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Road to India: Between Hell and Nirvana

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Microids

GAME PUBLISHER:Microids

Copyright 2001, Microids

Road to India is a very stylish, well-written adventure game that is unfortunately both too easy and too short. You play Fred Reynolds, a young university student whose Indian fiancee had been kidnapped by Kali worshippers bent on human sacrifices and overthrow of the Indian government. You must now make your way to New Delhi and beyond to find her and stop the evil cult before it is too late.

Similar to the unique watercolor-enhanced photorealistic environments of Golden Gate, Road to India is very pretty to look at: the graphics truly bring out the spectacular sights in India, and the photorealistic environments are very detailed (you can also pan around the screen similar to recent Cryo games). The best thing about the game is that your search for is conducted on two fronts: first, during the waking hours, you will explore present-day urban India. But at night, in your dreams, you explore the magical India of old. This is a brilliant stroke that makes the game more satisfying than if the setting had been exclusively one or the other, and combined with lush graphics makes the game much more attractive.

While the story is intriguing, the puzzles are quite average, and some even suffer from Myst-style ‘we want to put a logic puzzle here for the hell of it, even if it has nothing to do with the story’ mentality. Still, beautiful cut-scenes that appear to move the story along once you solve the puzzles make it worthwhile. The major problem with the game is that it is very easy, and very short. Those new to adventure genre will be able to complete it in less than 10 hours — not a lot of gaming for your dollars. Although it’s true that a lot of great adventure games are quite short (Full Throttle comes to mind), Road to India isn’t really on par with those classics to justify the brevity. Still, I had a lot of fun while it lasted. Road to India is definitely one of the few good adventure games that came out after 2001– at times when this by-now niche genre is flooded by mediocre releases from Dreamcatcher and Cryo. You will even learn a thing or two about Indian myths and culture in the process ;) Due to the brevity, you may not want to pay the full $39 retail price, but the game is well worth picking up for $20 or under if you find it in bargain bins. Recommended!



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