MIT begat Zork, which begat Infocom, the king of text adventure games, which begat an ill-fated attempt at developing business software (!), which begat bankruptcy. But Infocom also begat a small company called Legend Entertainment, devoted to making text-ish adventures for thinking people. Legend mated point-and-click interfaces and graphics with well-written adventure prose for a meaty, old-fashioned computer game experience. But Legend couldn't hold back the tide of graphic adventure games. So, as if to show just how good they were as game designers, Legend cranked out Mission Critical, a science fiction adventure with heavy graphic flair, set in deep space and starring Patricia Charbonneau and Michael Dorn.
In the future, the United States and other nations are fighting another war of independence against a fascist United Nations-run world government. Mission Critical provides the setup through a well-done video sequence; Michael Dorn plays the captain of the USS Lexington, defeated by a UN starship. Feigning surrender, he ferries over his crew to the enemy craft-along with a nuclear warhead, sacrificing himself and his crew just to give you a chance to complete the Lexington's missionwhich you'll need to puzzle out from video logs and computer records.
Put simply, Mission Critical was one of the best adventures of 1995. The halls of a 22nd Century starship are rendered in 7th Guest-like detail, using camera-on-rails animation that delivers an illusion of smooth 3-D movement down hallways or into rooms. Pick up objects, open containers and solve puzzlesall typical adventure fare, but Mission Critical gives you a great deal more. As your adventure moves from the immediate problem of repairing a badly-damaged spacecraft to fighting deep space battles to first contact with aliens, you'll unravel a greater cosmic mystery that could affect the entire human race. A chilling beginning and deep science-fiction premises make Mission Critical an adventure game to savor.