Back to the El Obscuro file for Ray! This time around it's Burn:Cycle from Phillips Interactive.
Burn:Cycle is a first-person DOS action/adventure with a cyberpunk theme. Okay, so cyberpunk is cliche, but you've got to admit it's a pretty appropriate genre for a computer game. You play Sol Cutter, a data thief who's just been infected with a deadly virus. You, Sol, have 90 minutes to solve the mystery get the virus out of your system.
Eek, you're thinking. "I hate timed puzzles!" Well, in Burn:Cycle, the entire game is timed.
But don't worry, if you save often, you'll have plenty of time.
This is one of those action/adventures in which the action is so perfunctory it feels tacked on. Oh, here come the bad guys. Bang bang bang. No problem. Oh, here come some fragmenting meteorites. Bang bang, no problem. I can't imagine a real action fan being satisfied by the action in this game, but since I'm an adventure weenie, it didn't bother me at all.
The plot involves a lot of running around in a modern metropolis circa 2043, with attempts to sneak into hotel rooms without getting shot, and finding the various people around town who can help you sort out the mystery of the time bomb that is ticking away in your head.
The graphics of the game are a bit on the primitive side, but they still have a kinetic quality that's pleasing. All of the movements (or "steps") are nicely animated, so you get a real sense of the physical world you're walking around in.
You play with lots of high-tech gadgets in this game (similar to a recent timed game, Traitors Gate), and they are lots of fun. You also spend a lot of time in cyberspace, solving a host of medium-to-difficult puzzles.
The game is also full of video cutscenes that, while crude, are nevertheless effective.
Not surprisingly, considering the deadline your character is facing, this is not a long game. But it's a fun one that I recommend to adventure completists, if you can get your mitts on a copy.
Mac Alert: This game is a hybrid disk that runs on that Other Type of Computer.
Final Grade: C
If you liked Burn:Cycle:
Watch: Johnny Mnemonic
Read: Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson
Play: Traitors Gate
68040 or PowerPC CPU
Color Macintosh with 256-color display
Double speed CD-ROM drive
5 MB RAM
System 7.0 or better recommended