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4 1/2 stars from Computer Gaming World
B+ from Just Adventure
Ripley's Believe It or Not!
The remarkable world of Robert Ripley, adventurer and famed collector of the bizarre, is brought to life in this 1930's-period graphic adventure.
You are thrust into the year 1936, the planet is on the brink of a world war. A talisman of enormous power, the Imperial Seal of the First Emperor of China, becomes the focus of a plot to rule the world. Now it's up to you, Ripley, and his companion Mei Chen to stop the seal from falling into the wrong hands. But time is running out...
An incredible true-life mystery, live video characters, spectacular graphics, dynamic sound, and advanced gameplay merge together to deliver staggering realism like never before.
Outwit an evil nemesis
Search the globe for clues to unlock a 2,000 year old mystery
A richly textured soundtrack evokes the mood and romance of the 1930's
Unique cinematic techniques create emotional character interaction
Explore over 200 authentic and historically accurate environments
IBM PC and 100% compatibles, 485/25 (486/33 recommended), DOS 5.0, 8 MB RAM, hard drive with 8 MB free space, 2X CD-ROM drive, VESA compliant Super VGA video card (with VESA driver installed), Sound Blaster or compatible sound card, mouse.
Computer Gaming World, January 1996
"...The Riddle of Master Lu contains no fighting or arcade sequences, although there are moments when quick thinking is necessary. The program is a neatly balanced combination of puzzles and story-telling, proving that those two ingredients can co-exist in today's high-tech adventure games. Both story and puzzles manage to live up to each other's high quality, so that gamers who were disappointed in the past by minimally-interactive movies attempting to pass as games will certainly find Master Lu far more satisfying."
"Graphically, The Riddle of Master lu features a fascinating combination of animation and live-action. It is often impossible to tell which of the two is currently on the screen, and the result is very impressive. The details allowed by SVGA, however, once again challenge players to carefully inspect and mouse-survey every pixel so that minute, yet critical, discoveries are not overlooked. Accompanying the graphics are a convincing collection of sound effects, and an enjoyable music score. The voice-actors, at times, sound a bit self-conscious, yet they still manage to turn in a respectable performance."
"The Riddle of Master Lu is a challenging piece of work that tells a good story and offers engaging puzzles. Highly advanced adventurers may whip through the game a bit too quickly for their tastes, but most others should prepare themselves for many evenings with Master Lu."
Computer Shopper, February 1996
"However, for those looking for a little mindless escapism, be wary of The Riddle of Master Lu, because you will probably end up learning something. Ripley has a habit of having long-winded discussions with people, which leaves this thinly veiled piece of edutainment lacking in the intense action department. And though the target audience for games like this starts at around age 10, The Riddle of Master Lu sometimes makes you feel like you need a degree in engineering to solve the puzzles.
"Definitely a game for the thinking person, The Riddle of Master Lu incorporates a simple interface with slick visuals to provide a fresh third-person gaming experience. It is a mentally challenging, sometimes frustrating, but highly entertaining adventure game."
Just Adventure by Randy Sluganski
"Sanctuary Woods has transmogrified the real life Robert Ripley of Believe It or Not! fame into the Indiana Jones of PC gaming. ... The plot line is not original, and the thematic element--world domination--has been seen many times before, but this undertaking is a joy for the experienced adventurer. Why? An almost perfect blend of humor, puzzles and storytelling has been intricately woven together to create an unforgettable gaming experience. You, playing in the third person as Robert Ripley, must traverse the world in an attempt to find the "key" that will unlock the secret of Master Lu's tomb and obtain the world's most coveted treasure. Along the way, you must be on a constant lookout for bizarre exhibits to display in your Odditorium, keep your cartoon series updated by sketching interesting objects in your journal and stay one step ahead of the nefarious foes who are intent on taking your life and the "key" you have discovered that will open the door to eternal life. A blockbuster of a surprise ending awaits those whom solve the riddle and the knowledge that the world can again sleep in peace thanks to your vigilant efforts."
"Real-life characters, environments and historical situations greatly strengthen the appeal of the game and even, dare I say this, make the game educational. I often found myself searching the dictionary and encyclopedia for more information on prayer wheels, steles and Danzig, Germany. In fact, the excellent instruction book included with the game goes to great lengths to detail what is and what is not historically accurate in the game. It also includes a fascinating short biography of Ripley. This is definitely a man with the potential for further adventures. "
"One thing that will stall the adventure, though, is if you attempt to run this game from Windows 95. Sanctuary Woods has included special installation instructions for Windows 95, but even after rigidly following their directions, I was experiencing lock-up during gameplay. Once I quit being so bullheaded and decided to boot, install and run the game from DOS, I had no further problems with any of the technical aspects of the game."
"If you are an experienced gamer, you will love The Riddle of Master Lu. If you are a novice, you will find the going tough at times and may need help in one or two spots, but will ultimately find it a rewarding experience. I have to admit, though, that, regardless of the maze, this is one adventure I would truly like to see a sequel to ... Believe it or Not!"
©1998 CD-ROM Access.
All rights for original work reserved.