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The Icon Bar: News and features: Review - Emotions

Review - Emotions

Posted by graham on 00:00, 30/10/2000 | , ,


Scrolling platform game from the Datafile. Reviewed by Graham Crockford and Alasdair Bailey.

Emotions, an all-directions scrolling platform game by the budget coding group GEK, is marketed by The Datafile. The storyline concerns a geekish character with buck teeth called Henky-Penky, who deciding that life without Emotions has gone far enough, embarks upon a quest for humanity. Throughout the game, you must collect the yellow faces which represent Emotions, while avoiding or killing monsters and solving puzzles.


[Screenshot!]Emotions came through the post in a chunky white pseudo-video style box with a home-printed and rather badly designed slip-in cover. The installation process was easy and neat from the 3 HD discs, and ran with no difficulty on my Risc PC.

I was pleasantly surprised by the intro sequence, which runs in high resolution with Artworks-style graphics and a very distinct Day of the Tentacle look. The music throughout this intro, which tells the story of Henky-Penky's search for emotions, is quite good, with some tasty electric guitar. Indeed, I watched the intro a few times.

Unfortunately, this enthusiasm was quickly dampened when the menu screen popped up. Back to chunky old Mode 13, with 320x256 graphics, and an awkwardly non user-friendly menu system. The game apparently supports a number of resolutions to play in, but these don't go very high; 388x272 I think was the highest available.

The game itself looks OK. It is a healthy platform puzzle game, and apparently works well, but it does not inspire gameplay. After having twice been told 'game over' because I had walked somewhere I shouldn't have (with no warning to this effect) whilst halfway through a huge and tedious puzzle, I was forced to give up. The screenshots make it seem a far more in-depth game than a few levels might suggest, but to get to them involves more effort than I could commit.

There are some nice little touches throughout the game, such as the mountains of cartoon blood that fly out of enemies as you waste them with the chainsaw, machine gun and other weapons, but the rate at which these appear is low and it does appear at times to be a struggle to get to the next 'nice touch'.

An interesting facility is yeilded to anyone that cares to delve into the confuration files; the game has the ability to use your own playlists and play your favourite tracker music behind the game, among other things; there are plenty of things to play around with.

Emotions has received a lukewarm reception elsewhere, and it's not really surprising, as despite the obvious amount of work put in by the authors, it really is not as much fun to play as some PD offerings. When one considers that there are so many timeless classics sitting in the bargain bins for around the £10 mark, it makes products like Emotions seem less attractive. That said, afficionados of the platform genre could appreciate the real challenge posed by the puzzles.




[Screenshot!]The game comes on 3 floppy discs, which was surprising, given the genre of the game, but the reason for the size of the installation becomes apparent when the game is loaded; this game features a quite impressive intro sequence. The intro cartoon features good solid graphics and music, and gives a healthy impression of the game to come.

I was slightly disappointed when the intro and credits sequence finished, since my monitor was flicked back into a low-resolution mode and the typical jagged graphics and black lines appeared. The ensuing menu screen required a trip back to the little card that passes for a manual, as it works by showing a single item which scrolls up and down with the mouse; a quite confusing idea on-screen.

The game-play itself wasn't too impressive either; low-resolution graphics with puzzles which, in my opinion, have a far too steep learning curve. The first level is fairly easy but then the second level really does require some thinking. Having moaned about the graphics, I feel obliged to comment that I found the style of the in-game graphics quite appealing but if only they had been drawn in a higher resolution.

The question of value for money springs to mind at this stage. Emotions is a budget release (retailing at £19.95), but I think that it is worth this price; if it were a full priced commercial product, however, retailing at around the £30-£35 range, I wouldn't consider buying this game.


To sum up

The good...
  • Nice intro sequence
  • Cute graphics
  • Budget price
...the bad
  • Low resolution graphics
  • Confusing menu screen
  • Steep learning curve
  • Some repetitive puzzles


Rating: BADRating: OKRating: BAD

WWW:Datafile's website
Post:The Datafile
PO Box 175
BS24 4PU

  Review - Emotions
  (22:50 14/1/2006)
Eddy Willson Message #87905, posted at 22:50, 14/1/2006
Unregistered user Any idea where I could find a demo of Emotions?

(Datafile site been down for a while and no returns from archive.org)
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The Icon Bar: News and features: Review - Emotions