Where are the puzzles?!

User Rating: 4 | 2064: Read Only Memories PC

I started playing ROM because of the good review in Gamespot and because I like classic point and click adventure games. After playing a few hours I don't think the good rating is justified, even more I'm rather disappointed with ROM. Here's why:

First of all: the puzzles are not "easy" - the truth is: there are NO puzzles at all. It's always plain clear what has to be done next. And the solution is always as simple as talking to someone or doing the thing that someone has told you before. So there's almost no reward when you've accomplished something as in other P&C adventures (on the plus side: there's also no frustration because you're stuck somewhere).

Instead of puzzles there's dialog. And - oh boy - there's a lot of dialog in this game. Most of the talking is done by your robotic sidekick Turing. How i wished I could stop his philosophical bla bla and get some puzzles instead... but no. Turing really sucks.

I love pixel graphic. If you don't, you'll probably completely dislike the looks of ROM. Some of the pixel graphics in the game are quite good, most of all the character portraits. However, the pixel grid is a bit too coarse for my taste, which makes the game look like something that could run on a C64 and not like decent VGA graphics. In terms of usability the large pixels are a problem when it comes to text-readability. The font is rather hard to read, which makes Turings excessive dialogs even more unbearable.

The story featues a sometimes not so subtle approach on subjects like gender rights, discrimination, handicapped persons, etc. For me that's Ok, as I am an open minded person and I think the society displayed in ROM could be a possible future. However, sometimes I felt characters were only placed in the game to act as an archetype for a specific subject: like the homosexual bar-keepers, or the gifted but handicapped computer programmer. So whether or not you like ROM will probably also depend on your personal attitude regarding these subjects.

So, as you see, I would not recommend playing ROM as it is not the P&C adventure that I hoped it would be.