Title           Loom
Game Type       Adventure
Publisher       Lucasfilm Games
Players         1
Compatibility   OCS/AGA
HD Installable  Yes
Submission      Eric Haines

     This is one of Lucasfilm's first adventure efforts, before the days
of Monkey Island. Their goal was to create a game that wasn't more of the
same old, same old, and to some extent, Loom succeeds.

     On first impressions, impressive it's not. It's a direct translation
of the IBM 16-color version (there was a 256- color version later that was
of course never converted to AGA), so graphics are gaudy and dithered,
though as well done as could be expected given that limitation. The
programmers couldn't be bothered to learn about Amiga specifics like the
blitter either, so animation can get very slow and jerky, especially on a
stock A500. Sound and music isn't up to a whole lot either.

     With a lackluster presentation like that, what's there to like? Well,
the story. This is one of the very, very few games I've played where the
story is worthwhile for its own sake, and not just as a means to an end.
"Defeat the evil wizard and/or rescue the princess" is nowhere to be seen.
Each action you take in the game reveals more of this story, so it really
could be called "interactive fiction."

     The game mechanics are unusual as well. You start out as a young
shepherd, equipped with a magical staff but untrained in its ways. As you
progress, you find clues in the form of musical notes, which when played
can cast a spell. And that's it, really. Point and click to move around
the screen as usual, but there's no inventory to manage or a
push/pull/open/close list of actions to perform.

     The game comes on three disks and thus is reasonably large, but if
you're looking for a good challenge you won't find it here. This is
adventuring in "easy" mode, and it won't take you long to finish unless
you're really stupid. (You can up the difficulty a bit by turning off the
display of musical notes, which I would recommend unless you're completely

     Despite the drawbacks, Loom is a game that I'd recommend just because
of its originality. Certainly it's a pleasant way to while away an
afternoon or two.

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