Inherit the Earth


Genre: Adventure

Format: Shareware

Developer: The Dreamers Guild

Publisher: New World Computing

Mac OS X Update: The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co.

Mac OS X Publisher: The Wyrmkeep Entertainment Co.

Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS 8.1 or Mac OS X, and 30MB RAM, 40MB hard disk space, 800x600 screen resolution with thousands of colors

Review Computer: Mac OS X v10.1.2
Network Feature: No

3D Support: No

Price: $20.00

ESRB Rating: N/A

Availability: Now

Version Reviewed: 1.0

Inherit the Earth was first released in 1994 for DOS and the Macintosh by the prolific New World Computing. Ten years later, it has been updated by Wyrmkeep Entertainment for current computers with the original game play and graphics and revamped music. Is Inherit the Earth a diamond in the rough, or is it fool's gold?

Inherit the Earth starts out at a fair where a contest is taking place between a fox and a rat. After the contest ends, news comes that the Orb of Storms, an ancient artifact which forecasts the weather, was stolen and the fox is accused of the theft. Rif the Fox must travel throughout the lands along with Okk the Boar and Eeah the Elk in order to prove his innocence and save his girlfriend Rhene by retrieving the orb.

After the opening movie ends, you're given control of Rif who can walk around the fair to collect clues. The interface of Inherit the Earth looks very much like the King's Quest series, with a button for every action you have: Walk To, Look At, Pick Up, Talk To, Open, Close, Use, and Give. Fortunately, you can select the button by using the first letter of each action (P for Pick Up, L for Look At, etc.) in addition to using the mouse, which I like a lot.

What I don't like are the many different types of actions, which could confuse novice adventure gamers, and most of which aren't necessarily needed. For example, Close was never used, and Look At just had Rif pointing towards what he was looking at in case you weren't able to identify doors and tables and torches. However, Inherit the Earth was developed in 1994 when this type of interface was popular, so, even though I consider the interface clunky, it works and is quick to learn.

What sets Inherit the Earth apart from other games in that it has great voice acting. Every conversation—whether with the fortune teller cat, the elk king, a scientist dog, or boar king—sounded like the animals and were very well done. Unlike most games where the voice acting put me to sleep, in Inherit the Earth, the voice acting pulled me into the game.

The music is also quite good and is unique and appropriate for each place you visit. From the tubas of the Boar kingdom (which emphasize their aggressive nature) to the tribal song of the wolf pack, they all highlight the differences and qualities of each of the animal races.

This compensates for the graphics. They are very good in terms of what was available in 1994, but today would be considered less than ideal. The graphics are very pixelated, but colorful and with an attention to detail that surprised me. However, if you're a fan of adventure games, what you are probably most interested are the puzzles and the story, so the lack of high-end 3D graphics isn't important.

After you exit the fair, you can travel to any of six places by clicking on the location in the map. Unfortunately, because there's a low number of places to travel to, you'll be doing a lot of backtracking as you complete puzzles, which does get a bit tedious. Most of the time, the puzzles are well integrated, and Inherit the Earth does a good job in giving you some clues about what you should do next. There are a few mazes, a bunch of looking in obscure places to get items which will help you later, doing the same action repeatedly, and picking the right response to a question. The quality of the puzzles seemed to degrade near the end, where I had no map and had to go to a place which, to find, I would have to bump into through walking around. Generally, I don't like puzzles where you have to wander around aimlessly in the hopes of stumbling into what you need, but there only a few of these so it wasn't terribly bad. Basically, if you go everywhere and pick up anything and pay attention, you should be okay because none of the puzzles are very difficult.

On your quest for the Orb of Storms, you'll learn more about the history of the humans who gave animals the ability to talk and walk and use their hands, and then left the animals for some unknown fate. Unfortunately, you won't learn much more than some legends, and you won't find out exactly what happened to the humans or why they gave awareness to the animals and why they decided to leave the animals to their own devices. I was most disappointed about this because I was hoping some light would be shed on this mystery.

However, the story for the Orb of Storms is well-written and all of the parts are connected; no bizarre leaps of logic which go from Point A to Point Z with a bunch of hand waving in between.

Inherit the Earth is a fun and worthy adventure game for everyone who enjoys an interesting story with puzzles which won't drive you nuts and voice acting and music which add flavor and character. It's definitely worth twenty dollars.

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