Review by IzzyPush
Old School Gaming, True Game Design
So, there are some interesting reviews floating out there on the interwebs. And the overwhelming, modern consensus is that playing this game is too nuanced. On GameFAQs, daoudqin writes, "There is no wandering from screen to screen over large maps. You can die but these instances are rare and like any reasonably designed games you have to solve all puzzles and get all items before travelling to the next world." And this is completely wrong.
This game is area based, however, there are multiple solutions to the larger puzzles. You are tasked with escaping from certain locations, but how you leave those locations is, in the world of point and clicks, extremely varied. This is a game of adding sarcasm and wit to the mid-90s point and click doldrums. Sure, it is a game of go from point A to point B, but the trip is what is important. And this game provides all sorts of off-the-wall solutions for doing so. There is a completely unique style that does not exist in modern gaming, and was created out of pure originality to combat the slew of pop-point and clicks.
But, the fallacies of Malocolm's Revenge still exist. There are trite tasks to be had for the first half of the game. Some solutions are only revealed upon experimentation. Avoiding prison sentences, for example, is not easily avoided unless you have played the game previously. However, the solutions are neither obtuse or incongruous. Simple logic never escaped the developers' minds while creating this game.
Even the soundtrack is professionally executed. One may not identify with or like the score, but it is part of what makes Malcolm's Revenge one of the highlights of the point and click genre. There was no modern need for licensing stupid pop tracks, but a clear need for creating an original soundtrack. You do not have to "identify" with the soundtrack because it was created to complement the tone and pacing of the game itself.
The cleverness of the script coupled with the originality of the story, especially when considering the entire Kyrandia cannon, truly creates an experience that cannot be replicated. There is no true argument against the uniqueness of Malcolm's Revenge. Some will frame it as being part of an obsolete generation or genre. Some will claim it is paint by numbers. However, it's impact is clearly as an influential piece of gaming history. Many disagree on how enjoyable Citizen Kane is as a film, but none disagree on it's influence on film making.
Simply put, this game is important in the grand cannon of adventure gaming. There is no shooting dudes in the face, but there is making fun of exchange students.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: The Legend of Kyrandia: Book 3: Malcolm's Revenge (US, 12/31/94)
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