2029, and the evil Blubbermen have invaded earth. Only heroic Lane Mastodon can stop them, in a setting resembling science-fiction of the 1950's.
Lane Mastodon vs. the Blubbermen is, along with Gamma Force in Pit of a Thousand Screams and the two ZorkQuest games, a part of the so-called InfoComics. The gameplay follows the same system as in the other games: the player reads text and views comic book panels (presented with CGA graphics in a vector format, including automatic zooming, panning, and rotating), occasionally being prompted to make a decision, thus leading the story into a different direction.
Infocom released Lane Mastodon, the world's first "interactive comic book" in 1988 with little fanfare and even lesser reaction from the gaming public. Apart from being the first electronic comic book, Lane Mastodon and all subsequent Infocomics allows the viewer to change perspective between characters, thus providing an excellent replay value as you can replay the story from a different perspective.
Three more stories followed before Infocom decided to halt the unsuccessful venture. The lackluster response was perhaps due to the fact that the comics-- with the exception of ZorkQuest, are based on original premises created by Infocom designers. Furthermore, the then-primitive graphics technology was not conducive to engaging animations. But then again, the dismal sales of Marvel Comics CD-ROM comics today may be suggesting that comics are best suited to print medium after all.
Written by Steve Meretzsky, the first Infocomics story is like watching a decent "B" movie, complete with stereotypical aliens, a bumbling superhero, and tongue-in-cheek humor in the style of Meretzsky's earlier Leather Goddesses of Phobos. Fun for a good laugh or two, but the illogical plot and sophomoric humor may turn some off.
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