It Came From the Desert is an action-adventure game that derives its inspiration from the many cult-horror B-Movies of the 50's and 60's, the 1954 film Them in particular. The player plays the part of Dr. Greg Bradley, a geologist and the newest resident in town. Eager to satisfy his scientific mind, Bradley sets out to examine the crash-site of a mysterious meteor, but what he finds is not at all what he had been looking for.
The game takes place all over Lizard Breath, and there are several different types of action / interaction. The adventure part of the game is very linear, guiding the player in a fairly set sequence of action sections. These include first-person bug shooting, scrolling overhead shooting, and a chase sequenc
B-movies in the 50s and 60s were very popular... Most of their scenarios had to do with aliens ( who looked more like men in silver suits ) wanting to conquer earth, giant gorillas or dinosaurs ( King-kong & Gozilla ), or giant insects. "It came from the desert" is exactly that: a game with a B-movie feeling.
The era is the 1950s. The place is a little american town in the middle of nowhere. The person you control is a geologist who has come to this town to collect the pieces of a meteor that fell a couple of days ago. But as it will be revealed, this wasn't a ordinary meteor... it was radioactive! And as you will discover, the meteor is responsible for a very dangerous mutation in the instect population of the area.....! And to be more precise, the ants that live there have become as large as houses!
The game is a mixture between arcade and adventure. Your task is to warn the town authorities about the impending danger, and make them call the army for help ( without the army you cannot win ). To do that you must collect evidence of the creatures. Like a giant ant antenna etc. After you do that, you must fight them and destroy their nest.
But you must hurry! Time is against you. The game is played in real-time ( that means that going from one place to another takes time ) and you have only a certain number of days to achieve your goal. This is also the greatest part of the game. The world you play is a living one. People go to their jobs in the morning and leave at noon ( so you cannot find them at work anymore ), the bar has more people at night, etc. Also, you have to sleep at least a few hours every day, so planning your actions carefully is important.
Most of the time you see the world from the eyes of your character. But in some certain cases ( like when battling the giant ants ) you see the action from above. The battles are difficult and they are played in two parts. In the first part the action is first-person. You see the ant in front of you walking, and you must cut off his antennas with your pistol. If you succeed doing that, then the action continues from above, where you battle the ants with your grenades (!). Its important to mention that you cannot be killed. If an ant catches you, you are sent to the hospital and you just loose precious time...
The graphics and sounds are not bad, and do their work nicely. The game is also available on Amiga platforms, but the graphics and sounds are much better in that version. However on the PC, the graphics also succeed in giving you the impression that you are playing in a B-movie. The sound is nothing special, but at least it isn't just "blips" :)
"It came from the desert" is a very hard game... However, the difficulty is well compensated by its excellent atmosphere! Its real-time living world gives you the impression that your goal has a meaning. Your actions alter the course of things that happen. For instance, if you do not show up on a meeting with someone, that person can get angry and refuse talking to you (and saying there was a giant ant in your way won't help). The action part of the game is as difficult as the adventure one. Your battle reaches an epic scale after you warn the authorities. Tanks and aeroplanes will fight along with you, against the thousands of giant ants, and you will have just one small opportunity to win. It isn't like any ordinary puzzle-solving adventure.
As you can see, it will take a lot of patience and effort to play this game, but the more you give it, the more rewarding your experience will be.
A clear rating of 5 for a great game such as this!
Undoubtedly inspired by dozens of 1950s "B" movies, especially the 1954 mutant-ant classic "Them!", It Came From The Desert is one of Cinemaware's finest creations that will challenge both your brain and your brawn.
As the town's resident geologist, your goal is to discover the source of all the strange occurances happening in Lizard Breath. Gameplay centers around choosing what you want to do by selecting an option on the multiple choice screens that pop up. There are several buildings in town, as well as farms, mines, an airport, and even a drive-in theatre. Since time ticks away quickly at one minute per second of real time, quick decision is key to success.
Once your investigation begins, you soon realize there are large, mutant ants roaming around the outskirts of town. These ants are dangerous, and you must fight them to survive with a handgun, an apparently infinite amount of grenades, and bug spray used in airborne attack. Knowledge of the movie "Them!" will help you kill the ants, but if you haven't seen the movie, don't despair -- you get hints when talking to the townsfolk.
While play might seem limited at first, there are dozens (possibly hundreds) of variations in the game, depending on the choices you make. Not only that, but there are many opportunities to find yourself in a fight, either with the ants, or with some of the not-so-friendly folk of Lizard Breath. You can wind up in a knife fight, or being chased across the desert by several hundred giant ants, or even playing chicken on the highway with the local greaser punks. With great graphics, rocking soundtrack, and tons of atmosphere, this is a must play for all action/adventure fans. Recommended! And better yet, Cinemaware has released the game as freeware in 2001, so go support one of the most underrated developers today :)
Playing It came from the Desert puts your right into a B-Movie. The programmers of Cinemaware did a great job in creating the atmosphere of those typical horror/sci-fi-films of the 50s. The situation at the beginning: a meteor came down in the surroundings of Lizard Breath, a small dull village somewhere in middle america (I guess...). The radioactive fallout caused the local ants to mutate into horrible creatures. Up to now you are the only one who's ever seen them.
You only got 2 weeks to stop the invasion of the ants and the game is in realtime - one second in real time exceeds about one minute in the game. That's not too much, you got to hurry up a bit. Plan your moves on the map and find out enough to prove that the danger is real. Sometimes there are some little action-sequences e.g. when you have to fight some ants - you better take that serious or you might lose some days lying in hospital! You also got to remember that you won't be able to talk to everyone at every time of the day. If you drive to the mayor's house at night - well... you drove in vain, that time is lost. Pretty realistic (if you can use that term while talking about a B-movie ;) ). The game itself is not TOO difficult, but it's a nice thing I recommend to everyone just because of the atmosphere.
Unfortunately the graphics of the PC-version aren't too good, although the game supports VGA you only get 16 colors - too bad. I remember playing this on my Amiga years ago - you find it in "Amiga" section of our site, the graphics of that version double the fun of the game!
One of the real classics and from one of the best game companies that have ever existed. Correct, I'm talking about Cinemaware here. The game starts with some strange things happening and you will soon discover that you are up against a lot more than you expect first. It turns out that the small town you are living in is being attached by giant ants and you are pretty much the only one that can stop them.
There are numerous in-game events including fighting the ants with a gun, bombs, with a plane and even with a tank. Other events such as knife fighting, car racing and the event that you will most likely see most which is when you have to escape from the hospital. The entire game is limited within a certain amount of time so you shouldn't use too much time wandering around or sleeping too much (this is needed though). This is also why you get the chance to escape from the hospital so you don't waste time there. Let me state that escaping from there is quite difficult but very exciting though.
The story line in the game is what makes it great. It isn't very often that an action adventure game is offering such a great story and even though there isn't that many options there are still several ways that you can complete the game even if it means that you don't win completely. The graphics are well done compared to the release date and the entire interface is quite smooth although there are a few glitches here and there. But overall It Came From The Desert is an excellent game and in my opinion not many other games have offered anything near regarding a story and overall game play.
People who downloaded It Came from the Desert have also downloaded:
It Came from the Desert 2, It Came from the Desert, Wings, Goblins 3, Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out, Alone in the Dark, Gobliiins, Doom
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