Reviewed: September 14, 2007
Released: September 12, 2007
Got Game Entertainment and S-G Software team up again to give you another fantastic adventure game this year with the release of AnaCapri: The Dream for PC. Got Game Entertainment has published several of my favorite adventure games over the years and they continue to not disappoint me. Among their releases are my personal favorites: Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle and Penumbra: Overture. AnaCapri: The Dream not only marks the second release by developers Silvio and Gey Savarese, but is the sequel to their game ďA Quiet Weekend in Capri.Ē All I can say isÖWow!
AnaCapri: The Dream is an adventure/mystery that takes place in the Northern region of the modern-day island of Capri. The game is a mix of ancient mythology, literature, science fiction, History, and the Freudian study of Dreams all rolled into a surprising pleasing experience.
The two-man team of S-G software must have had one heck of an adventure making this game. Think Myst but in a REAL location. There isnít a fictional place in the entire game. I was blown away by the sheer number of photographs that were used to tell the story of the mysterious Dark Obsidian Disk. There are over 8000 photographs that you must navigate through to find the truth of the Disk before itís too late.
You play as Dr. Nico N, an expert in ancient civilizations, who is called to the upper regions of Capri known as AnaCapri. You are tasked with the dangerous job of finding the Dark Obsidian Disk that had the villagers of AnaCapri leaving for the fear of the evil power that the disk contains.
But what seems like a seemingly normal mission becomes unlike anything you could prepare yourself for. AnaCapri: The Dream will truly make you wonder what Got Game Entertainment couldnít have said any better. Is it just a dream?
Iíll have to admit that I have played a lot of adventure games over the years, but nothing like this. I know that there are other games out there like AnaCapri, but this one draws me in. Maybe itís the fact that Iím literally navigating through a place that I probably wonít see in person in my lifetime, or the real world history that is weaved throughout the adventure. In AnaCapri: The Dream you will meet several of the real villagers of AnaCapri as well as real world historical figures such as famous writer and doctor Axel Munthe and archaeologist John MacKowen.
AnaCapri has a surprisingly simple interface that doesnít detract from enjoying the scenic views of AnaCapri. The entire screen (1024 x768) is used to display the photographic images that make up AnaCapri. The only buttons that show up almost constantly are the Back and Turn Around buttons, but again they are not that distracting. The other buttons are quickly accessible with a quick click of the right mouse button and disappear just as quick.
There is your basic logbook in the form of a laptop. How cutting edge is that? Finally we embrace technology in an adventure game. This can used to go back and review what was said earlier as they often hold clues on how to proceed of how to solve a puzzle. And speaking of puzzles, the puzzles of AnaCapri are not overly easy. This is not a game you can just breeze right through.
The developers say there are 50+ hours of gameplay and quite frankly I believe every word of it. The mechanics of AnaCapri are much the same as seen in games like Myst and do nothing to hinder the gameplay in anyway. Now I have never played the first game put out by Silvio and Gey Savarese, so I canít really tell you if the game is easier to play or not. All I know is that AnaCapri: The Dream is HUGE!
The game was two modes that players can choose from: the Adventure Mode and The Tour Mode. The first is obviously the part that you navigate through to solve the game, but the second is a guided tour of AnaCapri. No matter what mode you choose, youíre definitely in for a treat.
AnaCapriís graphics are not like most point and click adventures out there. Since all the screens are gorgeous photographs, who needs made up worlds done on a computer. The photographs are blended seamlessly together so I had a hard time remembering that it was only a game. A perfect example of how well of a job the developers did is when you pass any object and turn around and itís there.
This goes for everything in AnaCapri, from buildings to trees to coastlines. The developers of AnaCapri prove that you donít need 3D rendered landscapes to make a great game. Now there are some animated parts in the game in the form of various talking animals but thatís it, and really thatís all it needs.
The sounds of AnaCapri are refreshing and abundant. In various parts of AnaCapri, dogs can be heard alongside the shuffle of people and the occasional scooter. Often music is heard when visiting a scenic location or historical building, and itís not overbearing either. It has just the right amount of background noise and music to make this a very enjoyable journey.
The one thing that detracts from this game is the voice acting. It sounds like they took the first people they could find and sit them in a room with a script and a microphone. It actually sounds like they are reading straight from it. There is really no emotion to their tones like there should be.
AnaCapri: The Dream is pretty much a one time through game as far as the storyline goes. There is really no right or wrong way on making your way through the game and quite frankly it doesnít need them. If youíre looking for an action packed adventure game, AnaCapri is not for you. If you are looking for a leisurely, play whenever you feel like it game then AnaCapri is perfect. I will admit the story is a little silly at times and the voice acting as noted above doesnít help. This game is well worth the $20 dollar price tag.
All in all I enjoyed my adventure through AnaCapri and its safe to say that I would love to actually go there in real life someday. For once, I actually have played an adventure game that wasnít overly frustrating with its puzzles. There are just enough puzzles to keep me interested and sucked into this beautiful world of AnaCapri.
I truly have to commend Silvio and Gey Savarese and Got Game Entertainment on delivering a beautiful adventure game. It pains me to hear bad comments about games like this one. Sure we live in a world of digital media and high rendered games, but we wouldnít have them if it werenít for games like AnaCapri: The Dream. It only goes to prove once again that you donít need a computer-generated world to make a great game.