38: Space Quest II: Vohaul’s Revenge

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Year: 1987
Platform: DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple II, Macintosh

Review: After reading multiple reviews of this game in particular and of the Space Quest series as a whole, I have come to the conclusion that there may possibly be only one living human besides myself that believes this is the best game of the lot. And since that other person is my brother, and since he doesn’t remember anything he did more than six weeks ago, perhaps the following review should be taken with a grain of salt.

Once again you play Roger Wilco, janitor extraordinaire. There is really no plot to speak of, with the running premise being avoiding death while accidentally saving the universe once more. And if you thought dying was annoying in the The Sarien Encounter, be prepared to find yourself in a padded room after playing Vohaul’s Revenge. Not only are there more ways to axe yourself, there are more instant-death rooms, unavoidable except by luck. To top it off, the game designers will mock you every step of the way, insulting your very being with every mistake.

Perhaps a bit more NPC interaction would have spiced the game up, as would have some good production values.  The graphics and sound have not improved since the last installment and neither has the parser. Also, a few of the puzzles have very unobvious solutions. Though, considering I won the game in a couple of days, nothing is all too difficult.

There is one way to put yourself in an unwinnable state, but it is so flippin’ hilarious when you realize what happened that restoring back thirty minutes is worth the mistake. I was actually glad I screwed up.

To sum up, Vohaul’s Revenge has very little to offer from a gamer’s perspective, despite a couple of crafty puzzles. But I found myself laughing so damn much I didn’t care. In fact, I recommend this game to anyone who has the same sense of humour as me.  Or my brother.

Contemporary RatingLow. The parser is still weak and the game is not friendly.

Cruelty Rating:  Nasty.  You must save on every single screen because there is a way to die on every single screen.  The walking dead situation isn’t quite cruel, because you have a pretty good idea something went wrong, and you’ll likely have separate save files ready when the time comes.

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4 thoughts on “38: Space Quest II: Vohaul’s Revenge

  1. Space Quest 2 is my current favorite from the series, but that might have something to do with it being my first Sierra game, and the fact that I’ve only ever beaten 1 and 2. The game is incredibly hilarious, and it’s worth decompiling the AGI script and reading any text you missed after you beat it.

    As for the walking dead spot, I’m assuming you’re referring to missing the gem. I found this to be a pretty evil one because there is no indication that it exists. You have to just be lucky enough to walk over a particular area of a screen. Granted, it’s the most obvious place to walk, but I missed it my first play, and was annoyed when I finally found it. There’s technically a second one with the gem, but you can only advance a single screen, so it’s no big deal. The only other one I can think of is the kissing alien, but that one seemed fair.

    I really like how they squeezed four different solutions to the puzzle entering the ship dock. I just wish they did a better job with the parser. Even though I know what to do, I still have trouble trying to get the game to do what I want when I get to that scene.

    • If you’re looking to play more from the series, 3 and 5 are worthy (in fact, most view 3 as the best). Avoid 4 and 6 at all costs.

      I never ran into the “missing gem” issue. I was referring to the alien.

      • Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought of that one. However, now that I think about it, it’s not very common to get stuck in that scenario. For one, you hear the sound of the trap going off, which leads you to investigate and find the Pinkum. Two, he gives you a clue to getting past the swamp, without which is a little harder to figure out. Still, once you drop from the rope, there is no returning.

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