Ozzie and the Quantum Playwright is an extremely short amateur adventure game that unfortunately doesn't offer nearly as much gameplay as its high production value may suggest. The game's plot is quite interesting: thanks to a huge drop in ranking of your university, the dean has decided to shut down the theatre department to build a library for accounting majors in its place. Since your girlfriend in the game is a theatre major, you (named Ozzie in the game) have to do something to stop it to prevent her from transferring to another school. And what better way to convince the dean of the merits of theatre than to use the time machine to bring back the world's greatest playwright of all: William Shakespeare. |
The game's strong point is definitely the graphics and sounds. As you can see from the screenshot, the background graphics is almost the same caliber as commercial adventure games. Every scene is detailed and very, very well-drawn. On the other hand, character graphics could use some work. Ozzie and other characters look like 2D paper dolls, and very "squished" when they walk toward edges of the screen, and they don't 'shrink' or 'grow' consistently enough to maintain the illusion of depth. The game uses an elegant point-and-click interface similar to Full Throttle: right-clicking on any object or person on the screen brings up a small action menu where you can USE, LOOK, or TALK to the target. Your inventory is easily accessed by moving the mouse to the top of the screen (as an aside, the game was coded using AGAST adventure game creation program, which emulates LucasArts' engine quite closely).
Too bad all the care that went into creating the graphics wasn't reflected in the most important element: gameplay. Puzzles in Ozzie and the Quantum Playwright are extremely easy, even though some are extremely far-fetched. To stop the construction behind your dorm, for instance, requires you to convince the foreman that a paper origami crane you made is an "endangered species" of bird whose existence is being threatened by this construction (no, I'm not making this up). The game is simply over far too soon. It took me about an hour to finish this game, and considerable time during that was spent watching Ozzie follow a convoluted path on the map. The authors could have added many more puzzles to make the game longer and make more use of all that pretty background graphics and nice music that take up a whopping 61MB of space. As it stands, Ozzie and the Quantum Playwright is an above-average - for as long as it lasts - game that offers a very bad gameplay-to-HD space ratio. Sure, many other amateur adventure games are very short. But when you are downloading a 61MB zip file only to find a 'small' game you can finish in an hour, you will wonder why the designers didn't put as much attention on puzzles and plot as they did with the graphics.
Reviewed by: Underdogs