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Pleurghburg: Dark Ages
About this gameYou play as detective Jake McUrk working for the Police Detective Agency. The citizens got rid of the old corrupt police system and organized the PDA, consisting only of detective investigators. Despite there not being any policemen patrolling the streets anylonger, the crime rate dropped by nearly 50%. However, one morning Jake is put on a case that sounded like just another false alarm. But he is suddenly thrown into a nightmare consisting of brutal murders and danger lurking around every corner and nolonger being sure of who he can trust.
Won, Best Game Created with AGS 2001
Won, Best Gameplay 2001
Won, Best Original Story 2001
Won, Best Programming 2001
Won, Best Music 2001
AGS Panel Review
"It may just be me, but Pleurghburg hasn't aged particularly well. It's still a decent game, and it's scope remains impressive, but it's looking very tired. If "startup.exe" produces error, run "Pleurgh.exe" instead."
41 people commented on this game (newest first):
The game is impressive in its scope, but if it was trimmed of the redundant back-and-forth, it would be a much shorter (but probably better) game.
I was very disappointed in this game. Despite all of the praise, each element of the game fell short of what makes a good adventure game, amatuer or otherwise.
Let's start off with the plot-related aspects of the game. The dialog has no wit, charm or creativity to it. It all feels incredibly generic. Likewise, the characters don't have distinct personality or voices. I can't imagine hardened cops speaking the way Jake and his boss do.
A plot doesn't necessarily have to be realistic to be enjoyable, especially for video games, but there are huge problems with the way The Order is portrayed. They leaves tons of bodies, clothing and clues laying around and they freely walk around in broad daylight wearing their cloaks. In real life, such a group would probably be shut down within a weeks time. Spoilers[hide]And at the end of the game, the members and Jake talk about how great and solid their plan is, when in actuality it is painfully simplistic. Poisoning a city's water supply is much, much harder than you might think. And blowing up police headquaters? The odds of them successfully doing that are very low indeed.[/hide]
Next, the puzzles, obviously a key component of adventure games. This may be the game's biggest failing. You're required to back track to solve many of the puzzles, and that's fine. The problem is the game rarely gives you any indication of where you're supposed to go, which leads to a lot of pointless wandering around unless you're using a walkthrough. In some instances, you progress to the next part of the game by leaving the room, then walking back in, which is entirely unnecessary.
For another thing, several of the puzzles are convoluted, and not in the good way that many adventure games use. The worst example is how you deal with the panther in the woods. Spoiler[hide]You have, A) A fully loaded functional gun. B) A metal pipe that could be used to strike the panther. C) A piece of chocolate that could conceivably be used to distract the panther. But instead of using any of these items, you have to go back to the apartment and scare a kid then pick up his whistle. You also can't solve the puzzle by using the whistle on the panther, you have to activate it in your inventory.[/hide] At one point in the game, you need to unwrap a candy bar, but instead of just doing this in your inventory, you [hide]have to acquire a device specifically made to unwrap things. Granted, you don't have to do anything special to get it, but it's still pretty silly.[/hide] There are also certain programming aspects that weren't needed, such as having to unlock your car every time you go into it and having to exactly hit the elevatory button to use it. Some of the environment details you need to utilize such as the water at the docks and the stick from the log are unclear.
As other posters have said, the graphics are weak, and inappropriate for a full-length game.
There were some parts I enjoyed. Examining the crime scenes and collecting evidence was fun. The close ups of the corpses were nice, and the fog in the game was well-done. The multiple endings were nice, because instead of offering players slightly different ways to do the same thing, they allowed the player to finish the game the way they wanted to finish it.
The graphics were some of the worst I ever seen and didn't fit the game's story. The puzzles were illogical. Often you would have to click something several times, click on something else first, or click on an item that doesn't look like anything to get items and that would leave wandering around aimlessly because you think that what you need is somewhere else. There was way too much backtracking (especially going to the headquarters). Throughout the entire game you will complete something then you are supposed to go back to a previous location, but nothing in the game hints to where, leaving you completely lost.
