Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge Preview

Broderbund and Colossal bring a late night MTV flavor to the adventure gaming genre in this wacked out marsupial tale

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Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge is both a return and a departure for Broderbund. This game marks the company's long-awaited return to the graphic adventure genre, all but abandoned since the best-selling Myst. But unlike previous Broderbund titles, which were mostly wholesome, Koala Lumpur is aimed squarely at an adult audience. Although the game doesn't contain swearing or nudity, some of the themes are mature and most of the game's humor is intellectually high-brow, with a bit of Ren and Stimpy-style physical comedy thrown in for good measure.

In a unique development process, Colossal Pictures (of MTV's Liquid Television fame) created all of the artwork and original character design, while Broderbund's internal studio created both the sound design and engineering. Originally conceived by Colossal as a cartoon series, Koala Lumpur is a third person graphic adventure with far-out graphics and a script that should have you laughing long after the game is over. The story focuses on the adventures of marsupial Zen Master Koala Lumpur and his canine scientist sidekick, Dr. Dingo Tu-Far. As the driver of a Trans-Temporal Recreational Vehicle (TTRV), Koala must travel to other dimensions to save the world from a chain reaction of events that will lead to a comedy apocalypse. To achieve his goal, Koala must find a number of scrolls that contain magical incantations. When all of these scrolls are uncovered and read, Koala will achieve total enlightenment. As you may have surmised, nothing about this adventure is normal.

An example of Koala's break from the ordinary is its unusual interface. Your cursor in the game takes the form of an animated fly, which you scoot across each of the scrollable rooms. Oddly enough, the fly is actually a character in the game that interacts with Koala, Dr. Dingo, and other folks you meet on your inter-dimensional journey.

One of the game's most unique features is the "chatter" that transpires between Koala and Dr. Dingo, which is not only random, but also independent of your actions. The game's producer describes this dialogue as "similar to the types of discussions between the characters played by John Travolta and Samuel Jackson in the movie Pulp Fiction. Koala and Dr. Dingo have long, philosophical discussions about ordinary things."

The puzzles in this adventure are also fairly unusual. In one instance you must literally climb inside Dr. Dingo's head and physically manipulate his thoughts while he's being examined by his ex-lover, Tuff-Love, a femme fatale rabbit and psychoanalyst. In another section you must piece together a sewer system, taking into consideration x, y, and z axes.

Broderbund is definitely forging new territory with Koala, and this zany game, dubbed "The Wizard of Oz on Acid" by its internal development team, promises to be a compelling game experience.

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