Bargon Attack is one of the less known adventures from Coktel Vision, though it was one of the first that introduced the unique interface that was used in many Coktel games that followed. It was also one of the first of Coktel's games to use FMV technology in cut-scenes.
The gameplay is a mix of science fiction, cyberpunk and comedy elements. It takes place in the near future when an alien race named Bargon conquered the Earth and enslaved its people. You take a role of the young programmer who decides to put an end to the cruel aliens. You'll travel through 20 or so locations. Each one consists of 1 to 3 screens, similar to other Coktel games.
Along your travels, you'll face dangerous creatures and some strange alien technology. There are some occasions when you can die (though the option to replay the level is always available), plus the game also features several arcade sequences.
I'm sure a lot of you will never have heard of Bargon Attack before which doesn't come as too big a surprise though, because this game isn't very brilliant, sadly enough. Compared to Coktel Vision's other adventure game, this one really scrapes the bottom of the barrel.
Let's start with the story: aliens take over the planet, and you, Bob Sprite, have to defeat them. Well, totally original right? Right? Okay, it's a totally lame and lazy plot. But if only that was the only thing wrong with this game...
For starters, the "interface" is extremely sparse. Despite having huge black borders at the bottom of practically every location, the space goes nearly completely unused, making the game feel really cramped. But even worse is the way you interact with the world. There are only two actions you see: right clicking opens the inventory, left clicking does whatever the game decides. It may be picking up an item, using an item, looking at an item, whatever, but you have no idea what action it will be until you click on it. This makes any interaction totally non-transparent and is a critical mistake for any adventure game to make.
The game is also oddly sensitive to where you click, too. At the start you'll find a trunk. When you get it open, clicking on the bottom part of the trunk won't do anything, but if you click on the top part (the lid that is open), your avatar will take out an item and drop it on the floor. Why? I mean, both parts are labeled "A trunk.." so why would clicking on the top or bottom part make any difference? Another cardinal sin! That's two major sins and we haven't even left the first screen.
Oh but, what's that there?! A pixel hunting puzzle! Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen. Coktel are on a roll here. There's actually an object to pick up that is exactly one pixel big - and it's far from the only item in the game like that, the game is littered with them.
The longer you play, the more problems pop up left and right - how Coktel managed to get all these bad design decisions into one game.... Another example: you can die in this game. This is no problem on its own but when you die, it's usually through no fault of your own! Usually, it's a cheap way to make sure you didn't forget to do anything but lord knows what because the game gives no hints. When I didn't lock a door, I got killed by one of the Bargon aliens on the next screen! What does locking a door have to do with getting shot? Nada. Good thing I had a walk-through at hand because I'd probably have committed hari-kiri trying to figure out the logic behind this game.
Really though, this game is one disaster after another. Items that disappear from your inventory for no reason other than you moving to the next screen, twisted puzzle logic (apparently, you can use a pump to inflate a burst tire according to Coktel), no music at all, annoying sound of footsteps, etc. etc. etc. Except for the reasonable graphics, this game has absolutely nothing going for it.
In the end, this game deserved to be forgotten by history. This is Coktel's Pandora's Box, with nearly every sin an adventure game can make all rolled into this one game. You should get stuck because of tough puzzles, not because of demented design decisions, which you'll drown in when playing this game. Bottom line: avoid this game unless you want to see exactly what adventure games shouldn't do.
In one of Coktel Vision's lesser known adventure game, you are tasked with liberating the earth from captivity under the eccentric alien race Bargon. The game was evidently inspired by "B" science fiction series (Dr. Who comes to mind), as it has a lot of cheesy jokes and weird aliens in Latex. Coktel's unique brand of wacky humor permeates throughout, but the puzzles are fair (and some even creative) compared to most other Coktel games, and the plot is captivating in a strangely appealing way to the end. Bargon Attack is a fun, campy adventure that would probably appeal to Coktel fans more than anyone else. The game's longer-than-average length and some hunt-the-pixel puzzles also makes for many hair-pulling sessions where you desparately try every inventory object with everything on the screen.
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