For a game released in the early part of the decade (1992), Amazon, Guardians of Eden holds up surprisingly well despite current (1998) state of the art graphics, sound and game engines. As the game evolves, you find yourself in the midst of a good old fashioned adventure, replete with giant ants, treasure troves and mysterious disappearances. The game unravels level to level like a movie serial, sucking you into the story as you journey from episode to episode. You, playing as the mild mannered scientist Jason Roberts, are faced with the prospect of tracking down your brother's disappearance in the jungles of the Amazon basin. Seems he was on a scientific expedition when he vanished but fortunately he still had time to get a letter to you hinting at the desperate need for your help. With vague hints of unnatural doings, scientific breakthroughs and other possible sinister shenanigans, you're swept up in an entertaining chase to find him and discover the secrets hidden deep in the Amazon basin.
As an early game in the adventure genre, Amazon, Guardians of Eden featured two enhanced processes that weren't found in many games of its time. One, the ability to change graphic modes from VGA to SVGA during the game ensuring the (at the time) top quality possible for most scenes and, two, an in-game hint system which can help you over some tough spots. Although the interface isn't exactly intuitive, it's not so bad that you won't get the hang of it fairly quickly. The strength of the game besides it's absorbing story is the style in which it's presented -- namely in chapters or episodes, each providing a small synopsis of the story to-date. Those old enough to remember the movie serials of the '50's will appreciate the format. In another break from the tradition of early adventure games, you'll also have to learn to play as a secondary character, Maya, and use her special skills for various activities in the search for your brother.
Amazon, Guardians of Eden mixes humor with adventure in creating an energetic romp through the jungle reminiscent of the old Tom Stetson and Tarzan classics. The game is a worthy precursor of the unrelated but enjoyable Indiana Jones computer adventures even with the small flaws (at times unfriendly interface, voice quality). If you're looking for a bit of nostalgia both in content and computer gaming, you could do much worse than Amazon, Guardians of Eden. There is enough here to satisfy both novice and experienced gamer as well.
Graphics: Dated (by late '90s standards), but still captures the feel of a jungle adventure, even if animation is a bit on the lean side.
Sound: Good music, adequate sound, and some voice acting, although not used consistently throughout the game.
Enjoyment: A pretty good blast from the past with a fun, engaging storyline centered on a clever presentation technique.
Replay Value: Not much gained by a replay, except a quicker run through the story.
One of the first games to feature SVGA graphics, Amazon is a 'b' movie adventure game about a 1957 expedition into the heart of the amazon basin. "A desperate, crazed message sends you on a perilous search through a land where legends come to life, danger hides behind every corner, and incredible treasures wait to be discovered."
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