A Fork in the Tale
by Al Giovetti
Preview, 09/22/96; Review, 05/1197
Price: $46
Genre: cinematic adventure
Release: March 1997
Developer: Advance Reality Interactive
Programmer:
Music:
Art:
Producer:
Publisher: Any River Entertainment
Phone: 415-742-7932
Website: http://www.anyriver.com/fork.html
Requirements: Pentium, 60 MHz, 8 MB RAM, 2X CD ROM drive, 1 MB video card, Windows 95, sound card, mouse

History: Any River Entertainment does not have any history either, since it is a new game company.

The company line: What could be more fun than getting shot, waking up in Eseveron (that mythical paradise), making fun of really bad dresswear and saving the world as you know it before lunch? Wait! Don't answer that. Just come on in.

Plot: You take the part of the main character who is shot and wakes up on the mythical island paradise of Eseveron. The last thing our hero remembers is helping out a maiden who was being harassed by thugs. The woman gave him an arm band. And you also take the role of a complete idiot prancing around in the woods of Eseveron with a bunch of silly men in tights (No this isnít a Mel Brooks film. At least I donít think its a Mel Brooks film - Ed.), and some scantily clad Amazon women, who did not take off their clothes for your pleasure, but to give them more freedom to stick you with pointy sticks called spears.

You also have been endowed with a Mandala band which the boys in tights (or were they men) want to take away from you. In another scene you are captured by the women with little to cover up their endowments. Along with you the women have captured on of the guys in black tights. The women pit you and the black tight clad man in a fight to the death where the guy in black tights kicks you into unconsciousness. So where is the plot?

Eseveron is peopled by wizards, huntresses, a forgotten princess, a bow huntress in a see through robe, some crazy horsemen, all who seem to desire your demise. The forks in the tale appear to be the many roads that you can choose when confronted by a decision in the menu based system of mayhem.

Graphics and animation: The game is filled with full motion video of actors and actresses with menu selections to advance the plot at critical junctures. Some choices that you make are lethal while others simply advance the plot. The animation is fast at 15 frames per second and smooth, which is encouraging.

Game play: The plot is humorous. Rob Schneider and other actors do a good job of carrying off the script.

Combat: The combat will be real-time arcade style in full motion video which according to Any River, "will test you dexterity." The FMV does more than test dexterity, it drives you crazy trying to time your responses to the video actions. The hand to eye coordination in manditory arcade sequences in adventure games is trying at times, at other times almost impossible.

Voice and form actors: Rob Schneider from Judge Dredd and many other films and Saturday Night Live provides the comic protagonist's voice acting for the game. The joke lines do not get repeated, due to a special design, repeating the same event will give you different comic out-takes which was a very nice design element.

Music score:

Sound effects: Typical movie sound effects of a boot heel impacting with your forehead, a huntress jumping your bones, knocking you out, and tying you up, the clanging of a sword on your Mandala band, the thwack and swish of a flaming arrow striking a human enemy, and many other movie sounds.

Internet: The Fork in the Tale interactive web site will give you a little bit of the plot of this big budget cinematic adventure which seems to be exceptionally silly and have large dollups of bad taste on top.

Journalists:Gary says "anyone in search of an honest to goodness game won't find one here."

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References:
Cindy Yans, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 71, October, 1996, pg. 48.
PC Gamer
http://www.anyriver.com/walk0.html
Glenn Broderick, Computer & Net Player, volume 3, number 10, March, 1997, pg. 41.
Christine Lam, PC Games, volume 4, number 4, April, 1997, pg. 96, 78%.
Gary Whitta, PC Gamer, volume 4, number 5, May, 1997, pg. 129, 34%.
Andy Backer, Computer Games, issue 78, May, 1997, pg. 92, 70%.

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