Most games tend to be inspired by previous titles, and if you had a list of every game out there, you'd see how some inspired far more than others. Bermuda Syndrome, however, doesn't copy any of the big boys like Doom or Command & Conquer. Oh no; instead, it went for a unique game called Another World (aka Out Of This World), with a hint of Prince of Persia thrown in.
Similar to Another World, Bermuda Syndrome starts with you being teleported to a different dimension. Instead of ending up on a barren rocky world, however, you crash your plane into a lush jungle filled with dinosaurs, thereby accidentally saving a princess from a rather morbid fate. From then on you move through the jungle, where nearly every screen is a puzzle on its own. You can jump, climb, duck, talk, use items, shoot, stab, roll - all of which you'll need to get to the end of the game.
Bermuda Syndrome is not very forgiving, though. Make a wrong move or a bad decision and it's Game Over, and trust me, you'll be seeing those two words a LOT so save often. It really is a case of trial and error, and while some common sense will get you through to the next screen, most of the time you may come across situations where a clever solution doesn't work simply because the developers never thought of it. Still, it's not quite as bad as Another World, which doesn't let you save and where dying often leads to frustration. While Another World may be a classic, time has moved on and being forced to replay the same bit 50 times is really no longer acceptable (unless you own a console, it seems, where certain developers still have the nerve to pull this trick).
The graphics are also a big improvement. No vector graphics here, but instead very colorful backdrops in high resolution (well, 640x480, which was considered 'high' compared to VGA at the time). The game just feels right and creates a convincing atmosphere. I would have liked some more ambient sound, though, to bring the jungle more to life. The animation is smooth as well and may remind you of Prince of Persia at times.
Bermuda Syndrome does mess up in certain areas, though. To start with, the interface isn't as smooth as it could have been. Even after an hour, I still kept accidentally shooting my gun instead of using an item. Also, the world itself doesn't feel as real as that of Another World. Every screen poses a puzzle to solve, but this comes at a cost since the artificial tone stops you from feeling as if you were really inside and part of a vast jungle. Some empty screens with nothing to do would have helped here, instead of cramming them full of dinosaurs and other obstacles. Because of this it also makes you feel as if every screen is a separate isolated location; it would have been cool if you had scrolling screens instead of fixed backdrops.
Despite these flaws, it remains an entertaining game - it's colorful, fun, challenging at times, and it's a nice alternative to anyone who enjoys Another World. Go on, give it a try!
A fun but frustratingly difficult action adventure that is all but unknown outside a few countries in Europe, Bermuda Syndrome tells a story of Jack, a World War II fighter pilot who was shot down into a mysterious jungle during a dogfight. As his plane comes hurtling out of the sky, we first catch a glimpse of our princess (yup, the Amazon-type one), all tied up and ready to be a Tyrannosaur's lunch. Fortunately for her, Jack's plane chops its head off on the way to crashing. After making sure we all know who's who, we are treated to some very rich images of Jack hanging from a tree by his parachute, with the princess still tied up on her platform. Welcome to the first puzzle...
Bermuda Syndrome is a side-scrolling action adventure that will immediately remind everyone of Delphine's Flashback, an earlier game. The similarities are more than skin-deep as well (although the graphics in Bermuda Syndrome are ten times better, all rendered in SVGA): both games successfully blend traditional adventure game elements (e.g. inventory-based puzzles, character interaction) with action sequences. The controls in Bermuda Syndrome is not as intuitive, however, and coordinating some of the moves can take some practice, so you must save often. One of the major differences is that in this game, you need to worry about the *princess* even more than yourself, since she tags along merrily, oblivious to any danger she faces-- and she can't fight, jump, or swim like you do. This means you not only have to deal with menacing dinosaurs of all kinds, but also have to protect the princess and keep her in your sight all the time. Fortunately, she does serve as an in-game hint system, and talking to her when you're stuck will often yield important clues.
In addition to an unnecessarily difficult interface, the game strongly reminds me of Silmarils' impossible Robinson's Requiem: the game is HUGE (228 screens, to be exact), and you'll die a thousand deaths before finally finishing it. It's safe to say that adventure game fans who are not also masters of action games will likely be too frustrated to play the game to the finish. Which is somewhat a shame, because the interesting story and some ingenious puzzles compensate for the difficulty leval. As it is, though, the game is only recommended to action experts who want some adventure in their gaming, not the other way around. Two thumbs up, but not for the faint of heart or the weak of reflexes.
People who downloaded Bermuda Syndrome have also downloaded:
BioForge, Dark Earth, Alone in the Dark 4: The New Nightmare, Blair Witch Volume 1: Rustin Parr, Agharta: The Hollow Earth, Alone in the Dark, Blair Witch Volume 2: The Legend of Coffin Rock, Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale
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