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Moorhuhn Adventure 2 -
Curse of the Gold


Release date: 12/2004
Developer: Phenomedia
Publisher: ak tronic


Game language: German


Boxshots

USK: no age restrictions

 

A review by   André   4th February 2005
(translated by slydos)


Moorhuhn Adventure, second part. Or perhaps should I better say: second chance? Actually I put away the first part "The Treasure of the Pharao" after playing it for some time, although I noticed that the developers must be adventure-enthusiasts and -experts too and I enjoyed the game so far, since I liked the solid comic graphics very much. But the huge labyrinth was too nerving for me and in addition I didn't get along with the puzzles. They didn't correspond to "my logic" somehow. And that Mr. Moorhuhn couldn't speak, didn't make the game more exciting. So here is the second part. Let's see, if something has changed.

 

Contents

Moorhuhn 2 theoretically starts where Moorhuhn 1 ended. That's however insignificant, since you'll understand the current game, even if you haven't played the first one. The initial situation is as follows: Moorhuhn was in Egypt, has experienced a few adventures, captured a treasure and returned to his castle. Now he sits in his room, (by the way in exactly the same room where he was sitting at the beginning of the first Moorhuhn game) enjoying the statue he looted in Egypt. The rest of the treasure was collected as taxes by the state. (What is politically up-to-date, because in exploiting our present government can hardly be exceeded.)

Everything seems as usual. Only a thunderstorm announces mischief. So we look around, run to the corridor, enter the next room and are .... again in the very same room? And the remaining two rooms look also identical! Wait a sec, there must be something wrong! Haven't we still got this Egyptian statue? Aren't those things always cursed? Oh my God, we must have caught ourselves a ghost in Egypt!

 

Sound

The intention is the following: There are no voice-overs. Therefore the game can be purchased from the first day for a bargain price of only approx. 15 Euro, which incites probably more customers to a direct purchase.

The missing voice-overs were okay with the first adventure, but to tell the truth at the latest with this sequel I would have rather spend a tenner or so for hearing them talk. This shows once again, how important voices are for an adventure game. A central feature of a character is simply missing, if you only can read the sub-titles. It sometimes gives an 'empty' expression to the game. Well, if it's not possible, this must do.

It can't be completely compensated by sound effects or the beautiful orchestral score. It's sometimes bombastic like you find it in adventure films. Sometimes it's calm and easy-going. There is even a location where you get natty jazz-sound and in Egypt - yes we'll visit Egypt again -, oriental-like sound.

 

Graphics

Moorhuhn 2 is - despite the low price - graphically just as good and up-to-date as other current comparable 2D/3D-adventure games. Because the timeless comic style with its solid background graphics gets along without technical finesses and intricate effects and hasn't changed very much in the last years. The 3D-Moorhuhn character once again knows how to please our eyes white his waddling gait and his cute movements and facial expressions.

I also very much enjoyed the quite brief, noir-style intro with the bombastic, orchestral music. It's a looker how the writing dissolves into smoke.

Essential is: who knows the first game, knows what to expect, because the game graphics seemlessly tie up to the first part. The first room (in the castle) as well as some locations in Egypt are copied from Moorhuhn 1. A bit of animation in form of a watercourse here or a few passing clouds there would surely have been nice in some scenes. If one considers on the other hand the very low game price, one already understands that not every screen could be lavishly animated.

 

Handling

It is rather nerving and tedious to browse through all functions with the right mouse button, to find one of the desired actions like "look", "speak" etc.. Nothing else to critizise about the mouse control and the classic inventory.

The ESC-key leads to the main menu. As nice extra you find there a few sketches and desktop themes. However I actually don't know, who seriously e.g. uses a few comic style nuggets in a safe as desktop theme. From the main menu one can also enter the save menu to use one of the nine save slots. I think that the small number is sufficient for the game however.

 

Puzzles

I actually like to use many absurd objects - true to the slogan: "find old comb, screw and electrical toothbrush and build a motor saw". In parts of the first half of the game our inventory is however crowded with more than 50 (or even 60?) different, to a large extent useless items! That was even too much for me. Sometimes I had seven different keys, an additional thick bunch of keys as well as at least 45 further objects. Sometimes I didn't even know, where to start, what of course affected the game-flow.

Many puzzles surely made fun, but others were too absurd and far from logical. An example: If we (regardless whether intentional or not) talk to objects, points were taken from our score. So far logical. But we have to talk with the cornerstone of the castle. It asks us to send the philosopher's stone kind regards. If we do this... yes, you're right...... they substract some points from the score!

I found many of the puzzles too abstract. Hence I played nearly the whole first part of the game using the walkthrough.

At the beginning of the second half of the game the inventory is nearly emptied and the acquisitiveness of our hero clearly diminishes. Conditional upon that also the puzzles get more comprehensible. From that time on the game not only made fun to me, but changed to a really great little game.

There are yet some other kind of tasks. We must get answers from the other characters to get ahead and once we must use the keyboard to type some answers to very simple questions or we must compare two pictures for differences. We also will encounter two or three mini games. This time there are really no unsolvable tasks. Among others we have to play a variant of the oldie 'Space Invaders' from the first days of gaming.

 

Result

Who liked Moorhuhn 1 will also enjoy Moorhuhn 2. I had my problems with the predecessor because of the labyrinth, the running to and fro as well as the far-fetched puzzles, although I even then ejoyed the comic style graphics. The style hasn't changed much. Fortunately there are no more labyrinths. Leftover beside the logical ones also the many uncomprehensible puzzles. The enormous amount of redundant items probably also contributes that one can lose overview and interest too. The number of objects decreases in the second half clearly, which benefits the gameflow. Starting from that point the game becomes really exciting.

But there are not only plenty of inventory items: the game is worthily very long with many scenes, so that a long play time results. The missing voice-overs let Moorhuhn 2 appear somewhat monotonous in parts, particularly if you play it consecutively. However one can get it for a low-budget price.

If I weigh all aspects, the bottom line is for me an ambivalent impression. But I liked Moorhuhn 2 better than its predecessor because it's to a large extent a quite beautiful, varied and entertaining game with some weaknesses concerning the puzzles, particularly in the first half.



Rating: 70 %

 

Adventure-Archiv rating system:

  • 80% - 100%  excellent game, very recommendable
  • 70% - 79%    good game, recommendable
  • 60% - 69%    satisfactory, restricted recommendable
  • 50% - 59%    sufficient (not very recommendable)
  • 40% - 49%    rather deficient (not to be recommended - for hardcore-adventure-freaks and collectors only)
  • 0%  -  39%    worst (don't put your fingers on it)

 

Minimal system requirements:

  • Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
  • DirectX 8.1 or higher
  • Pentium III 700 MHz or compatible
  • 256 MB RAM
  • SVGA graphic card with 16 MB graphic memory
  • Mouse, keyboard, CDROM-drive
  • about 600 MB on hard disk

 

Played with:

  • Win 98
  • AMD Athlon XP 1800
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Graphic card Radeon 9200 series
  • 16x CDROM-drive
  • Hard disk 60 GB

 

 

Copyright © André for Adventure-Archiv, 4th February 2005

 

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