October 21, 1888. The Wyoming Territories. A scientific excavation discovers a perfectly spherical chamber fifty feet deep in solid rock. The chamber holds a mysterious device, apparently capable of generating electricity from thin air. It could change the world. But even more fascinating is the metal frame nearby, which, when powered in the proper way, opens up to reveal a corridor that can only be described as... otherworldly. Who made these devices? Are they safe to use? One thing is for sure, though: it's time to explore. Worldgate is a new point-and-click adventure game by William Buchanan, developer of The Free Will Cycle series.
At the start, you may choose whether to navigate by mouse or by keyboard, and whether to display direction arrows on-screen. Using the [WASD] or [Arrow Keys] or clicking the arrows with the mouse, you'll turn left and right, and step forward and backward to navigate around the landscape. Click an object onscreen to examine, manipulate, or add it to your inventory. Once an object is in your inventory, you may examine it by clicking its inspection icon in the lower right, or click to select it to use with an onscreen object. Some objects can be adjusted or combined once examined in greater detail. In general, it's best to visit the options menu to customize your experience.
Analysis: It has been fascinating to follow Buchanan as he develops his CHARM adventure game engine. His willingness to listen to and implement feedback from players is admirable, and the result is an upward trajectory of quality that one hopes will never be interrupted. The navigation problems noted by our charmingly handsome writer in the Freewill Cycle Volume 2 review are nowhere to be found, save for a little inventory muddling. Combined with Buchanan's prodigious world-building talents, this make Worldgate an atmospheric piece of science fiction in an attractive package.
Puzzles are generally of the "encounter mysterious machines, then figure out how they work" variety, which may frustrate the less gadgety minded of our audience, and there is little explicit plot. Above all, Worldgate is a game of exploration: of stepping through doors without knowing where they lead, of connecting wires to objects and hoping they won't explode. Unlike many science fiction game, the player-human is not at the mercy of the larger world. You play a scientist who investigates the unknown by choice. There's a cool technology clash between the 19th century tools you have and the advanced alien world you interact with. If your curiosity kills you, than at least you'll know where your towel is, and that is a quite empowering feeling.
Play the entire Worldgate series:
The big question is, of course, where does Buchanan go from here? His CHARM engine has demonstrated its proficiency in presenting empty, ominous, technological worlds, but will it work as well for lived-in, welcoming, organic worlds? Will we ever get to meet the creatures who make such wonderful toys? The ending of Worldgate implies that the story is nowhere near finished, and frankly, whatever direction the story takes, it's worth waiting all the time in the world for another wonderful adventure. Though, of course, if you Buchanan could get Kurt Russel to sign on for the sequel, we wouldn't, y'know, mind.
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General information: There are a few documents sprinkled about, which, while not strictly neccesary for completion, will help you understand the plot.
A Scientific Expedition
Pick up your leather journal from the table. Examine it to read through and get a few hints of what to do next.
Turn left and pick up the brass key from the cot. Turn 180 degrees, and use the key on the locked chest. Open the chest and take the woolen shirt, leyden jars, dynamite and lighter.
Turn right, walk forward, turn left, and examine the wooden table with the wire leaning against it. Put the leyden jars on the table, then click the wires to connect them to it. The lights in the passageway will now be on.
Back away, turn left, walk forward and turn left again. Walk forward through the passageway, all the way up to the room with the circular frame. Pick up the wand on the left side of the circular gate.
Turn right. Pick up the whiskey bottle and click the cabinet to open it. Click the purple pentagonal gemstone to pick it up. Examine the wand in your inventory. Use the purple gemstone on the wand. Back out of the examine screen, and turn to face the circular frame.
Click the wand in your inventory and use it on the holster on the left side of the circular frame. The Worldgate should now be activated. Click the portal to walk through it.
Through The Gate
Walk to the end of the alien corridor and turn right. Click the large fuse on top of the control cabinet to pick it up. Turn 180 degrees, and walk forward as far as you can. Turn right to face the caved-in corridor.
Click the dynamite and place it on the caved-in rock. Examine the lighter in your inventory, then click it to light a flame. Use the lighter on the dynamite. You will automatically (and intelligently) walk away from the blast. Turn 180 degrees back to the now not-caved-in corridor.
Walk forward as far as you can into the room with the marble pillars. Turn left to face the Water Repulsion Device. Click the access panel to open it. Click the large fuse and place it in the docket. Click the plug attached to the wire, and it will attach itself to the repulsion device. From the now-drained pool of water, pick up the adjustable keypad. Click the power cable to detach it, then click the Water Repulsion device to pick it up.
Turn left and wall forward up to the railing. Turn left and walk forward all the way up to the control cabinet. Click on the cabinet to examine it.
Examine the keyplate in your inventory. Click the various circular knobs on the keyplate to rotate the bits on the plate to make a mirror image of the slots on the cabinet, so that the plate will fit in to them. Click the top left circle once, the top right circle once, the bottom left circle zero times, and the bottom right circle three times. Click away from the examining screen, then use the keyplate on the control cabinet. Open the cabinet and click the lever so that the flow is directed to the green tube.
Return to the room with the marble pillars. Once you walk in, turn to the right to face the globe-like container. Press the button to open the container, and take the battery inside. Return to the portal and click through to return to the mountain.
Return To Wyoming Mountain
Once you have returned through the portal, walk forward till you are out of the cave, then turn right and examine the table with the leyden jars and wire. Disconnect the wires from the leyden jays, click the battery on the leyden jars to charge it, then reconnect the wires.
Examine the water repulsion device in your inventory. Click the battery and use it on the device to give it power.
Back away from the table, turn left, walk forward twice, then turn to the right to face the pool to the left of your base camp.
Click the pool to examine it. Click the Water Repulsion device in your inventory, then wave it over the pool until you find the pickaxe around the upper left. Click the pickaxe to pick it up
Back away from the pool, then navigate yourself back to the portal, and click through to the alien corridor.
A Bit of Mining
Go as far forward as you can then turn right to approach the control cabinet. Open the cabinet and click the lever to divert the flow to the red pipe.
Turn around 180 degrees and walk forward. As soon as you've walked down the stairs, turn right to face the large green crystal. Click the pickaxe, then use it on the crystal to get a crystal chunk. Turn left and advance to the Pillar Room.
As soon as you walk into the pillar room, turn left and note the sequence of shapes on the plate. Turn right, walk forward, and turn left to face the furnace.
Click the furnace door to open it. Examine the woolen shirt in your inventory. Click the whiskey and pour it on the shirt, to make a whiskey-soaked shirt (which, Btw, is in the running for my favorite adventure game inventory item of the year). Click the Whiskey-Soaked Shirt in your inventory, then place it in the furnace fuel compartment. Use the lighter to light the shirt on fire.
Close the furnace door, and press the hydro-solenoid button. The gate at the end of the room will open, and you will turn to face it automatically.
Walk through the gateway. Turn right to face the strange container. Click the container to examine it.
Place the chunk of green crystal in the green inset to power the container. Click the shapes in the order they were on the nameplate: Hexagon, Triangle, Square, Circle. Use the lighter to melt the ice. Pick up the core and back away from the container.
Navigate your way back to and through the portal. Once through, move forward once and turn to the left to face the alcove. Click the series of receptacles to examine it. Click the access panels to open them up. Click the core in your inventory and place it in the receptacle. Back away, and enjoy the ending!
Posted by: Tricky | November 5, 2012 12:21 PM