Deja Vu: MacVenture Series (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 17.02.2015 3

Review for Deja Vu: MacVenture Series on PC

Déjà Vu is a game that is part of the 'MacVenture' series of games that came out in the late 1980s that featured 'choose your own adventure' like experiences. This game takes the role of an amnesic detective who must click his way through the world to figure out what happened. Unfortunately, there is little here to recommend.

Déjà Vu is the type of game someone might play as a game design course of everything not to do, and to learn where games came from. The gameplay is incredibly simplistic, unintuitive, random and so utterly dated it is somewhat of an insult to even be offering this game for sale for money.

Essentially the 'game' is an old apple emulator of the game itself, complete with the ability to save, which unfortunately is necessary to winning the game. The actual game is played on a small screen with very simplistic art, and the player then has to decide what to do. First, without any sort of guide or instructions most players would likely give up nearly immediately, as all there is to view is a vaguely grey screen and some greyish object. It's a bathroom stall and the character's coat. Just getting out of the bathroom stall shows major problems in the game's consistency because of how things are where the player learns one thing, only for it to be wrong the next room.

Screenshot for Deja Vu: MacVenture Series on PC

The 'choices' the player has is as follows: examine, open, close, speak, operate, go, hit, consume. To give an example, the player can click on the door, and it opens. "Great," the player thinks. "Seems easy enough." The problem is that many times later merely clicking on an object does NOTHING. Further, the game can be beat without using 'close,' 'go,' or 'consume,' which is problematic from a different point. The game is unforgiving, and its length is boosted simply by its "You died, try again" style of narrative, where clicking wrong, or going down the wrong path is over.

For example, a player can click on the jacket, and nothing. They can click and drag the jacket to find something - a gun - and the click-and-drag is literally never used again in the game, except if the player does indeed click and drag background objects it will glitch the game out, where random file cabinets follow the player for the rest of the game. They can 'examine' the jacket, and nothing. The answer here is to 'open' the jacket. The choices are completely random, as at times users can drag coins into objects and have it work; other times they must be 'operated' into the object.

The entire game suffers from what a lot of early games did: try everything until the player gets it right. The graphics are horrendous yet critical to success, as the player has to click on objects no bigger than a few pixels, while not clicking on other small groups of pixels. Even going the right way the player can still lose due to frequent 'random events' that will literally end the game if encountered, and no way to avoid or stop them. The game is old, and for its time might have been okay, but to play a game nearly 30 years old and ask for money for it is unforgiveable.

Screenshot for Deja Vu: MacVenture Series on PC

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Déjà Vu would fare much better as a free game given out for players to try simply as a reminder of how much things have changed, and to see the direction games once took. It might have some reminiscent value for someone who played it back in the day, but there is literally nothing any modern gamer would want here beyond some novelty of old text/adventure games.

Developer

Zojoi

Publisher

Zojoi

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

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 Out now   

Comments

Oh, i always hated these games...

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

I've only heard of Shadowgate out of the four games in this MacVenture series. You don't get a massive discount for buying the bundle compared to individual titles, surprisingly.

I'm intrigued to read your thoughts on the final two games! I always thought Shadowgate was regarded as a classic...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]
Our member of the week

I remember Shadowgate, Déjà Vu 1&2 and I think Uninvited too, were re-released on Game Boy Color back in the day, and I always thougt they looked interesting and like the kind of thing I might like but I never got round to play them.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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