Alien Extraction

by Michael Rubino and Karissa Kilgore

Historical/Satire
2006

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Offensive, June 24, 2008
by Ryusui (Out in the middle of a field!)

Alien Extraction puts you in the boots of a man sent in to find Elian Gonzalez - yes, the Elian Gonzalez - and "shove him in a box and send him home" (the game's exact wording). In addition to its one-dimensional treatment of its subject matter, the implementation is an absolute joke: just about the only exercise of intelligence the game requires is that you must (Spoiler - click to show)knock on the door before you're allowed to enter. The NPCs are cardboard, spouting the exact same canned response regardless of what you ask them about ("talk to" is rejected)...even the "dangerous" fire truck on the floor only responds to "firetruck" (one word). The rest is simply exploring squalid rooms until you find Elian, which prompts an inane victory message (most of which is quoted above) and no further exposition.

About the only good thing that can be said is that the game never forces the player to randomly guess what must be done next; unfortunately, the game is mind-numbingly shallow to the point that simply opening every door (all three of them) and examining every hiding place (all two of them) is enough to win. A minimal solution is only six moves; it would be four, but the game doesn't implicitly attempt to open closed doors when you try to pass through them.

Rather than presenting a thoughtful criticism of an issue, Alien Extraction insults the player's intelligence by running him through an embarrassingly simple maze under the pretense of being a jackbooted thug intent on sending an innocent child back into Castro's clutches...or maybe you're a soldier for freedom, rooting out the foreign parasite and returning him to his backwards nation? It's hard to tell where the authors stand on the issue; perhaps this game was intended to lampoon both sides, but the presentation of its argument, for, against or neither, is overshadowed by its heavy-handed treatment and weak implementation. Satire is meant to offend people into action; unfortunately, the only action this game is likely to prompt is closing the window.