#85 Deja Vu

Posted: 2nd March 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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765th played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1985
Developer: ICOM Simulations Inc
Publisher: Mindscape/Kemco

As time went on, the adventure has continued to evolve – and while interactive fiction was the medium of story telling, it’s just not as attractive as graphics bring in. For that reason, games started introducing some graphics and Deja Vu is an early one that does so. I’ve seen bits of it, and it isn’t full on like, say, Broken Sword, but we’re moving on from having to use your imagination like you would do in Zork. I have been wondering about the style and looking forward to try it, so I’m glad it’s come around now.

Our Thoughts

One of the things that I feel playing this game is that it’s still trying to figure out graphical adventures. The images are there and they are used in lieu of some descriptions, but not everything is there and you still have a room based structure where you move from one to the other, without an avatar in the world or anything like that.

The game’s interface is a bit awkward – it feels like an early window-based interface, I guess early Mac style, and your inventory, as well as other containers and such, are actually windows you switch between. It’s mostly a nice idea, but as there’s no sorting or linking to that, it’s easy for stuff to get buried or lost.

Still, although the interface is awkward and gets in your way sometimes (yeah, I did check a hints file after a while), the game is a lot of fun to play. You get to explore a story of amnesia, starting in a deserted bar that has its secrets. There are some text adventure touches that disappeared from later games – wandering characters and the like – that might not be as modern now, but create that living world that we get. Not to the extent of The Hobbit, but it’s there. The big question is still where it goes, but it feels like something fun to dive back into.

Final Thoughts

Deja Vu is an interesting game, still exploring the lemeents of UI and how to integrate more modern UI design into games. Not a lot of games do that still – for good reason – but seeing it explore this different way of interacting is interesting. Beyond that, though the game makes good use of the different option while still telling a bigger, more intricate story that you saw more in the text adventure days.