Andromeda Apocalypse — Extended Edition

by Marco Innocenti profile

Episode 2 of the Andromeda Series
Science Fiction

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Number of Ratings: 29
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- Bloxwess (Bellaire, Texas), November 18, 2022

- Kinetic Mouse Car, July 31, 2022

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Of the Puny and the Vast, May 19, 2022
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: SF


Alone in the deepest, most serious meaning of the word.

Before you a blackness the stars do not penetrate. Around you a galaxy collapsing under its own weight. Behind you an all-consuming, fast-expanding sphere of heat and radiation.

The remains of your exploded home are all that is following you. The supernova is gaining on you.

Andromeda: Apocalypse opens after the catastrophe on your homeworld that was the end of Andromeda: Awakening. There is a certain calm in the desperate knowledge that all is lost, there is no need to frantically try to prove your point to those who need to know. In fact, during this game's reminiscences, it is called into question if anyone even wanted to know...

The map of Apocalypse is very satisfying to explore. A giant derelict alien ship, battered by time, meteors and who knows what else provides the perfect mix of ordered hallways and corridors on the one hand, and clogged, torn, or plain ripped apart tubes and plates on the other. Chaos and recognizable structure in the right proportions.

There are puzzles, and a few of them made me stop and think and check my notes. However, the rhythm of the game thrives on thorough but speedy exploration, on getting pást the obstacles, not snagged up mulling about them.

While staying true to the "catacombs-and-puzzles"-structure of the first game, thematically this game offers more room to philosophical ruminations. In between the explore/action sequences, there are intermezzos of a dreamlike or hallucinatory quality where the protagonist discusses the meaning and importance of being human in contrast to the vastness of time and space. That sounds bloated and arrogant when I inadequately summarize it like this. In-game though, it works. Mostly because these discussions take place in a friendly and familiar setting with the protagonist and his uncle bouncing thoughts and feelings off one another.

By the halfway point of the game, you will meet an NPC whose nature and knowledge will bring this emphasis on the short and limited versus the vast and ungraspable even more to the foreground.

By the endgame, I felt a bit sad for this friendly NPC.

Many intruiging questions and themes touched upon in a setting that could not be more appropriate.

Very good.

- nosferatu, June 23, 2021

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Mid-length sci-fi game with a real cinematic vibe and superb implementation, July 19, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

Andromeda Apocalypse is one of the best-crafted games I have seen. In this mid-length sci-fi game, you explore an abandoned station that is part Sphere, part 2001: A Space Odyssey, and a little part Alien.

The game features a compelling main NPC, a map that flows well in your mind, and puzzles that lead the player on from piece to piece in a natural way.

Instead of traditional scoring, the game includes achievements. At first, I thought this would make the game worse, but the achievements became a puzzle themselves. ('How do I get the 'Ellen Ripley' achievement?', I found myself asking.)

I would recommend playing Andromeda Awakening first, because this game is a sequel. Awakening is a good game, in and of itself, but Apocalpyse is the better of the two.

I recommend this game for everyone.

- Durafen, April 28, 2020

- Cory Roush (Ohio), June 28, 2017

- IFforL2 (Chiayi, Taiwan), February 10, 2017

- TheAncientOne, August 18, 2016

- Witchy W, August 4, 2016

- scotttalent, May 3, 2016

- Denk, April 17, 2016

- jmmelko, December 18, 2015

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Not only meets but exceeds the expectations set for an Andromeda sequel!, December 11, 2015
by mjhayes (Somewhere east of Garinham)

I played this game immediately after playing Andromeda Awakening. To be honest, I didn't have very high expectations for this game, because Awakening had set the bar so high. Awakening was about one of my favorite concepts: bearing witness to The End Of The World and being one of the only survivors. Apocalypse picks up where Awakening left off, so it could only continue the concept with this premise: TEOTW has already come and gone, and you're probably the only sentient being left - now what? Precious few games and movies touch upon this idea.

