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Jacaranda Jim Reviews
Author: Campbell Wild (original by Graham Gluley)
Date: 2002

Reviewed by Ambrosine


Lots of fun - would have been even better if there were descriptions of various objects included in the descriptions and if Alan would have been conversant on more subjects.

Reviewed by David Whyld (1)


Very amusing, very funny, very recommended. One of the few games on here that's actually worth playing more than once. 

That said, there were a few things I found annoying - puzzles that didn't seem logical, sudden death routines that made no sense. But I guess you can't win 'em all... 

8 out of 10

Reviewed by David Whyld (2)

I'll start this review by saying that I've never played the original version of this game (in fact, I was never even aware it existed until this version popped up on the games page), but if this is anything like the original then Campbell has done a pretty good job in porting it to ADRIFT.

The intro, though short, is amusing and pretty much indicative of the way the game progresses: pure nonsense for the most part with some inspired puzzles thrown in for good measure. This is a game which (thankfully) doesn't take itself too seriously and providing you, as the player, don't take it too seriously either you'll probably enjoy playing it quite a lot.

I have to admit I found the initial locations quite disappointing. The first reading simply "Everything is dark. An exit leads north." didn't impress me a whole lot and this, on top of the problems with the compass directions, almost made me give up in despair. I'm quite pleased I didn't because the game improves considerably once it gets underway, but I can well imagine more than a few people did give up at that stage. After all, you generally assume the beginning of an adventure is pretty much of the same standard as the rest and if the beginning doesn't impress you then it's a fair bet the rest won't either. Fortunately Jacaranda Jim is a game which rises a long way above the poor beginning.

Once the initial set of locations are behind you and you find yourself in the town, the game really opens up. The town features a wide and varied number of locations which each need to be visited although one aspect of the town I didn't like a lot was the lack of examinable static items (in one location I stood before a clock tower and was unable to examine it). The same, alas, went for the majority of static items in the game. Maybe there was a reason for this in the original version (lack of memory perhaps) but as Adrift is virtually limitless when it comes to memory restrictions it would have been a nice touch to add a few more descriptions.

Difficulty-wise, Jacaranda Jim is a game that seems either too easy or too hard. Some tasks seem to be completed by nothing more than wandering around the town (I entered a clothes shop and was immediately given a police uniform without me having to do anything other than be there) whereas others are far more complex and require careful consideration to figure out.

I'd recommend this game because a) it's funny and b) it's well put together, but there were several things that could have been done to improve it, not the least of which would have been some serious play testing to rid the game of the compass direction problems. 

Logic: 3 out of 10
Unfortunately logic doesn't play a big part in this game but then as it's essentially a nonsense game in any event that is no bad thing.

Problems: 7 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
I'm not sure whether this is a problem with the game or with Adrift itself but several of the direction commands ("south", "east" and "west") resulted in the strange message "X" being displayed. The same went for typing "s", "e" and "w" although putting "go" at the start got things working. Weird. I also got an error message when attempting to go "in" in the zoo.

Story: 5 out of 10
As far as the background story here, there isn't one. You are Jacaranda Jim and that, alas, is just about all you are told aside from the fact that you've have been involved in a crash and rescued by a "Gribbley" named Alan. More background would have been a definite bonus.

Characters: 4 out of 10
Quite a few characters although I wasn't able to interact with any of them.

Writing: 7 out of 10
Very good for the most part although the earlier locations are definitely crying out for a rewrite.

Game: 7 out of 10
All in all, pretty decent. One of the few adventures I've played that starts out bad and then improves as it goes along (usually the reverse is the case!)

Overall: 33 out of 60

Reviewed by Thomas Mulkerrins

Nice one! 

I've been playing this on and off for a while now and really enjoy it. Some of the puzzles are a bit obscure for my liking and I find myself completing them without really knowing why. Also, it really gets on my nerves when in games you can die by simply doing something that is the obvious course of action. E.g. pushing the purple button in the post office. All this said and done, the game has a great feel to it and a solid sense of exploration that makes me want to look at everything, find new rooms, interact with everyone, just to see what happens.

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