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Shadow of the Beast - Commodore64
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Game info
Amiga

Cruise for a Corpse

Cruise for a Corpse
GenreAdventure
Developer / PublisherDelphine Software / U.S. Gold
Released1991
Media1 x disk
Rating
Graphics:8.5
Sound:8.5
Gameplay:9.0
Overall:9.0
Reviewed byndial
If you always wanted to try your hand at being Miss Marple, Poirot and the like then this was a great choice back then! Cruise for a Corpse is one of the best adventure games, designed as a murder investigation, and playing the role of inspector Raoul Dusentier, a man invited to spend some time on a luxurious cruise. Quickly after arriving, the owner of the boat is murdered, and the investigation begins. The game was released for the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and PC (MS-DOS) computers and received some of the best critics back then. The disk-swapping (5disks) is rather frustrating though!
 
Review
Cruise for a Corpse You are invited to spend some time on Niklos Karaboudjan's boat. Quickly after arriving, Karaboudjan, a very wealthy person, is murdered! A coincidence, probably not! So in a rue Agatha Christie style, you need to gather as much evidence as possible and question other passengers and staff of the ship, piecing together the events and deciding who could have possibly committed this terrible crime. People dropping dead all over the place while you have to be at the right place at the right time to watch things happen and to question the passengers, before they are killed. By using a simple point-n-click system, you need to interact with your environment, establishing links with the evidence you find in many of the different areas of the ship. Much like the most of the point-n-click types of adventures, each object found can be highlighted and will activate a list of possible actions, for example, you find a cupboard and can either search, examine or open a drawer. The ship is quite big, so you need to travel around the many rooms by using the map or by guiding Raoul to go in the direction you wish. There several animated - story sequences that add to the plot and give clues on what to do next too.
Different events happen through the game too. Some rooms may be inaccessible earlier in the game but later can be accessed and interesting clues can be picked up. There is a list of topics of conversations displayed relating to the character which allows you to question the suspects on information you've gathered previously. According to the answer, new topics of conversation may be added to the initial list too.
An unnecessary annoying feature here is that actual time progresses through the game, but it seems that it only moves on whenever you pick up another clue. The game can be completed in a variety of different ways, so the story is not linear (as in most of the adventure games back then, except the all mighty Monkey Island series and s few others)
Overall Cruise For A Corpse is one of the best adventure games released for the home-computers, and although there were other of the like back then, still looked and played great! For me, it was the first adventure ever played, and gained my interest pretty much.

The graphics are superb and some of the finest offered by Delphine Software using their great Cinematique unique and incredibly powerful adventure interface and offers nicely detailed bitmapped backdrops along with vector animated characters (remember Another World and Flashback?). Overall, graphics have been some nice touches of humor with nicely details indoor and outdoor areas, and the animation of the characters work well (all characters are made with vectors!) especially when you get the chance to question them. The Amiga version runs a bit faster than the Atari ST but slower when compared to the PC version which is rather obvious. All screens here offer up to 32 colors on screen, and the visuals here are comparable to the PC version (that runs on VGA only). In some screens (i.e. when walking at the boat balconies) the screens use the same amount of colors in both Amiga and PC versions (around 30) whilst he indoor screens are way more colorful in the PC version. But in general, the Amiga graphics are equally pleasant when compared to the Atari ST (16 colors) and the PC version (up to 100 colors on some screen).
Sound is quite good offering a nice introductory tune as well as several in-game tunes that accompany some of the screens or actions. There are also several sampled SFX here such as the creaks and squeaks of timbers and ropes of the wooden ship etc that offer a great atmosphere to the game (Amiga only).
 
Screenshots
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
  • Cruise for a Corpse
 
Sounds
Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
 
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
 
Comparable platforms



16 colors
Atari ST



26 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS



89 colors
PC MS-DOS
 
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
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The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
 
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