Just the other day, Im riding in my car on my way to work, thinking about titles I played in the past growing up. As Im perusing the empty caverns of my mind I suddenly remember the age of FMV (full motion video) games that I remember playing in the 90s on my parents Pentium 90MHZ Packard Bell they probably spent way too much money on. Titles such as Burn Cycle (see my past article here) , X-Files: The Game, Microsofts’ Deadly Tides (which I will for sure bring up later), 7th Guest, The 11th hour, and even Phantasmagoria; there was one title that stood out to me. Maybe it was the fact that I had a huge crush on Tia Carrere, but hey, it was enough for me to sit down and write about it! Spanning across 4 CDs, it was available for 3DO and PC/MAC players. The video sequences were rendered into CGI backgrounds, and for the 90s, its implementation into games was way ahead of its time. Come to think of it, Jurassic Park had just come out only a few years before the release of this title (late 1995)! When I call this a game, I really say that very loosely. At my age any “game” that had this type of video and interaction for me was jaw dropping considering I was playing games with littered with polygons.
From the opening scene, that reminds me of an early rendition of a Babylon 5 episode with Vorlon ships, it introduces the player two the main characters, Ari and Zach (played by Christian Bocher from Melrose Place). The story pretty much centers around an encounter with an abandoned alien ship. You spend a lot of time exploring the ship, solving puzzles, and avoiding traps. By today’s standards there wasn’t a lot of actual “game-play” in this title. It was a lot of watching movie sequences with the occasional interaction. There was little relationship between the puzzles and the story. Most of the puzzles were minor variations of the old puzzles and games. Despite this, I played it because I was simply taken back at the direction games were going , or the direction I thought they were going. The acting wasn’t all too grating and there were even some humorous moments, overall it’s a title I think people should try at least to get a glimpse of how far gaming has come. The Daedalus Encounter, looking at it now, seems like a title that was rushed to market by an advertising department that managed to snag a hot actress. There is no creativity in the story and little innovation in the puzzles. The game looked fairly polished for an FMV title for the time and has Tia Carrere, but the game aspect was very weak. But hey…being only 15 it didnt matter much to me.
You may get the wrong impressions by the box cover or the trailer of this game as perceiving it as a “kill-the-bad-aliens” type of Sci-Fi game. This is hardly that. Its more of an interactive movie title full of puzzles. If you decide to find an ISO or emulator to play this game, be prepared to sit around a lot watching video sequences waiting for the next puzzle to come. Aside from it’s lack of actual gaming content, this title still holds a special place in my heart as one of the few “games” I remember from my childhood/teen years. Check out the opening sequence below and see for yourself if this might have been a title that might spark your curiosity.