The first thing that bears mentioning is the emotional impact of the game. Barring all the derivative titles and focusing only on Awakening and Apocalypse, there are two possibilities here. Either you will play this game first, or you will play Awakening first. Either of the two choices will have a different effect on you, and neither one is better than the other. If you play Apocalypse first, the flashbacks to Monarch will hint at happier times, with the ominous oncoming storms presenting you with a mystery as to how it all ended. The beginning, where you are sitting in the hyerotrope, hurtling through space, with nothing to do but look around, gives you a chance to see the growing supernova which is all that's left of your home planet. There is also the room which is described as a spitting image of a boulevard back home that you remember so well, now devoid of traffic or life.

In my case, I had already played through Awakening, so I was disappointed at first when the hyerotrope came to a stop after crashing into some sort of space station, and I walked around in no immediate danger for the first time. This was a contrast from the constant struggle to survive through a landscape that was succumbing to a neverending series of earthquakes. Was this one of the mechanostations? It couldn't be, since the nebula would have devoured them all by now. My disappointment changed though, once Logan came onto the scene. I knew right away this was the substitute for the e-pad which I once had had during Awakening, and which I enjoyed using because it gave the player all the background material one desired to illustrate the galaxy. It would be a spoiler for me to disclose more about Logan.

There are a few things implemented here that seemed new to me for an IF game: an embedded title screen image and an accompanying tune. The tune seemed to fit, but I chose to mute it out and listen to Dona Nobis Pacem by Peteris Vasks instead: it did a much better job for me of setting the right mood. Whereas you could get a list of possible directions in Awakening by typing "exits," now the list of exits is given right in the Status Window, so you don't need to ask. Directions you haven't explored yet from each room are highlighted in all-caps, negating many of the navigation woes common to IF games. The world model is pretty simple, but I found the lower-tier rooms to be confusing to follow on the included map, although I like the way it's illustrated. That's another thing that adds to the mood: the feelies. It's worth your time to download these as well.

The best new feature in my opinion though, is the modernized scoring system. Now there is a list of achievements, which you can access by typing "score." Quite a few of the achievements are for (Spoiler - click to show)finding creative ways to die, but be warned: using the UNDO command or restoring your game will affect your achievements list, so you might want to just start over from the beginning each time. The game is short enough and so enjoyable that you probably won't mind. Another feature is the built-in hint system, which is why there are no walkthroughs posted as of this time of writing. This electronic throwback to the Infocom InvisiClues provides only solutions that are relevant at the moment. One criticism though is that no hints were available after I had forgotten (Spoiler - click to show)how to get the countdown sequence going, and "Fat" help you if you forget the destination from the nav-pod, based on an earlier conversation with Logan.

There are a couple of imperfections that bear mentioning for people who have finished the game already. (Spoiler - click to show)If you know the right thing to say to Logan, you can access the pathway to the Central Processing Unit, which then is written as if the countdown has already begun. Asking Logan about the sparkling crack in the Air Duct will present you with a question as to whether to have it jettisoned. If that question can be answered, I haven't figured out how yet. You also will be stuck in the Reliquary, since you're not ready to finish the game and since the nav-pod isn't there. (Spoiler - click to show)The countdown is 40 minutes, but travelling from one room to the next is often described as taking longer than a minute, such as the 15-minute ride on the train between the two active terminals. There is also a "-- long --" walk between rooms within the Hanger and the Docks. But the countdown varies between one minute per turn and one minute every few turns.

There is one derivative title worth mentioning, and that's Dreaming. There are a couple references to Dreaming within Apocalypse, such as (Spoiler - click to show)the name Gettare Rinors and (Spoiler - click to show)the fact there are four other people still alive somewhere, adding promise to another sequel. If you're new to the Andromeda saga, I suggest playing them in this order, despite their listed order on IFDB:
1. Awakening
2. Dreaming
3. Apocalypse
Then, if you want more, try out Tree and Star, Ascending, Genesis, and 1983, the last of which is a rewrite of Awakening as a throwback to 1983 IF computer games.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent game with a great story, March 23, 2015
by Simon Christiansen (Denmark)

This review was previously published on a blog in connection with IFComp 2012.

