The Big Red Adventure is a point-and-click adventure taking place in Russia after Michael Gorbatsjov's Perestroika. You move your character over hand-drawn backgrounds, solving a big mystery that's taking place over an entire continent.
The story is split into three parts and in each part you control one of three characters in the game. You can play a nerdy looking guy, a brainless bodybuilder and a femme fatale.
After the fall of communism Russia became a changed country. A country open to tourism and westernization. But there is a man there called Doctor Virago, who wants to make things just he way they were. And guess what, you'll find your path cross his plans.
Once again you're Doug Nuts, an international thief. As The Big Red Adventure is a follow up of Nippon Safes, Inc.
This time you're off to steal the royal crown of the Russian Czars. In order to get it you'll off course need to perform different little tasks, that don't seem to have any connection with your main objective. Well, you finally get into the museum and can already taste the crown in your hand, when the real adventure begins.
Trying to escape Moscow you end up on the Orient Express (a luxurious train). But now it's time to take command of some other people as well. Dino is a brute of big muscles and tiny brains. He's yet another person you need to get aboard the Orient Express. He's in search of his ship the oil tanker "Potempkin".
On the train you meet yet another person you can take over (and I bet you'd love to have her at your command). It's the busty redhead flame of yours by the name of Donna. She's the one who gets kidnapped by the evil Dr. Virago and that's when you finally meet the villainous mastermind in the cold of the Siberian steppe.
The game features great cartoonish graphics, which really strengthen the humor of it. Most of the gags are not very original (like making fun of fast food chains), but I have to admit I busted out with laughter when I saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Beetles. Some other good laughs were: the actual Marx brothers (Harpo and Groucho) fighting for Marxism, the packed crates at the rail station (the Statue of Liberty labeled New York, the Eiffel's tower labeled Paris, a big wooden horse crate marked Troy,...). The game features a lot of situational comedy, but unfortunately it hasn't real humor to it. It lacks something in the humor department I can't quite put my finger on, but it can still make you laugh a few times!
The music is very good. You'll recognize most of the tunes (from the former Soivet national anthem, to popular tunes such as the theme of The Bridge on the River Kwai and Happy Days).
To save, load or exit press ESCAPE which brings up the menu.
And now for the main downside of the game. It's the interface. The game is fully mouse controlled, but the interface is just awful. To move there's no problem. You see locations you can go to and click on them, although you must sometimes position yourself correctly before going someplace, or you'll get stuck at the corner of a building or something. But the other commands are horrid! You need to right-click and hold the button to bring up the menu. Keep holding the mouse until you drag it to the icon you want (either an item from the inventory or a command). Then release the button and you'll be able to use the selected icon. To examine things once you have them, you need to get them from the inventory and drag them onto yourself. To use two items together you have to select one, then point to yourself, right-click and drag to the second item. It's simply painful what you have to do in order to manipulate with the items.
Were it not for this downside I would be considering weather or not to give this game a 5 (it would be between a 4 and a 5). Now I was considering giving it a 3, but still, it has other qualities that make it worth a 4 nonetheless. The fact that you can select your language finally convinced me. In the setup you can select between ENGLISH, GERMAN, FRENCH or ITALIAN.
I've also written a walkthrough for it. There are alternative solutions to certain parts of the game and I've only written the bare necessities for the playing, but that should get you through. If you want anything else, you should explore yourself. That's the main charm of these great old adventure games!
A fun follow-up of sorts to Dynabyte's earlier old game Nippon Safes Inc., Big Red Adventure once again puts you in control of 3 resourceful cri-- erm-- individuals as they plan to steal the Tsar's crown in the Kremlin palace museum. The ambitious plan later transform into a rollicking great adventure in which you can decide the fate of Russia herself. Excellent puzzles and a truly epic size that will take you dozens of hours to solve makes this a worthwhile addition for every gamer's collection :)
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