Torin's Passage

(Originally published in the national edition of Computer Currents magazine. Reprinted here with permission of the author.)

by Joe DeRouen

I have to admit it: when it was announced that Al Lowe would be writing a new adventure game for Sierra On-Line that both children and adults alike could enjoy, I was skeptical. After all, Lowe is the creator of the infamous Leisure Suit Larry games, a series of adventures that concentrate on the lounge-lizard title characters attempted conquest of women. Funny? Hilarious. For children? Absolutely not. That said, I was delighted to play Torin's Passage and find that it lived up to all of its hype and that Lowe really could write outside of the Leisure Suit Larry world.

Torin's Passage is a fantasy adventure set on Strata, a planet consisting of five nested worlds. You (as Torin), finding that your family has been taken by an evil sorceress, must journey through these worlds and solve puzzles and decipher clues in hopes of finding and rescuing your family. True to its promise, there's a story here for both children and adults, and the humor inherent in the game is reminiscent of "Rocky and Bullwinkle." Along the way, you'll meet all sorts of strange and unusual creatures. Most of the world's inhabitants will try to stop your quest, but if you look hard enough you'll probably find a few friendly faces in the crowd as well.

The animation and sound in Torin's Passage is incredible. Multi-plane scrolling backgrounds and thousands of cels of hand-drawn animation help to make this one of Sierra's most visually stunning games ever. One of the nicest features of the game is a pop-up TelePrompTer that you can access anytime within the adventure. The TelePrompTer is used to control written and spoken dialogue, and comes complete with an optional closed-captioning switch.

Best of all, it's easy to play. You can jump into this game within a few minutes of loading it up, and spend literally hours playing and solving puzzles. When it's all over and you've solved the last puzzle, whether you're a kid or a grownup or somewhere inbetween, you'll be left wanting for more. And they said Al Lowe couldn't write kids games. Somewhere, Leisure Suit Larry must be smiling.

Windows 3.1. List price: $54.95. Sierra On-Line, 800/757-7707.

Copyright (c) 1996, Joe DeRouen. All rights reserved.

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File last modified on September 19th, 1996