I admit I was a tad skeptical when first I heard of this game. Amateur sequels to professional games are rarely of the same quality, and an amateur addition to the legendary Space Quest series would have a lot to live up to in the way of fan's expectations.
It's actually rather good.
The Lost Chapter, written by a chap going by the tag of Monster D Vonster, is supposedly Roger Wilco's set between SQ 2 and 3, just after Roger has escaped Vohaul's ship. In fact, you still retain your old inventory from SQ2. The game opens with the escape pod – surprise, surprise – crash-landing in a forest on an alien planet with your goal to figure out how the hell you're supposed to get off it. So it follows the series fairly closely in that respect.
The game was created using the AGI Studio game engine, so the interface is exactly the same as most early Sierra games, as are the graphics which are the familiar blocky, garish 16-colour affair. The backgrounds are definitely up to scratch, and Roger himself certainly looks more robust than his former scrawny self. Music and sounds accompany gameplay with their usual bleepy MIDI charm.
Gameplay itself is also in the traditional style of build-up-a-collection-of-miscellaneous-paraphernalia-and-use-them-on-stuff type time-honoured in adventure games. It isn't always clear what to use some of the objects on, however, and some of the puzzles are downright nonsensical. Still, this rings true for most Sierra games as well, so maybe Vonster didn't want to break the tradition.
In fact, the only thing where The Lost Chapter lets itself down is in the precision required in the verbal inputs. I can see how this would be especially frustrating for gamers for whom English is not the first language, or indeed anyone who is unfamiliar with the American style of phrasing. Still, this probably wouldn't be too big a problem for a determined gamer, and if it bothers you, just keep a thesaurus handy.
All in all, SQ-TLC is quite the little gem among amateur sequels... not everyone's cup o' tea, but if you enjoyed the original Space Quest series, then there's no real reason why you shouldn't enjoy this as well. Two thumbs up!Reviewed by: Rhubarb Celestial