly, with you needing to be at certain places at certain times to hope to win the game. But for me it was never about the beating the ants and winning the game, but rather lapping up the ambience and just having fun in all its mini games. All in all this is a unique game that is extremely polished and needs to be played. Word of warning the Mega Drive / Genesis version of the game is a totally different game and not very good.