Application software experts PC Globe Inc. made an advance into the gaming sector in the early 90's within their field of expertise: geography. With a back catalog of several installments of the then-leading world atlas and almanac software, PC Globe, the company turned snippets of country-specific info into an educational game that mixed two-player "Identify that place" strategy with a "Get to know the globe" learning effect - can you say Carmen Sandiego?
As the sinister Otto von Slinkenrat tries to pocket the world's treasures in his private collection, renowned adventurer Bush Buck sets out to find and secure the valuable objects for posterity. In a race around the globe, you and an opponent travel back and forth between 206 cities in 175 countries in search for clues to the treasures' whereabouts. Cities are connected by a network of plane routes; players take turns in jetting from one destination to the next. On each visit to a city, you learn some background info - e.g. about landmarks, geography, culture.
Learning to place countries and cities on the globe is essential to finding the treasures, which are all linked to a specific place on Earth. If you know that a Samisen is a Japanese musical instrument, for example, you can make your way directly to Tokyo; if not, a set of clues that you collect on your travels will point out features of the target country and town which help narrow down your options - e.g. "It's an island country", "It's in East Asia" etc. The first player to visit the target town collects the treasure and has to return it to his home base for a points reward.
For each game, the computer selects 15 out of 400 possible objects; if all are found or if both players run out of plane tickets (each flight costs one ticket), the game ends and whoever has amassed the most points wins. Three difficulty levels increase the AI strength and reduce helpful hints, making Bush Buck a challenge even for experienced globe trotters.
Here's a nice and simple little game of world traveling.
You're an explorer. If you choose to play a single game, you may play against the computer or simply for your enjoyment. There are different difficulty levels to choose from, but they don't really change the gameplay. They just make the odds against you (like the weather and stuff).
The object of the game is to find the lost objects, that are hidden throughout the world and bring them to the base (it says where to bring them). When you do, you'll get additional plane tickets (you can't go anywhere without those) and new objects to look for.
The number of objects is limited, so you can win by finding them all. Otherwise the game ends when all players run out of tickets (so nobody can move). At that point the score is awarded and the player with the highest score is the champion.
But why would anybody hide objects throughout the world?
It seems it's a contest, because in the end, they'll applaud the best treasure hunter. So they deliberately hid those treasures.
And how can I find them?
There are two ways. You can fly around randomly, hoping to pick up some clues on the way; or you can examine what the object is. You'll only get a name, but it will be an object more or less typical of a certain country or region. Go there and retrieve it.
There will be many buttons on the screen, don't let them fool you. The game wants you to think it's more complicated then it actually is.
If you click on the looking glass you'll either zoom in or out off the region you're currently in. If you press the pointer, you'll be able to look at the cities on the map. By clicking on the scroll, you'll see the objects needed. If they are in a different color from the scroll you are able to read some clues (which you've obviously found along the way). Be careful, you can't read the clues computer finds. You may get to read the clue when it is discovered (depending on the difficulty level) but you can't get to them later on.
Also make sure you read the flight warnings. If it says there's dangerous weather ahead you need to think twice. If you risk it and don't get there, you'll loose a ticket and those are the ones that keep you going. You should also know that the flight destinations are sometimes illogical. You can for instance fly across the Atlantic from Paris, but not from London. So plan your routes carefully.
In the end I'd just like to comment on the graphics and sounds. The graphics are OK, but there could have been more. You only get to see little icons of cities you land in. The airports are basically the same, the flight may get better or worse weather, but that's it, and the objects found will always be in crates, so you don't even get to see them. Still it gets the job done, which can also be said for the sound. You'll hear some effects if there's rough weather ahead (the weather warning) and your journeys will be accompanied by pleasant classical in-flight music, remade in midi sound samples.
That's about it. I suggest you play the game and test your knowledge of different countries and typical objects for those countries (or regions, cities,...). It can be fun, even if you play alone (against the computer), but it's always better to invite friends.
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