Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge
Review by Al Giovetti, 02/16/97
Genre: animated graphic adventure
Release: February 3, 1997
Art: James Baker
Music: Greg Hale Jones
Programmer: Bob Arient and Dan Kelmenson
Developer: Broderbund and Colossal Pictures, http://www.colossal.com/
Producer: James Baker
Demo: http://www.koalalumpur.com/s2/freebies/setup.html Phone: 415-382-4400
Website: www.koalalumpur.com, http://colossal.colossal.com/colossal/, www.broder.com
Requirements: Windows 3.1 or 95, 486DX2, 66 MHz, 8 MB RAM, 4 MB hard disk space, 2X CD ROM, SVGA monitor running 640x480 in 256 colors
Introduction: Well it finally arribed via urgent express delivery, a large white box from Broderbund with a large black and white label that read "Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge, Think games. . . think Broderbund." Inside the box was a red Journey to the Edge red fez, and one travel kit consisting of two "punks," slow burning sticks that one usually burns at night to keep away mosquitos, four shiny marbles, a plastic fly (No, don't hit it. It's just plastic. It was too late! Ed.), and a gauze bandage. Well lets boot the game and find out what all this means.
Company line: Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge, a comic adventure with attitude, is scheduled to be the first new Brøderbund game of 1997. The game, developed jointly with San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures®, provides biting humor, edgy characters and outrageously funny dialogue that will keep you laughing for hours. This twisted trek through four wildly bizarre worlds is filled with challenging puzzles set in groovy 360 degree scrolling environments and other points of view.
The heroic mystic marsupial, Zen Master Koala Lumpur, mistakenly utters an incantation which, if left unchecked, will bring about the Comedy Apocalypse. Koala has been charged by Ella Mental, the supreme being herself, to help stop the Comedy Apocalypse by finding the pieces of The Lost Scroll of Cartoon Prophesies which when located will prevent the impending doom of the universe. Knowing that his old pal Dr. Dingo Tu-Far would be of great assistance to him on this quest, Koala places a collect karma call to Dingo and informs him of the journey ahead.
As Koala's familiar, Fly, you guide Koala and Dingo through a seamless, comic book world. Tuff Luv, proprietor of the Stream of Consciousness, Woody Knot, ruler of Land of Lost Things, and Annie Body, creator of Eye in the Sky, are just some of the eccentric characters you'll meet while in search of the missing scroll pieces.
Stream of Consciousness: This surrealistic theme park is where you'll meet femme fatale, Tuff Luv, a cross between a resident drill sergeant and psycho-therapist. She's slightly bitter though after having had her heart broken by the king of cads. Contracting a nasty case of fleas from a past lover has left her really ticked off and determined to set the world psychologically straight. As Fly you enter Dr. Dingo's head, literally manipulating his thoughts, so that he can be "rehabilitated" by Tuff Luv's "therapy."
Land of Lost Things: A repository for everything lost, your keys, loose change and socks, the Land of Lost Things is ruled by runaway ventriloquist dummy, Woody Knot. He and Koala go way back to the days when Woody, a tricky and wily adversary, was the talk of Vegas. Koala, Fly and Dingo arrive at the Land of Lost Things and learn of a legendary all-seeing helmet worn by the emperor, Woody Knot.v Hoping that the helmet might aide them in their quest, they are compelled to seek it out.
Eye in the Sky: Only six years old, Annie Body is the smartest girl in the world! She's mastered cold fusion and has single-handedly built a space station. Annie's even created Robo-Chums to keep her company, but alas she's still very lonely. She's desperate to catch some real playmates. The fearless trio arrive at Annie's fortress in their continued search for more pieces of the scroll. When they decide to depart, Annie, desperate for friends, refuses to let her new "toys" leave. Too bad little Annie is not familiar with the proverb, "if you love something, let it go."
Look for the wacky adventure of Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge in stores this February.
History: Broderbund at one time did adventure games. Broderbund has been totering on the edge of doing adventure games for years. Broderbund has made their fortunes with Carmen Sandiego, Myst, and other games while living a double life producing utility titles like Print Shop, Paradox, and Quattro Pro.
Colossal pictures, who recently fired most of their animation staff in a company restructuring and downsizing, is responsible for the animation and graphics. Colossal has done Aeon Flux, Psychick Detective, Moxy, Ruff’s Bone, and Play-Doh Creations. The lay-off should elimination animation for conception in the company.
Plot: Koala is a fuzzy gray Koala dressed in purple fez and robes covered with arcane gold symbols who just happens to be a Zen master and eats eucalyptus leaves to achieve the correct level of consciousness. While "better living through chemistry" is not the theme of this tale, you must extract Koala from the rabbit clutches of ex-lover, Tuff-Love, a rather sexy rabbit and psychiatrist who wears too much make up.
Dr. Dingo Tu-Far, the caning sidekick, accompanies the marsupial with the constant buzz on his trips through other dimensions in the Trans-Temporal Recreation Vehicle. Exploration of the lands of Stream of Consciousness, The Land of Lost Things, and Eye in the Sky peopled by even less than logical inhabitants of Woody Knot and Annie Body is required to retrieve the scrolls.
Koala and Dingo's task is the usual save the world and universe from entropic destruction, by finding magical scrolls which lead Koala to enlightenment or at least a higher level membership in the local spa. A mystic incantation carelessly incanted will release the Comedy Apocalypse unless averted by finding the Lost Scroll of Cartoon Prophesies. What unfolds goes beyond the normally silly games and dungeon delves on a decidedly nutty world or crazed loonies. Most will fit right in and love the game inspite of some minor glitches and some abomanable puzzles.
Puzzles: Are of the typical adventure game type including a three dimensional sewer system jig saw puzzle, and others.
Interface: Third person perspective graphic animated adventure with a fly cursor that actually has a role as an interactive character (like the Aeon Flux fly? -Ed.). Dingo and Koala talk a lot during the game and the talk is coincidentally "stream of consciousness" and is meant to be funny since it does not even remotely relate to the plot of the game or its events. These unending discussions are meant to be philosophical treateses on mundane everyday occurances. The fly does not have a hot spot indicator where it lights up or changes color when passing over a hot spot.
Graphics and animation: Traditional two dimensional cartoon animation and graphics produced by troubled company Colossal Pictures. The backgrounds are hand drawn and the animated characters are put into the scene with a computer process not unlike Walt Disney’s multiplane camera. The game has 360 degree scrolling backgrounds with highly detailed graphics. The cut scenes meld well with the animated action and cannot be told from the interactive portion of the game. The cut scenes use different camera angles and close ups of the characters.
Voice actors: Phil Robinson as Koala Lumpur, John Stevenson as Dr. Dingo Tu-Far, Lorrin Jones, George McRae, The Spoonman, Trish Tillman, Kathy Garver, Michael Barrett and Jenean Estogoy do an excellent job on the voices complete with accents and funny inflections needed in a comedy title.
Sound effects: Movie quality sound effects.
Utilities: We found the game ran poorly in a DOS window of Windows 95 and found that it ran best directly off the CD ROM.
Cheats and Walkthroughs: Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge Walkthrough
Multi-player: This is a single player game, thanks to the lack of imagination in design. The game could be multiplayer, not a Doom clone, but a game the entire family could enjoy.
Future plans: There was a time when Broderbund was a force to be reconned with in the gaming world. Many of the Broderbund titles were memorable, if not generators of high sales figures. Now Broderbund has a full line up of game products including the last express (www.lastexpress.com), the tone rebellion (www.tonerebellion.com), and War Breeds (www.warbreeds/.com). We look forward to the next Broderbund game.
Put your review right here by emailing us the text.
Jeffrey Adam Young, http://www.gamespot.com/previews/koalalum/index.html
Cindy Yans, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 71, October, 1996, pg. 52.
Karl Cohen, http://www.awn.com/asifa-sf/colossal.html
Julie Gordon, Computer & Net Player, volume 3, number 11, April, 1997, pg. 71, 80%.
Tim Royal, Computer Games, issue 78, May, 1997, pg. 93, 85%.
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