Review by Rev4n
Great if you used to play it.
I would like to start this review by simply saying that Odell Lake is one of my favorite games. I grew up with this game in the classroom and it has provided me with hours of amusement.
The premise of Odell Lake is very simple. You are one of six fish inhabiting Odell Lake in Oregon (Blueback Salmon, Chub, Dolly Varden, Mackinaw Trout, Rainbow Trout, or Whitefish). As you encounter other marine life, you must choose the appropriate course of action for the situation. There is a timer for each encounter. As you progress through the game, the timer gets shorter and shorter, until eventually you inevitably hit the wrong key or take a risk and die. It's a very simple game and definitely won't keep the attention span of anyone over 10 who didn't grow up appreciating this game (and even 10 is pushing it).
Graphically, Odell Lake is much like any other Apple II game. Few colors, very little motion. The pictures don't really do anything, except for sometimes when an Osprey swoops down and plucks you out of the water or an Angler's hook, disguised as a Chub or insects introduces you with your end.
Sound is also very much like any other Apple II game. Quick bleeps and one of my favorite: The "Troggle noise," (From Super Munchers) as I call it. You get that one when you die, which happens a lot. There's no music, and very little sound.
Educationally, this game is very valuable. On one level, there's the intended educational value--learn about fish. It's also a look back in history at what games used to be like.
It's definitely an under-rated game and history has dealt it a bad hand. Oregon Trail and Super Munchers, both MECC-related successes have been remembered and are still played, but for whatever reason, Odell Lake was cast aside.
This game is clearly not the best game ever, nor is it the most playable, nor does it have good sound, nor do its graphics accomplish anything special. It's simply a game that is worthy of a play through when you're bored. There's no end, so once you've seen all the fish there is to see, you can feel free to put it down.
If you're bored someday and wondering what to play, you should definitely give Odell Lake the 15 minutes it takes to "beat."
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