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Crossworlds Part 3 - The Final Far Far Away Frontier Reviews
Author: BBBen
Date: 2005
ADRIFT 3.9


Reviewed by A. Bomire

Basic Plot:

This is the third installment in the Crossworlds saga (or the 5th, if you count Sleep Over and Janey's Diary). In this game, you and the three girls from the other Crossworlds adventures - Debbie, Lin and your girlfriend Janey - materialize on a space ship where you are the captain. Your mission is to destroy a "wormhole suppressant" created by Empress Jessica, Janey's mother, who has inexplicably turned to evil. To do this, there are items you will need to retrieve and utilize. Along the way, you get several opportunities to have sexual encounters.

Overall Thoughts:

Like all of the Crossworlds games, this one is fairly large. However, it is made to feel smaller by being divided into several very small playing areas. While the game pays homage to several science fiction shows, movies and books (see BBBen's web site for a list of them all), it had for me an overall feeling of being based in the Star Trek universe.

Like the other games in this series, it is a very light-hearted and fast-paced game, with humor interjected at various points. For example, the protagonist (yourself) at one point actually bemoans the fact that the plot is so predictable (which it is). Or Lin's response of "I hate it when we get into trouble. I prefer the sex parts." when you talk to her at certain points in the game. This is good, considering much of the game is very sparsely described or mundanely duplicated (all of the bedrooms are more-or-less identical, for example).

Puzzles/Game play

Even though this game is defined as a "puzzle fest", the puzzles really aren't that difficult. In fact, it almost feels as though the author takes you in hand - leading you from one solution to the next. You are given specific instructions on what to find, and talking to various characters in the game reveals exactly what to do with the objects once you've found them. The first half of the game has puzzles where you need to figure out whom to see and in what order. Later, you need to utilize the various alien powers of your companions (much like what took place in the previous game, Crossworlds 2). Again, the puzzles aren't that difficult, just understanding which girl to use at which time.

There are some non-standard IF commands used, which BBBen takes pains to point out and describe within the accompanying README. This is a nice touch, and all authors should do this. Other nice touches are the non-standard responses BBBen has added to the error messages you receive when you try something you can't do. For example, instead of the normal "Nothing special" message you receive when attempting to examine a non-described object, you get a message that appears to come from the ship's computer - much like the voice-response of the computer on Star Trek. (Is it wrong that I heard it in my head as Majel Barret's voice?)

Another non-standard technique BBBen has used in this game is to replace the normal ASK/TELL system with a TALK TO system. I certainly canít complain about it as it is the system I have opted to use in most of my games, and BBBen implements it well. There has been much discussion about the benefits of this type of system over ASK/TELL, as well as its drawbacks, and BBBen has an article about that on his site if you require more information. It works well in this game.

Technical:

Like all of BBBen's works, this one is almost technically flawless. What bugs there are (a typo here, an odd response there) are so minor that you would probably not notice them if you weren't looking for them (as I was). The most noticeable has to do with the TALK TO system mentioned above. There are a couple of occasions where you attempt to TALK TO someone (usually a background or incidental character) and you get a message of "use ask person about [subject]". When you ASK that person ABOUT a subject, you then get a message saying to use TALK TO. It's a pretty minor problem that doesn't really get in the way of the game.

Sex:

For the most part, the sex in this game comes as part of a reward for solving one of the puzzles. After 4 previous games with the three main girls, you'd think that the sex would start to become stale and repetitious. Well, I have to be honest and say that in some descriptions...it is. But, BBBen has thrown in enough new female encounters to keep it interesting, as well as the differences that arise from having sex with non-humans (Lin and Janey are an alien species, while Debbie is a robot). While not quite set-the-computer-on-fire hot, the sexual encounters are still interesting and enjoyable.

Final Thoughts:

While much of the game is a little predictable and has a feeling of deja vu, there are many small things and humorous interjections that keep it interesting. Most players who are a fan of the Crossworlds series will not be disappointed by this game. Those who are not familiar with BBBen's other works will still find a fairly enjoyable game to play.

Rating: B

 


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