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Game #199
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Chronomaster    View all Top Dogs in this genreCollection: CD-ROM Adventure Underdogs
Adventure   Traditional third-person

Rating: 9.02 (168 votes)

Chronomaster box cover

Chronomaster screenshot
Before the phenomenal Sanitarium, Dreamforge designed this sci-fi adventure that's sadly not better known despite getting good reviews. Based on the works of seminal sci-fi master Roger Zelazny, you are a chronomaster-- a "time cop" who must find and correct asynchronisms while tracking down the criminal mastermind. Excellent puzzles (with many gadgets to use), plot, and a truly long journey add to a great game, despite some bugs. Strategy Plus says it all about this little-known underdog:

"You are Rene Korda, a semi-retired specialist in the creation of pocket universes. You are contacted by a Terran Regional Representative and find that someone or something has put many of these universes into a time-locked stasis. Only Chronomasters such as yourself may possess packages of virtual time. You carry your time in a bottle and walk around in a little bubble of active energy, everything within several feet of you affected by your time field. You must travel between universes discovering in each its magnetic north and placing your resonance tracer there. With the help of your tracer, you must find the world key which, when assembled, will reinstate the pocket universe to normalcy.

However, "normalcy" as we know it certainly doesn't apply to the Chronomaster worlds. Each universe has its own laws of physics, where science and magic co-exist. The artwork is absolutely stunning from start to finish. From vehicles to edifices to creatures to monsters to the ambiance of outer and inner space, every scene is little short of spectacular.

The point and click intelligent cursor makes gameplay a breeze. The puzzle construction is tricky in many cases, but still intuitive. Multiple solutions to each puzzle are possible, and multiple paths can be taken, each resulting in a different outcome.

Despite the celebrity power in the voice department, (the cast includes Ron Perlman, Brent Spiner and Lolita Davidovich) the voice acting is one of the least attractive things about this game. It sounds wooden and "read" all too often. I'd venture a guess that with a little bit more time, and a lot more direction, the dialog could've been tightened up and infused with a bit more life.

But the excellence of Chronomaster the game shines through even the most mediocre moments of acting. It's just too good to miss. Play it. Really."

Because Zelazny was heavily involved in the design process right up to his death (it was finished post morten by his partner Jane Lindskold), this game is a must-have for all his fans. But even if you've never heard of Zelazny but consider yourself a "die-hard" adventure game fan who loves challenging puzzles and innovative plots, you owe it to yourself to try one of the best - and most underrated - adventure games ever created. Two thumbs up, and a venerable induction into our Hall of Belated Fame.

Reviewed by: Underdogs

Designer: Roger Zelazny & Jane Lindskold
Developer: Dreamforge Intertainment
Publisher: IntraCorp
Year: 1996
Software Copyright: Dreamforge Intertainment
Theme: Science Fiction, Licensed, Epic
Multiplayer:  
None that we know of
System Requirements: DOS
Where to get it:
Related Links: CD Mag review, Quandary review, Roger Zelazny Page
Links:    
If you like this game, try: Neuromancer, Blade Runner, Beneath a Steel Sky

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