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Treasure Hunt in the Amazon Reviews
Author: Kenneth Pedersen and Niels Søndergaard
This game is a remake of a 1985 Danish game (which explains the two authors).
The game warns you that it comes with randomization, hunger timers, etc. and has a really clever idea: allowing you to turn all of those off. I tried playing with them on at first, and it was actually fun, since the map wasn't too confusing (especially with the automap. And Adrift online makes playing a lot better!). The music and images worked well with the text.
Some parts of the interactivity just seem too farfetched to guess on your own, though. I knew I needed to (Spoiler - click to show), and I knew that (Spoiler - click to show), but I never thought the two would be combined to solve a puzzle. And some tools seem like they could have many uses (such as the (Spoiler - click to show)). But a lot of this stems from older game design where it was expected the player would only have a few games available and play each of them off and on for multiple days or weeks.
More concerning is the inherent colonialism in the game. I ran into this when adapting Sherlock Holmes in to a game; I left in negative references to gypsies, and the feedback I received taught me a lot more about the negative experiences gypsies have had over the years (including in the Holocaust!) This game does something similar, where the natives are portrayed as more or less dumb and associated with alcohol, and there are no moral qualms about entering sacred spaces and stealing artifacts to take back to Europe. This wasn't exactly unusual in 1985 (just look at Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom from the year before!), but sticks out now, to me, especially since I've also adapted older works with colonialist views. I don't really have any advice, these are just my thoughts.
Reviewed by Stian
Treasure Hunt in the Amazon is not a great game by today’s standards. It shows that it was originally crafted in 1985, and I suppose it was a relatively decent game back then. The remake is certainly decently implemented and lets you disable all the elements of time and randomness that made the original difficult to finish on a first playthrough. Without such restrictions, however, the game became surprisingly easy; the map is not big, the verbs don’t have to be guessed, the descriptions are sparse, and an automap makes it easy to navigate. In the end it took about 15 minutes to play through. It was nice to play, but rather as a curiosity – a way to experience a classic from the eighties through the comfort of the present.
Reviewed by Antimony
And in the kind of tonal whiplash I love IFComp for, a 1985 puzzler,
translated and updated. I'm going to try to play it in the online option.
The online engine is very slow (although switching browsers helped), but I'm not going to blame the game for that. I really, really appreciate the modern conveniences; thank you no hunger timer. It's sturdily implemented, but definitely old-school. Also, I'm completely stuck not very far in. The walkthrough point me to the fact that I'd tried the right idea, but hadn't examined the right thing (getting the rope). It also points me to needing an item I was already sure I needed, but hadn't found, and ended up needing the walkthrough to locate. Cute, but very, very old-school, complete with stereotypical generic natives, illogical puzzles, and unnecessarily large caves. The modernization and translation is really solidly done, though.
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