Developed by Denton Designs, the eccentric makers of Spectrum classic The Great Escape, Where Time Stood Still is a fun action-adventure game that sports a much-improved engine. In a plot that predates Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park by a few years, Where Time Stood Still casts you in the role of Jarret, a down-on-his-luck pilot who's just crash-landed in a mysterious forest along with his three passengers. Now you are responsible for taking them out of this prehistoric hell-hole, and only one thing is certain – it's going to be no walk in the park. |
The game, similar to The Great Escape, is played from an isometric perspective. In addition to the innovative action-adventure gameplay from before (e.g. you must try to keep the health meter full by avoiding or overcoming obstacles), Where Time Stood Still lets you control all four characters. Jarret is a he-man all-rounder. Athletic Cambridge scholar Dirk was recently married to Gloria, a tough cookie in a fragile frame. And then there's Clive, an overweight businessman and Gloria's father, who's about to learn the hard way that his credit card is useless in the jungle. Each of these characters has their own skills, not the least of which is the ability to carry up to four objects, one of which is a bag which can hold a further four. You'll need to exploit each character's strengths to bring everyone home safely.
For such a vast and complex adventure, the game interface is remarkably simple and user-friendly. You only need the four directional controls plus fire to make the character run (although this is not very useful, as the other characters will lag behind in an unfortunate A.I. blind spot). There are also two menus: one to select characters, and the other to control their inventory. Although the graphics, in four-color CGA, are adequate. The game's biggest problem is that you can't save it unless playing on an emulator supporting it, which means you'll spend a lot of time repeating the early stages whenever you've made a fatal mistake. But all in all, Where Time Stood Still is definitely a great underdog that deftly combines action and adventure elements into a fun real-time adventure. The game is much better known on the Spectrum computer, but this PC version deserves as much attention. Two thumbs up!Reviewed by: Underdogs