The game really reminded me of the Manhunter series too. Those games also had lots of investigations of brutal murders, tons of gory closeups, walking around areas from confusing camera angles (like in the morgue), not to mention the people in brown robes. In fact, I would be surprised if this game WASN'T influenced by that series, but stranger things have happened.
Anyway, I found Pleurghburg to be very mediocre overall, EXCEPT for the music, which was possibly one of the only things that kept me playing it.
Pros: - The Close Up's of the bodies when you see them murdered giving you a sense of reality.
- The Comic book like sequences
- The Little shoot out Arcade Sequence
- Good solid storyline keeping you hooked
- Amazing Backgrounds
- Amusing Death Sequences
Cons: - The character sprites just didn't fit with the rest of the world, you have a beautiful game and the sprites just seem to take away from it
- Having to use the elevator constantly- it seemed every few minutes you were going back to talk to the boss, perhaps a radio would have been more efficent or even a cell phone?
and minor things like having to use your keys to open the car door every time.
If you haven't tried out this game, you should, i would recommend it.
Just in case you haven't heard: This game has a superb game length, a great story with a fast pace, a wide range of characters, great gritty dialogue with frequent flashes of often hilarious humour, an enormous amount of locations, a story that branches off in two directions at one point depending on what you have done beforehand and the possibility of four very different endings. The graphics, while not as slick as many other AGs games, are old-fashioned but charming and the music is finger-clicking good, utterly appropriate for a detective story.
The atmosphere of Pleurghburg is pure noir novel. A gritty, edgy and totally absorbing feel. I love the way the days move through morning, evening and night as you progress, as represented by gorgeous shots of the city overlooked by the appropriate skyline for the time.
To be as brief as possible, I can't praise Pleurghburg enough. It is totally absorbing, proffesional and will keep you playing obsessively for days. Topped off with frequent replay value, Pleughburg is quite simply THE classic AGs game and a great deal better than many commercially available games. What are you waiting for? It's free. Hit that download button now.
It actually reminded me often of Rise of the Dragon (which I love). Possibly because of the music, slightly on edge atmosphere and the 'just-enough' attention to police procedures - which was a very nice touch. I loved having to take blood samples and things rather than just discovering a crime and having a 'team' figure it all out - it really helped in making you feel like you were solving the crimes rather than just going through the motions of the game.
An absolute must for anyone interested in adventure/crime games. I now understand what makes a game a FULL length game.
Eyes are supposed to be lined directly in the center of the human head, and Where is my characters feet?. But other than that I give this game with out question an A rating. I consider it an inspiration for me as a AGS developer. I can't wait to play the sequel.
A job well done.
Unfortunately, the game suffers from some rather difficult and illogical puzzles, and I had to use a walktrhough for lot's of them.
* having to unlock your car each time you wanted to use it (come on, once is enough)
* having to move the cursor so close to the edge of the screen to exit some rooms (this is especially troubling for window mode users)
* some of the puzzles didn't seem logical to me (i know the game should be challenging, but not at the sake of not being logical... i found this to even be the case with some sierra game puzzles)
* some small items (such as the wallet on the pile of garbage next to the old dead drunk in the garbage can) were just too hard to find (even after looking at the walkthrough it took me a few minutes to find it)
* the graphics (not just the fact that most of the game uses very little shading, but also the character portraits are poorly drawn)
Although I found those things annoying, overall I found this to be a great game. I used the walkthrough for most of the game, after discovering I had missed a few items, but I didn't find it to take much of the fun out of the game since it is so long, and after all an adventure game is just an interactive story.
The fact that this game is long and involved is what sets this game apart from many other fan made adventure games. The story is somewhat corny, but not so much so that you feel like you are playing a childrens game, due to most of the diaglogue and the general morbid theme of the game.
The soundtrack to this game was written entirely by the authors! The music fits the game very well, and they have made the music available for download in module format (can be played in winamp, or in a better mod player such as modplug).
Definitely worth playing and finishing (with at least a few of the different endings). I give this 9/10 (well done!... and I can't wait for Pleurghburg: The Asylum if it is ever going to be released)
Download it here or be a rectangular thynge!
Thank you Gaspop games, for raising the bar a little higher.
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