An excellent and very innovative parser-based adventure game, Metropolis is probably the first PC game in history that offers digitized voices through PC speakers (predating Sierra's Silpheed and Access' Mean Streets by a few years). |
In this futuristic game, you play a security agent working for giant software corporation IC&D, assigned to investigate crimes that have been committed in Metropolis. Gameplay is similar to Sierra's early AGI adventures such as King's Quest 3: you type commands in plain English and maneuver your character around with the arrow keys. Once you solve a crime, you will gain access to the "zoom tube" to another level of the city, where another crime awaits your sleuthing skills. There are ten crimes in all, each one more difficult than the last. The parser is not up-to-par with Infocom games, but it is adequate. One of the game's innovations is that it allows you to communicate in spoken English, as opposed to "TALK TO MAN" or "ASK MAN ABOUT X" in most interactive fiction games. You can use phrases like "Do you know where the disk is?" and "I would like to buy a disk please." The irony is that the game will often understand ONLY such sentences – simple ones such as "BUY DISK" will not work.
In contrast to most adventure games, the crimes are solved mostly by asking the right questions, not by using items in your inventory. This makes Metropolis perhaps the world's first conversation-driven game, and the results are surprisingly good. The plot unravels at a good pace, and there are so many futuristic gadgets to use, and interesting droids to talk to, that you'll likely forget about the absence of inventory-based puzzles. All in all, a wonderfully original, innovative, and captivating underdog that deserves much more than its obscure status. Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs