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Igor's Adventures With The Mad Scientist

Published by Core Games
Price $21.95
Primary Genre Secondary Genre

There are all manner of jobs out there, and some of them are never advertised in the local newspaper. Here's an interesting one - assistant wanted. Apply at the castle. It seems there's a scientist of questionable sanity building some monsters, and he wants a helping hand.

Why are mad scientists always surrounded by storms? Do they order them in from Storms R Us? Push all those components together in the right order and activate the switch. Mwah ha ha haa!

Your task is to assemble these creatures by pushing the various parts together and then activating the power supply. This is hampered somewhat by the various obstacles, conveyor belts, teleporters, turntables, creatures and rapidly growing plantlife in the eighty laboratories you'll be working in. Three different robots can appear to aid in your task. The game runs not in real time but in turns or moves. Try to solve each level in as few moves as possible.

Controls are very simple. The easiest way to control "Igor" is with the arrow keys (though you can also click with the mouse to tell him where to go). Numbers 1-4 switch between him and any robots on the level. It can take a little while to adjust to which direction each arrow key corresponds to and there can be a slight delay between movements, due to other objects in the level also moving.

Here's a bigger level - those colourful blocks in the corner are lowered by the same colour pressure plates. Here's one I prepared earlier.

If there's any area that "Igor's Adventures" fails to live up to expectations, it could be the game graphics. Many objects, including Igor himself, seem rather basic and could use a little extra animation. The turn-based nature of the game limits what can be done, but animation is rather more rapid than expected and the occasional delays as other things move can make you think you haven't moved when you have. It is easy to slip a square too far and ruin a level. Ironically, adding some extra animation frames between moves may ease this.

Sound effects accompany most actions (including Igor as he shoves those tables around!) and there's a little title music as well, plus some ambient background noise in the main game which sounded remarkably like the Mad Scientist was trying to tune a radio. Here too there could be some more (optional) music or background noise. Dripping water? Random thunder?

Igor's Adventures is very playable - though there is no undo feature as such, one can save or restore one's game (restoring a saved game sees Igor zipping through the earlier moves in fast forward!). Your aim is to match or beat the high score set by Core Games, though you can advance by completing a level in any number of moves. There are plenty of game elements to vary things - mixing chemicals, for instance, produces a range of effects and there are plenty of ways that plants, rats and zombies can help or hinder. A good way to learn is to try things out in the level editor.

Eighty monsters sounds like a lot, and should last you a long time, but they may pass faster than you expect. Fortunately, as well as the level editor, there are expansion packs available. With no timers, no pressure and no need to solve all the levels in order (solve enough and you'll open up the next batch) you can play with Igor as long as you want to.

Games where you shove things around and solve puzzles by logic are far from original, but Igor's Adventures applies a certain style to the concept. Though the content may be slightly underdeveloped, the game beneath is solid and well balanced. I like it. Chess-minded people will enjoy it. Anyone needing to flex their brain should try it.

Graphics 65%
Sound 65%
Playability 85%
Longevity 90%
Overall Score 75%
Silver Star

Published on 21 Jul 2006
Reviewed by Andrew Williams

Keywords: igor's adventures with the mad scientist review, core games reviews, core games games, igor's adventures with the mad scientist scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.