3 1/2 stars from CD-ROM Today
3 stars from PC Entertainment
Silver - Strategy/Puzzle Game Title from New Media's
1996 Invision Awards
3½ from Adventure Gamer
It's a Mind Game
Enter a world of spectacular, lushly detailed 3D
environments that render you unable to leave. Lose yourself in mind-twisting
gaming situations that will both entice and exasperate you. Capture your entire
imagination in perplexing, reality-based situations. Submit to hours and hours
of irresistible game play. Allow the immersive environments to pique your
interest and curiosity. Encounter James Burke and other live-action characters
who add vitality and realism to the experience.
Based on the award-winning work of James Burke, Connections,
as seen on The Learning Channel, provides the ultimate challenge for the
quizzical mind. You travel from one environment to the next, looking for the
clues that will explain how you entered this world - and how you can escape.
Spectacular, engrossing 3D environments create an immersive virtual environment
that draws you into a time and space you cannot leave without the answers.
For Windows: Win 3.1 or Win 95/98 Only, 486/33 or
higher processor, 8 MB RAM, double-speed CD-ROM, hard drive, Windows compatible
sound card, mouse, VGA display (256 colors).
For Macintosh: Macintosh Performa, Centris, Quadra,
or Power Mac series computer with a 68040 processor or better, System 7.0 or
later, double-speed CD-ROM drive, 8 MB RAM, 640 x 480 display color monitor
with at least 256 colors.
The Adrenaline Vault by Brain
"Connections is one of the first games to come from The
Discovery Channel. Based on the critically acclaimed television series with
host James Burke, Connections gives players not only an in-depth learning
experience but an involving game as well. In Connections, you enter a world
where someone has begun to create chaos in the timeline by breaking down the
connections between historical events. So for instance, you appear in what
appears to be Europe in the 1400's but because the timeline is mixing together
there are telephones, electric lights, matches, pencils, televisions, etc.
"Don't think that the mixing of items is totally chaotic,
it's not and James Burke knows it. Through the game he'll appear to help you on
your way, in the above example, the connection is graphite. When you find items
that make up a historical connection, they appear in your Connection chain.
This chain is what allows you to repair the timeline and make it stable enough
for you to escape the chaotic whirlwind of the timeline. Of course, Connections
isn't just about finding items, there's also quite a lot of puzzle solving to
be done in order to progress through the storyline.
"Also in true Discovery Channel style, learning is a major
part of Connections. As you add items to your chain, you can click on them and
see James Burke give you a history lesson and overview of the item in question.
This is done, as is most of the game, using Quicktime movies. This helps to
make Connections a real learning tool that people can play and discover new
things about, just like the Discovery Channel itself."
Computer Shopper, August 1996
"Connections is a thought-provoking first-person adventure
and puzzle game that plays much like Activision's Return to Zork. Here you
explore medieval castles, Egyptian temples, and Western towns; talk with
various live-action characters; locate key objects; and solve puzzles.
Ultimately you'll discover seemingly disparate objects that range from pencils
to lacquered furniture to oscilloscopes, and you'll learn how they influenced
history and somehow relate to each other."
"As a game, Connections is entertaining, and its puzzles are
quite challenging (a few are down-right mind-bending). Some of the logic
puzzles stand by themselves; others follow the classic adventure game tradition
that requires you to talk with characters, look for clues, and find and use
objects to accomplish something. To allow everyone to experience the game,
Connections has a hint feature that provides clues to solving puzzles.
"The game's surreal, 3-D-rendered graphics are first rate;
it also makes excellent use of video footage from the TV series. The interface
is intuitive and easy to use. The only downside is that the game doesn't label
items in your inventory, which makes it difficult at times to identify them.
For instance, how many players would recognize a steam engine's condenser
CD-ROM Today, June 1996
"Burke doesn't take the usual chronological approach to
teaching history. Instead, he emphasizes the connectivity between concepts and
events, such as the correlation between science and social movements or
accidental discovery and deliberate invention. His goal is to point out the
relationship between elements widely separated by time, distance, or
"Making the connection between seemingly unrelated concept
is what you have to do in the Connections CD-ROM. The web of time and space has
somehow been distorted, and it's your task to repair the broken links in
history and restore natural order."
"As in other graphic adventure games, game play consists of:
navigating through 3D-rendered worlds, looking for clues, listening to what
denizens of a particular time tell you, picking up objects, and stashing useful
items away for future use."
PC Entertainment, May 1996
"Discovery Channel Multimedia's first foray into gaming
presents you with the challenge of preventing chaos by solving a set of
puzzles. Oh, and you end up learning a fair bit about science along the
Computer Games Strategy Plus, May 1996
"...Connections is a puzzle/adventure game which has
been very cleverly designed to appeal to a wide range of players. Burke stars
as himself in the role of a sort of Ghost in the Machine, aiding the player in
saving the universe from the powers of chaos which have thrown a virtual world
known as The Web into a state of instability."
"...If you want edutainment, it's there, Just click on any
of the significant items and you will be treated to a detailed film clip of
James Burke's complete historical perspective about it. But, ('somethimes you
feel like a nut, sometimes you don't...') you may choose not to ever look at
these clips, and the game is still a very intriguing straight adventure."
"Families who game together will find this a worthwhile
addition to their collection. A bit too challenging for younger children alone,
Connections is a great vehicle for communication with parents, friends
and siblings. It's nice to look at, and in spite of its tendency toward
edutainment it's downright, well...fun."
Gamer by Ray Ivey (7/6/99)
"...sometimes I feel like having a light, breezy time
playing a game that creates a lovely mood with lovely pictures, driven by a
lovely premise and containing lovely puzzles that entertain me without making
my brains pour out of my ears. And for that mood, I cant think of a
better title than James Burkes Connections."
"This premise works well for an
entertaining game for two reasons. First, if you have any interest in science
and history, its fun playing a game where those subjects take center
stage. Second, since you are in this strange cyberworld, anything can happen.
You can be in a medieval castle one moment, a 50s diner the next, and a wild
west saloon the next. The crazy variety of locations and settings create a
daffy atmosphere thats really fun."
"I would compare this game to Qin
and The Cassandra Galleries for its breezy, unthreatening, appealing quality.
Since the puzzles are never too hard, Connections is a good choice for novice
gamers, but compelling enough for experienced players as well."
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