Adam's Venture: Chronicles (PlayStation 3) Review

By Chris Leebody 26.06.2014 1

Review for Adam

Vertigo Games has discovered something of an untapped market in Adam's Venture: Chronicles (a compilation made up of three episodic games - The Search for the Lost Garden, Solomon's Secret and Revelations), that is to say a mainstream video game that is unashamedly proud and promoting of its religious context, normally reserved for specialised Christian products. Indeed, with two main characters named 'Adam' and 'Evelyn', at the beginning of the game exploring the lost Garden of Eden, it is about as subtle as a slap in the face. Religious references make up many of the game's puzzles and the main story concerns adventuring across an array of historical religious locations. With the aforementioned content comes the real challenge for the developers - to craft an entertaining puzzle game that does not antagonise everyone else except a core religious, young teenager audience. Does Adam's Venture: Chronicles accomplish this?

Frankly, it is best to start off by saying despite the overt religious references throughout the game noted above, the story is largely forgettable. That is to say it is totally forgettable. In spite of the description promising an "exhilarating adventure," plot is thin on the ground here. The main character in the game, Adam Venture, discovers an ancient map that shows the location of four rivers noted in the book of Genesis in the Bible, which apparently shows the way to the Garden of Eden. Without much more exposition, players are whisked off in a plane to the Lost Garden of Eden where the so called Clairvaux Corporation has already started to excavate the area for treasure.

It is all frankly rather absurd, not even taking into account that Adam and his assistant Evelyn go from working with the Clairvaux Corporation, to being on the run from them within an hour of gameplay. Put simply, the story is not the main reason to play the game and is used as a vehicle to get players to the meat of the experience, which is the puzzles.

Screenshot for Adam's Venture: Chronicles on PlayStation 3

It is actually the puzzle solving in which Adam's Venture: Chronicles shines strongest, which is, after all, the main purpose of a game like this. Except for an inexplicably complicated puzzle at the beginning, puzzles do a fine job of straddling the line between challenging and irritating, only a few times crossing into that irritating bracket, usually when players have to time a button press exactly, such as in one of the puzzles in the game's second episode. Most of the puzzles are maths based, as well, and do a decent job of staying solvable to the game's younger teenage age range. It should be noted that there is a significant quality upgrade in the puzzle variety in the game's second and third episodes compared to the first, in which most of the puzzles either involve lighting fire lanterns, or filling in the correct Bible verse.

Allied to the story, another disappointment, and, indeed, offensive part of the game, comes from the main character players control, Adam Venture. Not only is his design incredibly dull, but his voice is highly irritating and his dialogue comes straight from a terrible B movie. As if that wasn't enough, this clean cut figure could actually be considered offensive, making sexist remarks to his assistant Evelyn right from the beginning of the game. From joking that she can't drive and "this situation calls for a man behind the wheel", to outright stating that "I'm the brain and you're the looks", one wonders just what the developers were thinking when creating him.

Graphically, the game looks impressive on the surface, especially in still screenshots, particularly with some nice lighting effects. However, this masks some slowdown in larger areas of the game, as well as noticeable texture pop-in. Additionally, although the areas look impressive in size, this is an illusion to a rather linear world. The animation quality in the game is also very poor, with character movement reminiscent of an early PlayStation 2 game.

Screenshot for Adam's Venture: Chronicles on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Adam's Venture: Chronicles is a good puzzle game and will keep players challenged for a few hours, with a decent amount of puzzles to complete. It is only a pity that the developers didn't choose to craft a far better story on top of the package and flesh it out more in order to create a memorable experience, as well as increasing the scope of the world to allow more exploration and replayability, rather than a linear path from start to finish. As it stands, it is one for the younger player to pick up if it ever goes on sale.

Developer

Vertigo Games

Publisher

Playlogic

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

Comments

Interesting. It sounds like I probably had more fun with this than you did, but there were moments where puzzles got a little frustrating and the story seemed to whisk off to different settings without much explanation. In fact, I don't think I actually ever fully completed the third episode because of one puzzle that drove me nuts. Can't remember exactly...but I'm sure it was a timing-based one that just didn't seem to work.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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