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About the StoryIn this homage to Indiana Jones, you play as Tex Bonaventure, an adventurer and treasure hunter. After three days of exploring the deep dark swamps of the Everglades, you've finally found your destination. You've found what the natives call Cukovcatv Em Oheskatv Vhesaketv, the Temple of the Water of Life.
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Tex Bonaventure and the Temple of the Water of Life (or TBATTOTWOL… or maybe just TBAT) is a likeable and rather difficult to solve off your own back Indiana Jones-styled adventure. Tex is less competent and cool than Indy but he's no klutz, and the game doesn't play up his goofiness at the expense of dangerous puzzles or basic seriousness of adventuring. TBAT is chock full of traps, fast deaths and adventure movie quotes, the latter often appearing in the form of achievement-like score boosts. TBAT is a little short of the programming or prose polish that would really get it glowing, but it does have a good sense of danger and suspense.
The basic adventuring schtick of examining one thing, then examining something revealed by the first thing, then examining something revealed by the second thing, etc., is well executed on many occasions in TBAT, and this is complementary to the suspense of time-limit traps, like when a spiked ceiling is descending towards your head. Some wisecracks which happen to hit the mark and a plethora of wacky/gory deaths round out a tone which is recognisable from plenty of adventure films and games.
Since the game is named for its hero, I would have liked to see his personality shine through more clearly in the prose. The nature of some of the humour used is such that it can feel like the narrator is trying to be funny in general, rather than that I've got a window to Tex's thoughts and that they are funny, or illuminating of him. The game is a good romp through a dangerous temple in any case.
I had to visit the hint menus and walkthrough file with increasing frequency throughout TBAT. Games which lead me to cleave to the walkthrough have been known to aggravate me on multiple fronts, but this one held my attention to the end. Part of that is because even though I can't imagine coming up with some of the solutions myself, they were generally quick to execute and fairly self-contained. This is not a game where you'll get stuck, check the help file and discover you need to retreat 50 moves to fix your situation.
Each room has some sort of death trap. If you wait around too long, you die, but you often get hints right before you die. I only needed a hint for the very last room.
The setting made me smile on numerous occasions, such as the perfectly normal room.
I'm looking forward to seeing this game in a second version--it has some promise, but isn't particularly kind to a player. Something as simple as post-mortem hints would really improve the experience from a player's perspective I suspect.
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This is version 3 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 7 July 2018 at 4:10pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item