Gadget, when released in 1994, was considered an interactive movie at a time when the term had not really been fleshed out and defined. The game is certainly interactive in that you must interact with all of the various characters you meet throughout your excursion into this cinematically surreal world and it's got a movie-like feel to it since you basically watch the action unfold. And that's the main problem with the game. There is really, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of Gadget, very little for you to do during your adventure. The game is fully scripted out and after playing for awhile, you begin to realize that nothing you do is going to change the outcome of this script. The story is innovative and contains elements of surprise and a dark mystery. You basically find out through this interaction (dialogue) with other characters that your mission is to gather five gadgets which an eccentric inventor named Horselover needs to complete his spaceship (the Ark) to allow escape from the destruction of a comet that is about to strike the earth.
There are really no puzzles to solve and few momentous decisions to make. You will get the feeling that you're making decisions but only to the point of finally being forced to make the right ones. If you don't, the story doesn't move forward. On the plus side, the cinematic sequencing and overall appearance of the game are well done. You most definitely get a mood or atmosphere that can be called modern-day creepy with a touch of the old thrown in for good measure. Modern day contraptions and inventions mix with old fashioned gadgets in a visual dichotomy. Gadget, if nothing else, is easy to look at. In fact, the graphics and darkly rendered environment are the only facets of the game that could be recommended as worthwhile.
Other than a fairly smooth interface where you move in first person perspective and a sharp and clear (if not somewhat dark) graphical environment, Gadget is too predictable and too linear. You can find yourself stuck without any clue whatsoever as to what you didn't do or what you need to do to keep it moving. If this wasn't frustrating enough, occasionally you'll get strange messages requiring you to perform some function that totally defies logical meaning. Gadget reminds me of a computer game developed by a movie film producer who doesn't have a clue as to what makes for good adventuring. Perhaps the dialogue translations account for some of this but the gameplay just isn't there. As you stumble through the scenes, you'll wonder more and more why your character is doing all of this.
A gadget can be defined as a contrivance, not always of estimable value. This Gadget is certainly a contrived entity, with the apparent sole purpose of providing eye-candy to the beholder. Looking for adventure and fun where you can control some piece of the action? Look elsewhere as this one's value IS estimable: bad.
Graphics: Obviously the highlight, the only highlight, of the game.
Sound: Mixed. The music is deep and mood inspiring although a bit heavy handed at times. The sounds are mostly average to bad.
Enjoyment: After about an hour, the fun factor heads south. The game becomes a tedious exercise in following orders (the designers) and you find yourself hoping for a quick end.
Replay Value: Once is more than enough.
Gadget puts you in a strange surreal world were a comet appears to be heading for the earth. Most people dismiss this situation since apparently it won't collide with us, however a group of scientists scramble to develop a way to stop this comet. Whether they want to destroy it, divert it, or whatever is unknown however, and you are charged with the task to find out what really is going on. The game is viewed from a first person perspective and progresses as an adventure game, where the emphasis is to explore and discover rather than solve puzzles (this seems to be the Japanese concept of an adventure game) so ultimately it is not so much of a game as it is more an interactive "tour de force".
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Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster, Gahan Wilson's The Ultimate Haunted House, Foul Play: Mystery at Awkward Manor, Evidence: The Last Resort, Four-Sight, Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado, Flash Traffic: City of Angels, Guilty (a.k.a. Innocent Until Caught 2)
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