lighthouse.gif - 16.1 K
by Alfred Giovetti
Price: $54.95
Release: August 1996
Genre: 3-D Animated Adventure
Producer: Jon Bock
Artist: Jon Bock
Publisher: Sierra Online, P.O. Box 53008, Bellevue, WA 98015-3008
Phone: 800-757-7707
requirements: Windows 95

To call a game Myst-like has become a meaningless cliché, but Lighthouse is clearly Sierra's answer to Myst. How can you describe a game that still rates in the top ten after over 2 years of sales? Myst defies all records since it still sells in the tens of thousands of games each month. 422_thumb.gif - 13.7 K

Lighthouse uses the same clarity of image and great careful artistic locations to explore and experience that we saw in Myst. Add into the wonderful mix a group of fascinating and interesting mechanical contrivances and you see where Lighthouse goes beyond the original Myst concept.

The plot has that familiar ring. The protagonist has sought out the solitude and quiet of the mysterious and foggy Oregon coast, and soon finds him or herself embroiled in solving a heinous crime. This time the unspeakable crime is the kidnapping of an adorable and spectacularly rendered baby girl named Amanda. And of course you must solve the mystery, enter an alien parallel worldk and save the girl from the evil villain's clutches and foil his nefarious plans to . . . Well, hopefully we all will know the plot and like it later in the game.

The graphics were rendered on Silicon Graphics Incorporated (SGI) computers with Autodesk 3D Studio and Alias Animator and show the same ultra detailed three-dimensional (3-D) renderings and character animations.

Jon Bock, who is the producer of Lighthouse, has worked with Sierra since 1989 on projects such as Space Quest 6, Phantasmagoria, and King's Quest 7. Bock also has 18 years experience in art, film, video, computer graphics, and game design and two degrees in art and film production. In many ways, Lighthouse resembles worlds created by science fiction writers Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and others who Bock reads avidly. 334_thumb.gif - 17.0 K

Puzzles range from physical puzzles like restoring power to the house, operating strange vehicles and machines, and using tools, to brain teasers. The puzzles are woven into the story in the same style that Sierra game players are used to. Meaning that the puzzles logically fit into the story.

There are many endings and paths to those endings. There are often multiple solutions to the same problem. The amount of replayability of the game is enhanced by this approach.

The original unique music score, scripting and recording is set to add to the mystery, suspense and alien-ness of the game. Lighthouse comes on three CDs and is reported to be more difficult than Myst.

InterAction, Summer, 1996, pg. 18-21.