At heart, Armed & Delirious is a simple point-and-click adventure game in which you must solve puzzles, interact with objects, and talk to people for clues. Where it differs is its reliance on humor and oddity and, while it has plenty of oddities, it has plenty of frustration.
There are not many games more bizarre than Armed & Delirious. You play a granny out to save her family from an evil and demented rabbit by traveling through the rabbit's six demented worlds, filled with all sorts of craziness. The worlds look like someone's nightmare and have no rhyme or reason. They seem inspired by the same brilliantly crafted artwork found in the Monty Python television series, which is fine by me.
The problem is the game relies far too much on the humor, and unfortunately, the game is rarely funny while the storyline, which starts off funny, becomes incredibly confusing and disorienting, as is trying to solve the puzzles. Some puzzles require you to "use this item here with that item there to unlock such and such event" or to guide your character through various situations in real-time.
Half the time, the puzzles are far too incoherent and obscure to solve with any accuracy, leaving you stuck for weeks wondering what to do next without the help of a walk through. This could also be due to a poor interface. Your cursor is supposed to let you know when there are hot spot items to pick up, but it fails to flash on every item you need. Add to this excessive disc swapping between five CDs, and you've got yourself a pretty, but mediocre game. The premise, while good, is completely nonsensical and hurts Armed & Delirious in the end. If the game had more flow and clues made sense, this could have been a great game. As it is, it's burdened by oddness and obscurity, collapsing under its own weight.
Graphics: The various worlds' artworks look great.
Sound: When she blurts out curse words and all sorts of funny little quotes, Granny's voice-acting provides the only real entertainment in the game.
Enjoyment: Because you rarely know what to do, Armed & Delirious is a very frustrating experience with puzzles and a storyline far too obscure to warrant any sort of real enjoyment.
Replay Value: It's probably odd enough to keep most players playing from start to finish.
Something that I've been missing lately are all those adventure games that Sierra used to pump out. There's no shortage of first-person perspective kill-fests or Dune 2 wannabes, but where have all the Leisure Suit Larrys, Maniac Mansions, and Les Manleys that I grew up on gone? I always thought that out of all the computer games I played, these were the ones that truly tested my wits and creativity. Fortunately, some people still feel the same way. Armed and Delirious, by Sirtech, reaches back into those days of yesteryear to re-kindle the old Sierra fire with third-person, point-and-click antics.
Is there a word for extremely-super-sick-weird? If so, I'd like to know it now because I'll need it a couple hundred times to describe this game. Armed and Delirious isn't your typical point-n-click game, it's a point-n-click game on speed, steroids, and a Silicon Graphics workstation (or for you kids, a LOT of sugar).
Here's the plot in a nutshell: "Once upon a time there was this dysfunctional family called the Crotony's. One day, Daddy Crotony sold his family out to this man with a rabbit's head (The Great Rabbit). Desiring Grandma Crotony's cookbook, this rabbit-man stole the cookbook and then took a giant pair of scissors and cut the Crotony house right out of the ground in Warner Bros. cartoon-like style. All of the Crotony's were sucked out the front door by the vacuum of outer space except for Grandma Crotony. Then Grandma went on the quest to retrieve her cookbook. The End."
Sounds normal enough right? That's not even scratching the surface. This game is filled with such incredibly strange dialogue, animation, characters, and music, it gives you nightmares about what the designers at Sirtech must be like. In the game you control Grandma Crotony on her search for her stolen cookbook. For those of you familiar with point-n-click (or enter text) type games, Armed and Delirious plays very much the same. The only difference is that your movements are sort of pre-destined. That is, you can't click on a spot and expect to walk there. There are only certain actions you can perform in any given area. But there's a good reason for this: every thing you can do is animated with amazing quality (not quite Toy Story but within field goal range).
What sets this game apart from all the rest is its superb graphical quality. You can seriously compare some of the animation and artwork to stuff coming out of Pixar Studios (makers of Toy Story). There is an introduction movie you can watch before you start the game and it is pretty amazing. All the background scenes have been 3-dimensionally rendered and you get to interact with much of it. And as I said before, the animations when you perform actions are awesome.
The sound department isn't too shabby either. Although the music and sounds are weird (to say the least), they are all high quality and fit the mood of the game (weird/sick/insane). I can't really describe it because it is so you-know-what, but believe me, it's pretty good. All the dialogue in the game is recorded and this is where the sound department lagged a bit. The voice of Grandma can be annoying a lot of the time, so its a good thing there's the option using captions. Also, some of the other voices are muffled at times, so it's handy to read the text.
As for control, there's not much to say, except: it gets the job done. There are basically four actions to take: drag or pull something, use something, exit a place, or look at something. The actions are represented by four different icons that appear when you move the pointer over an object. You can also use objects in your braventory (a sick version of an inventory- you figure it out) to perform certain actions.
Gamplay in Armed and Delirious doesn't break any new ground. The search for your cookbook sends you traveling to several different planets where you solve various puzzles, meet strange characters, and collect items. The puzzles are plentiful and most are pretty challenging. The gameplay was where I thought Armed and Delirious had its biggest fault. The game is huge and there is little direction to help you out. After figuring out how to leave the house you travel to numerous other planets with little knowledge of what to do.
Well, that's about it. Armed and Delirious excels in the graphics and sound department, but it lacks in the direction department.
People who downloaded Armed & Delirious have also downloaded:
Black Dahlia, Armaeth: The Lost Kingdom, Are You Afraid of the Dark: The Tale of Orpheo's Curse, Atlantis 2 (a.k.a. Beyond Atlantis), Angel Devoid, Apprentice, Ark of Time, Apprentice II: The Knight's Move
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