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Innocent Until Caught
|Developer||Divide by Zero|
|Innocent Until Caught is a sci-fi point and click adventure with a massive number of locations and encounters across several planets. Not bad, but lacks the innovation and fluency in the controls needed to put it on the map. The game was released by Psygnosis for the Commodore Amiga, PC (DOS) and Apple Macintosh computers only.|
STORY / GAMEPLAY
The Interstellat Reveue Decimination Service (IRDS) have got in it for Jack T. Ladd, a small time smuggler and contraband dealer. They want loads of money within the next 28 days or else they are going to do something very nasty to him. In order to earn enough cash to pay off this debt he must beg, borrow, swop, steal, basically anything legal or illegal that doesn't involve manual labor. It's a case, as usual, of collecting objects which help you progress through a a vast number of screens. You control Jack using a series of icons on the base of the screen, holding also the inventory panel. An interesting option is the speed setting, which allow you to set how long speech stays on screen. There is also a map in the bottom left-corner which guides you around the three planets and Cloud City. The satisfaction of completing a task that suddenly reveals a whole new area is immense, but you have to ask yourself if you can bear the monotony of driving your little character back and forth until he makes a connection that bears fruit. Although its nice visuals, sound and plot, the game suffers from sluggish precision of the mouse controls, that discourages you from exploring. It is too difficult to reach items a lot of times, as you need to point exactly to a specific pixel (!) on the screen to interact with it! If you manage to master this control system, then the game is fine. On the PC version its probably easier to do it, but on the Amiga it is a pain to live with it. You may also control your character with the cursors if you like and be able to scroll through each option (rather than click on the icon panel), but again the same sluggish precision to reach an object appears. Thus, the game's real flow is that it is difficult to control, but it gets more interesting with persistence.
For a fan of the genre (like me), Innocent Until Caught is an attractive sci-fi story with plenty of exploring to be done, but even some seriously gorgeous graphics cannot raise the game above being second-rate for some users.GRAPHICS / SOUND
Thankfully, Innocent Until Caught is well drawn and this is its strongest point. It's not in the same class as Beneath A Steel Sky game, but it's suitably futuristic and slick with nicely drawn locations in VGA 256 colored screens for the PC version. The introductory opening offers some really nice ray-traced scenes in the outer space. During gameplay, characters are very well designed and animated too. The sound is also nice, offering some nicely composed tunes (especially the introductory theme) that add to the game's atmosphere, but lacks those neat little touches which make all the difference.
PC (ms-dos based)
|CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site)|
MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996)
GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines.
SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!
|CGA: 16-color palette (4 on-screen)|
|EGA: 64-color palette (16 on-screen)|
|VGA: 256-color palette (256 on-screen)|
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