Andromeda Apocalypse is a science fiction story, which is the sequel to last year’s Andromeda Awakening. It’s an excellent game, and a must-play for any science fiction fan, regardless of whether you’ve played the previous games in the series.

(Spoiler - click to show)Andromeda Apocalypse is the sequel to last year’s Andromeda Awakening, which I haven’t played, but remember being somewhat controversial. There were a lot of complaints about the language of the game being hard to understand, due to the author being Italian, and using weird turns of phrase. The phrase “cyanotic light” in particular seemed to draw people’s ire.

However, the game must have had solid fundamentals because it seems to be pretty well regarded nowadays, and two more games have been written in the same universe, by different authors. This is the first case I am aware of where a shared universe is used by several IF authors. Judging from the quality of this game, I’ll have to go back and play those games, to get the full backstory.

Luckily, playing the previous games wasn’t necessary to appreciate this one, as it does a pretty good job of establishing what is going on. You are the last survivor of the planet Monarch in the Andromeda galaxy. The ABOUT menu contains a helpful summary of the backstory: The planet has been destroyed by a mysterious race of black spheres, called Hyerotropes, which has lain dormant beneath the surface for millennia. These go around destroying solar systems and galaxies for unknown reasons, and also have the ability to convert matter to “cold, azure light”. I can only assume this must be the infamous “cyanotic light” I’ve heard so much about.

As the game begins, the main character has escaped the destruction aboard a Hyerotrope, which can luckily also be used as a spaceship. For some reason I didn’t quite understand, the Hyerotrope also contains the Voyager probe, along with its famous golden disc. The only thing the main character has managed to bring with him is a single expired railway ticket, a melancholy reminder of his loss. The game uses feelies to great effect, by including pictures of the disc, the ticket and a postcard from the planet Monarch, to set the mood. I wish there had been an option to display these pictures in-game, but the game itself is entirely text based. Perhaps this choice was made to ensure compatibility with browser based interpreters, who don’t seem to be able to handle pictures very well yet.

uring the game there are frequent flashbacks to the late planet Monarch, where you get to have conversations with your uncle and best friend, while watching the approaching storm in the distance. Both the descriptions of Monarch, and the conversations themselves are well written, and did a great job of making me feel nostalgic for the place, even though I had only the faintest idea of what it was supposed to be like. Unfortunately, they also suffer from being almost entirely non-interactive: The only thing you can do is type TALK TO X over and over, until the conversation is over. Attempting to ask about a specific topic tells you that you prefer to follow the flow of the conversation. Worse, when you later need to talk to the main NPC of the game, you do need to talk about specific topics to proceed. By this time, I had resigned myself to the fact that the game would use TALK TO conversation, so I had to check the hints to figure this out.

After a while, you crash into a huge space station, and it is here that the bulk of the game takes place. The station turns out to be an ancient ark that a previous civilisation used to escape the destruction of their home galaxy by the Hyerotropes. The station is very large for a Comp game, with lots of places to explore, and controls to fiddle with. The exploration is helped by the fact that all the exits are listed in the status bar, something I really wish more IF games would do. I’m terrible at visualising how locations are connected, and too lazy to draw a map, so I always end up getting lost in most non-trivial environments.

Soon enough, you manage to activate the station’s AI, which provides conversation and hints throughout the rest of the game. You can talk to the AI from any location, and receive location based comments and backstory. The conversation is topic based with the syntax conveniently implemented as “NAME, TOPIC” in addition to the usual ASK/TELL syntax. This is something I would like to see done more often since hardly anyone seems to implement separate responses to ASK and TELL these days.

