Beneath A Steel Sky

Title           Beneath A Steel Sky
Game Type       Adventure
Players         1
HD Installable  Yes
Compatibility   All Amigas
Submission      Isaac Abraham

Coming on twelve disks, you would be an absolute idiot to buy this game
without having a hard drive. I tried playing this at a friends house, we
spent more time swapping disks then playing the actual game, for gods sake.
Thankfully this probably accounts for less than 5% of Amiga owners nowadays,
and if this is being read off the CUCD, you almost certainly have a HD. So
you may as well forget this paragraph.
BASS (as it shall be known from here onwards) tells the tale of a boy who
moves outside the city to live in the wilderness with a group of mutants.
One day, a chopper from the city arrives, kidnaps him, and kill the rest of
them. After an inevitable escape (shown via an excellent intro sequence),
you take control, and it`s up to you to find out why you were kidnapped, how
you can get back to the wilderness, and so on and so forth.
The game proper takes place as a point and click graphic adventure. Unlike
most games like this that have umpteen buttons, like "Talk" "Argue"
"Disagree" "Speak" "Converse", which merely serve to confuse the issue, BASS
has cleverly concentrated on the actual problem solving. You see, you only
have two buttons - the left and right mouse buttons. Left button is for
examine, right is for use. You can also USE one object in your inventory
with another. The first puzzle in the game is right at the start. You are on
a ledge, with a security guard who will shoot you if you walk downstairs. A
door is to your right, but it is locked. So you find a piece metal of metal
and right-click on it. Your character pulls it out of the wall. Now, by
USING the "crowbar" on the door, you can wedge it open. A quick animated
sequence later, and you can now go down the stairs because the security
guard investigates the door which you opened and thinks that you have died
from falling off a ledge (Trust me, it makes sense in the game!). And the
animated sequences are like your reward for solving a puzzle, and they egg
you on to solve the next one. Only rarely is there any pointless searching
every pixel on the screen for an object, and thankfully there are no stupid
subgames that interrupt the flow of the game.
And the game is huge. There must be over a hundred screens, and probably
there are near to a hundred puzzles, maybe more. Whenever you complete one,
it`s always through logical deduction (well, mostly!), and this also helps
things bounce along. The only thing perhaps that goes against this game is
the fact that it is so massive - at one point in the game, you have access
to near on 50 screens, and if you get stuck, it can seem very daunting. But
in its favour, BASS looks great, it`s easy to get into, and it plays a great
game. Although the game pretty much is linear in that there is only one way
to complete the game, that path is never clear to see. The addition of real
time puzzles (doing one task whilst another one is occuring) also improves
the game.
The CD32 version also has speech for the characters, so get that one if you
can. But even without the sound, BASS is one of the best adventure games
I`ve ever played. Buy it.

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