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ZOOM Passage
Path of Betrayal
Sold Out (Win95/98/ME/XP) (CD w/ Manual) (PASSAGEBPR)

Publisher: Dragon Works Interactive

Game

Ratings:

B from Just Adventure

            

Epic Fantasy World

Passage places you in a vast, fleshed out fantasy world of interwoven lands. Taking on the role of Riff, you'll travel throughout your world of Arkane as you delve deeper into the plot of danger and betrayal that has been set before you following your dream. And as the tension builds, you'll begin not only to mortally fear your enemies, but question the loyalty of your friends. The detailed plotline twists throughout six intrigue filled chapters leading up to the ultimate finale.

It All Begins Innocently Enough

... as most stories do. A young man sleeps soundly in the quaint farmhouse that is his home. He had drifted into sleep earlier that night thinking of nothing more distant than perhaps tomorrow's chores. And yet the dreams came unhindered, the nightmare fully unleashed on his unsuspecting mind.

He saw visions of terror, of death and destruction. An army had come into his land, an army of something he could vaguely see but never focus on. They were everywhere, and wherever they went, complete desolation was left to mark their passage. He saw people from his village, people he knew and talked to every day, die screaming in agony. He saw them claw their eyes out with their own maddened hands. And he watched as the army burned his own home to the ground, his parents' screams reaching him as if he were in the very room where they lay dying. But he could do nothing. And the sound of their cries never diminished, even as the house lay smoldering in ash. It only rose in volume, and went on rising until he was sure his head would explode.

And then he woke up. It took only a moment for him to realize the nightmare for what it was, and yet it didn't fade. The aching terror remained inside him, and he could only hope, could only pray that it would remain that way. Remain as the fading nervousness of a passing dream gone terribly wrong. But it had been so real, and try as he might, he couldn't banish the one thought that kept creeping into his subconscience. The voice that told him it wasn't just a nightmare. That told him it was but a mere taste of a horrible future rushing headlong to greet them....

Featuring:

Over 50 beautiful hand-painted backgrounds dispersed over the diverse landscapes of Arkane.

Nearly twenty musical pieces were composed for the game, setting the mood throughout the adventure.

Passage has been over two years and hundreds of hours in development in order to bring you the best quality game possible.

Thousands of lines of dialog were written for the dozens of diverse characters you'll encounter throughout Arkane.

And of course, througout your journey, you'll encounter dozens of complex puzzles that make sense and are well integrated into the gameworld. There'll be no confusing mazes or games of chinese checkers needed to unlock doors found here.

Requirements:

Windows 95 or higher Pentium 200MHz PC or higher 32 MB RAM minimum 640x480 resolution or greater, High Color Windows compatable sound device and mouse 680 MB Hard Disk space CD-ROM Drive.

As far as we can tell, there is no way to stop the opening video sequences from running. Just save the game after they finish the first time so you can skip over them after that.

Tested OK on Windows XP in compatibility mode but you will need to create your own shortcut. The shortcut needs to use /Passage/data/Debug/PassageStarter.exe.

Reviews:

Just Adventure by Randy Sluganski

"...Passage is an epic fantasy adventure game in the tradition of the Sierra classics and more specifically the King's Quest series. It is a mouse-controlled (are you reading this, LucasArts?), point-and-click, inventory-based adventure game. If you have played and have fond memories of the Sierra adventure games, then Passage is definitely up your alley. If you have never solved the puzzles or traveled the imaginative worlds of Roberta Williams, then maybe Passage will serve as your invitation to research more about the rich history of adventure games."

"The puzzles are masterfully constructed and follow rules of logic that are too often broken. Many of them are multi-layered, such as constructing a disguise, and some involve combining two or more inventory items. While most items will disappear from your inventory once used--some will not--a sure clue that such an item will again be valuable. Overall, while most of the puzzles would not be considered too difficult (and in fact most of the difficulty arises from not spotting inventory items), the game always plays fair by providing clues either through dialogue or even by having recipe ingredients written on the back of inventory items. A few puzzles can only be solved by returning to locations visited in previous chapters, so obvious answers were sometimes overlooked not only because of laziness on my part but because many developers will not incorporate this ability into their games because of the extra programming involved. To provide an extra blast from the past, there are 999 points needed to complete the game so that your progress can be tracked every time you complete a puzzle.

"Probably what most caught my attention though was the music. It never intruded on the game, but it always seemed perfectly fitted to the situation. It does a wonderful job of setting the mood and atmosphere, but it never once grated, like some looping scores. According to the manual, nearly twenty musical pieces were composed for Passage, and kudos should go to Michael Brewer, David Rubenstein, and Daniel Signer for a job well done."

"...After all, it is a "garage game," and while it was done by an amateur, it is not amateurish. Unequivocally and without a doubt--yes. For if we--you--do not support the small adventure game developers now, then there may not be a future for the genre..."

Quandaryland Review by Rosemary Young

"Passage: Path of Betrayal is a truly gallant effort. It is an adventure game created by one dedicated young player, Darris Hupp, with a little help from a few of his friends. Darris did the lion's share of the work; he designed the game, he wrote the story and the dialogue, created the graphics and did the animations. Help came from his friends Todd Zankich who was responsible for the game engine and Michael Brewer who dreamed up the music and in turn had some added help. In all Passage was put together by Darris and just a handful of people in a couple of years ... something to be in awe of ... and something to bear in mind."

"Passage is like a trip back to the days of innocence ... cute graphics, cute music, cute characters ... and even a scoring system to let you know when you are doing the right thing. Innocent though it is I wouldn't recommend it for computer game innocents. If you haven't played many games then it is better to start with something with fewer hitches. Even if a little primitive and rough around the edges it is an engaging game and it oozes enthusiasm. I had a lot of fun fitting it all together. I'm hoping that Darris has gained some valuable experience in making Passage and that he will give us something more in the future. Technically it can't match up to a lot of games that are coming out today but, pointedly, there are a lot of lessons here for many commercial game developers in building a story and designing puzzles that involve, challenge and entertain the player."

HappyHippo.com

"Passage: Path of Betrayal, designed by Dragon Works Interactive, is a throw back to the glory days of adventure gaming the likes that we haven't seen since King Graham first set foot in the Kingdom of Daventry..."

"This is the area of the game that people will either love or hate. I personally loved it. All of the backgrounds are hand-painted using pencil and chalk and this artistic style lends itself to the game incredibly well. The game has the feeling of an old fairy-tale style storybook..."



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