The topics you can talk about are highlighted in the text, which helps avoid “guess-the-topic” problems, but also means that the conversation system is really no different than a menu system, except you have to type in the options rather than selecting them from a menu. You end up just lawnmowering through all available options without much thought. I think I prefer having to figure out what topics are available myself, even if it means occasional frustration. In spite of this, I really did enjoy talking to this AI throughout the game, and felt kind of attached to it at the end.

The puzzles in the game are generally very good, and I was impressed by how intuitive the solutions felt. The necessary actions almost always felt completely natural, and on the few occasions where I got stuck it was usually because I hadn’t been paying attention, or had typed something blatantly wrong.

The hint systems is also very good: The game uses the usual menu based “invisiclues” type of hints, but makes them context sensitive, so you can only see hints for currently active puzzles. This neatly solves the usual problem with menu based hints, where the menu options spoil events that have not yet happened.

The only time the hints let me down, was at one of the late game puzzles, where you are chased through the station by a ravenous beast. The hints only mention one way of defeating the beast, but I had unwittingly closed off that option earlier in the game. Just as I was about to give up, I managed to find an alternative solution. It’s a testament to the excellent puzzle design in the game that I found this solution with no hinting, but if I hadn’t found it in time, I would have assumed that I had put the game in an unwinnable state, and probably rated it lower. Authors should take care to mention all the possible puzzle solutions in the hints, and maybe even include an in-game walkthrough. Sometimes I just want to get to the end of a game, without having to wade through 20 gradually more explicit hints to figure out how.

I greatly enjoyed playing this game and can recommend to pretty much everyone, especially people who enjoy science fiction. The ending of the game strongly implies that there will be a sequel – at least I hope that’s the intention since I am not quite sure I understood what was going on. Did someone else escape the apocalypse? Is that presence in the distance the Hyerotrope king or something? Will there be cyanotic light where we are going?

Hopefully I’ll get to find out in the next game in the series. Perhaps I’ll even find a use for that expired railway ticket I’ve apparently been carrying with me since the first game. I’ll definitely have to play the previous installments while I wait.

- morlock, January 14, 2015

- Harry Coburn (Atlanta, GA), January 12, 2015

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A fantastic sequel! Marvelous!, January 7, 2015
by Chai Hai (Kansas City KS)

Following the events from the first game, you are now a lonely scientific refugee. Your escape pod crashes on an unknown space station, and you have to explore and find a way out of your exploding galaxy.

I enjoyed this game tremendously. The station was intriguing. I loved exploring, and figuring your way around was fun. Having directions at the top of the screen helped, and before too long I knew my away around port!

The puzzles were straightforward, and of good difficulty. I only had to use the walkthrough a couple of times (mainly at the end because I panicked) but overall it was clear what needed to be done. This was a step up from the first game, as sometimes it wasn't clear that you needed to put the disc with the cylinder.

I absolutely love who you "meet" in the ship! Really adds backstory and knowledge, and it was fun getting an insider's take on the rooms I had just been exploring. My favorite part of the game. Well developed too for a character of that sort.

I really liked the use for the ticket, ingenious! Wonderful way to make something so useless useful!

(Spoiler - click to show)I found being able to keep the countdown going amusing. It was helpful as I wandered around at the end though.

The list of achievements was fun, and although I didn't get them all, it was satisfying seeing I earned another one, even if it was the death ones.

This story just adds on to the feeling of loss you felt throughout the first game. As you delve deeper into the story, it intensifies. Flashbacks and meeting your "companion" add to it. But if a story makes you feel, that means it's great and doing its job! And this one does it well. Bravo!

- Hannes, November 16, 2013

- Egas, August 4, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013

- Edward Lacey (Oxford, England), January 13, 2013

- EJ, November 30, 2012

- Felix Pleșoianu (Bucharest, Romania), November 22, 2012

- Nusco (Bologna, Italy), November 20, 2012

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