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ZOOM The Ward
Sold Out (Win95/98/Me/XP) (Retail) (THEWARDPR)

Publisher: Fragile Bits / On Deck Interactive

Mild Language and Violence

Game

Ratings:

from Adventure Gamer

                

Deception Has Many Faces. Truth Has Only One.

Your name is David Walker. You are a member of the Apollo XIX crew. On what should have been a routine assignment. You are sent to the moon's surface to collect information about unexpected seismic events detected there. But something goes horrible wrong. As you near completion of your task, an alien ship descends on your crew and opens fire. You watch your fellow crewman die in an instant, and you find yourself taken prisoner to a secret alien world right in the Earth's backyard.

But that's just the beginning.

Something older that the cosmos itself has chosen you to be the carrier of an ancient legacy.

Your true mission and purpose is still unknown.


The Birth of a New Millennium Brings Humanity its Ultimate Test

Accept the challenge of an ancient and unknown force that will guide you through an interstellar conflict to perform a task you don't fully comprehend. You will encounter a hybrid society composed of two different alien races and their human prisoners. You will face danger, deception and betrayal as you desperately try to reach for the truth.

The way to beat this game is always a logical one, but that is far from being easy. However, since all the puzzles are deeply ingrained into the story, you will, with enough patience and effort, always be able to find the solution. In addition, every major puzzle contains a hint system and a simplified mode of play is also available.

A very specific style of both the surroundings and the soundtrack guarantee a memorable experience far different from anything you've tasted before. Combine an extremely detailed, fully interactive world with fast-paced cinematics and you get an adventure that will drive you forward until the very end.

The story follows a three-act structure, and each act takes a different kind of approach. First you will have to run for your life, and use all the wits you can muster. If you manage to save your skin, you will enter a world of intrigue and fear, where your task is to penetrate through various layers of deception until you finally realize who your real allies are. In the end, subtleties will become unnecessary as you enter an open conflict, and use guerilla tactics, sabotage and cooperation with an unlikely ally as you take over an alien starship that will guide you to your goal.

Your final challenge will take you beyond what you know. As you fulfill your mission, you will discover the truth about the force that has been guiding you, all the implications of your Relationship, and what you have been really fighting for. The game comes on 2 CD's packed with stunning audiovisual data.

Requirements:

Windows 95/98/Me/XP: Pentium II 133 MHz or higher, 32 MB RAM, 130 MB free hard disk space, 8x CD-ROM drive, 1 MB DirectX video card, keyboard and mouse.

Reviews

Adventure Gamer by Tony Lacey, Feb. 9, 2001

"Major events in the game are relayed through the game designer's favourite trick of the trade; the cut-scene. These are, without exception, well written and presented. They are atmospheric, interesting and most importantly relevant to the plot...Yes, you experience everything in The Ward. Space travel, aliens, mystic creations and even the need to clean some toilets to win someone over. If only real life was this interesting.

"The Ward is not an easy game. It will take you a long time to complete, unless of course you use a walkthrough. The puzzles are difficult, even for experienced gamers. Several sliding puzzles become important in the second act, but for those who despise this kind of challenge, the game has an 'Easy' mode that allows you to skip these types of puzzles. Throughout the game you will experience a variety of problems; from broken-down maintenance robots to games of blackjack, from hidden passageways to planetary portals. It's a nice, large mix of varied puzzles that present a real challenge for any adventure player..."

"Why did I like this game? Perhaps because it's got a good story but which stops short of overwhelming the player with science-fiction. It could be the thought put in to the characters and the locations. Then again, the well-constructed, challenging puzzles and rewarding length of the game are equally impressive..."

Quandary Review by Gordon Alpin

"And for the first third of the game I did enjoy it despite an annoying timed sequence. It had some interesting inventory based puzzles, some killer robots to outsmart and some fascinating equipment to manipulate; and it made me think about where the story was heading. The next two sections, I felt, let the game down which was a major disappointment after such a promising beginning ... "

"So I must end by noting that The Ward is a game that may best appeal to science fiction fans who thrive on timed sequences and, to a lesser extent, sliding tile puzzles...Although I must point out here that there is an easy mode option available which allows you to skip the logic puzzles, but I could find no way to cancel the clock.

"On the whole The Ward really didn't need to resort to timed sequences. The puzzles (yes, even the sliders) were interesting enough and some of them were very difficult — especially coming to grips with the gadgetry such as the 'memorizer' and working out exactly what you had to do. It's a shame that I can't be more positive about this game as I thought the first section was quite good and I was really prepared to enjoy the challenge and the exploration but too many frustrating timed sequences spoiled the experience."



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