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Nightlong: Union City Conspiracy

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Edoardo Gervino

GAME DEVELOPER:Trecision

GAME PUBLISHER:Team 17

Copyright 1998, Trecision

Nightlong is an atmospheric and fun cyberpunk adventure game from Trecision. Although it suffers from extreme pixel-hunt syndrome in places and a very slow pace for the first 1/4th of the game, Nightlong still remains a above-average game that will occupy adventure fans for hours with an interesting plot and plenty of puzzles.

You play Joshua Reev, a 32-year old retired lieutenant and now a private eye, trying to make ends meet in Union City, a metropolis in the far future. When the game begins, you learn that several of the city’s major industrial installations that are controlled by a mega corporation called Genesis have been under attack from an unknown terrorist group. To repay past debt, you must accept the mission to find out what happened to Simon Ruby, a secret agent sent to infiltrate the terrorist group who disappeared without a trace – well, almost without a trace: a magnetic pen and a key found in his abandoned car provide the first two clues for your quest.

In true Trecision fashion, most puzzles in the game require you to use the right items from your inventory at the right time. All puzzles are quite logical, although they are unfortunately quite a bit easier than Ark of Time, Trecision’s previous game. As a result, Nightlong is a good game for adventure newbies who want to breeze through the game and focus more on the atmosphere and plot. A few puzzles are a bit harder than the rest, especially if you are not so mathematically-inclined – but there is nothing in this game anyone who finished Sierra’s RAMA would find challenging.

Compared to Ark of Time, Nightlong has a better plot and character development. Trecision clearly took great pains this time around to present a coherent graphical style, so you will no longer see cartoony characters pasted against photo-realistic backdrops. The voice acting is below average, however, but fortunately you can turn the speech off. Unfortunately, there are some very frustrating pixel-hunting sequences in the game, and the game is shorter than average: I was able to finish Nightlong in less than 15 hours, and much of that time is spent pixel-hunting for necessary items.

So in summary, Nightlong is a better-than-average cyberpunk adventure that should entertain you for a while – just not as much as veritable classics like Beneath a Steel Sky or Blade Runner. Recommended, but only at budget/bargain bin price.



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