The movie; Plan 9.....the critics hated it. But, the producer of the film has noticed that it's been stolen by Bela Lugosi's double. Find him. Track him. For God's sake - just keep a straight head when you enter this part of the movie lot and town. Some of the most misguided people roam here! Most important.....get the film back!
Ever heard of Ed Wood? You should have. He's only the worse movie maker in history (at least that's what they claim). He made a cult movie (becoming a cult movie by being so bad) entitled Plan 9 from Outer Space. This was also Bela Lugosi's last movie (you should know who Bela Lugosi is). He died during the filming.
Now imagine my surprise, when I discovered they made a game based on this movie. It was made in 1992 by Gremlin Graphics LTD. The game was made in three languages (English, German and French).
I'm still not sure if this game is brilliant or crap! I'm not kidding. I've watched the movie twice after I played the game, so I'd make up my mind, but I'm still not sure.
The game let's you explore the world, that's a mixture of reality in which Ed Wood lived and a fantasy that he made. So I got the feeling that everything that was bad in the game was made that way intentionally. As an adventure game it's fairly simple and straight forward, but I provided a walkthrough as well. I won't revil much of the plot, except that you have to find the missing movie reels (as if there's much more of the plot anyway). Off course it's this movie the game is based upon. There are several places where you can watch the movie, so every time you find another reel give it a go. It's the actual movie Plan 9 from Outer Space. I just can't understand why this movie was hidden in several locations all over the globe. Maybe somebody got so ashamed of this movie and wanted to prevent the screening...
The game play is simple enough. You'll get a large screen. In the middle there's the interaction screen (the still picture that sometimes moves) with which you can interact. On the bottom right side is the list of commands. In order to pick something up you need to click on TAKE and then go to the interaction screen. Above the command list is the inventory. That's about it. The rest of the background is just something taken out of the movie. So it's all simple enough, but by far not the best interaction option (even for 1992).
Graphics are good enough, but mostly static. There are only a few animated scenes in the game. The film you get to see is actually quite well made (considering they tried to cover a real movie into something that would play as an animated sequence in the game).
Music contributes to the general feeling. It's a mixture of pompous and freaky. Yet like with the interface it gets annoying. There's no speech and extremely little sound effects (the first one should be a cough, but sounds more like a stomp).
All in all this game would not be worth playing and I'd consider it crap, if it weren't based on the worst film ever. So you can say the game is being true to the movie... So if you're a fan of weirdness or Ed Wood, then you should definitely try this game. Otherwise you should better go and play a decent adventure instead.
Although widely hailed as the worst film ever made, Ed Wood's classic camp horror film of 1958 isn't nearly that-- but it IS one of the funniest bad films you'll ever see. The film's notoriety begs an interesting question: how can one make a good game based on the worst movie ever made?
Fortunately, the game itself isn't half bad, largely because designers at Gremlin deftly sidestepped this thorny question by not basing the game directly on the movie's plot. The premise, instead, is that Bela Lugosi's double has stolen the film reels from the archives. Though he remained faceless, he intends to bring glory to the cult classic using more footage of himself... and colorizing it! As the studio's Private Eye, your job is to find the 6 reels and screen the film, frame-by-frame, to ensure that the warped actor did not cut Bela from the flick (although just about any editing will make it better).
Gameplay is typical inventory-based adventure, with over 70 locations to explore. The interface resembles Legend's Companions of Xanth: you create sentences from a list of available verbs. Here, however, you can combine up to three actions at a time, so there is flexibility and lots of things to try. The game surprisingly responds intelligently to a lot of wrong actions, instead of the usual canned "you can't do that" message. Unfortunately, the puzzles are average at best and downright illogical at worst, and many times their solutions depend on exploiting the given verbs well beyond their common usage (you must OPEN some things that can't usually be opened, for instance). The most frustrating part of the game is perhaps right near the end, after you have found all 6 reels and are now screening the film. Here, you have to examine each scene in excruciating detail, with slow motion, freeze frame, fast forward and rewind-- many, many times over until the film's original awfulness is restored.
Overall, Plan 9 the game is a mixed bag. Its quirky parser and some obscure puzzles will upset some gamers. Still, a level of dry humor throughout the game (mostly poking fun of the film's notoriety) helps keep it interesting, and the various characters are generally colorful and fun to talk to. Worth a try if you've seen the movie, or even if you haven't-- just try it with a grain of salt, and don't expect to be impressed.
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