Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oddities: Treasure Island Interactive

Some games are so odd they need to be seen to be believed.  So this week, Gaming After 40 is pleased to bring you our first ever Video Podcast!

I have also set up an iTunes podcast feed via at:

(I am working on getting it officially listed in the iTunes podcast directory; at the moment, you can subscribe using the Advanced menu, Subscribe to Podcast option, and plugging in the above URL address.)

I cover some of the same material in this supplemental text. But you really should watch the video to get the full effect.

Treasure Island Interactive (a.k.a. Treasure Island CD on the back of the case -- the full title apparently arrived too late to make the opening video) was produced by a company called Hollywood Interactive Digital Entertainment.  The company produced at least two titles, this one and Pocahontas: Mystery of the Ancients, in the multimedia-crazy mid-1990's.  It was released in 1995 in the US, and didn't make much of a splash; the budget release rights later ended up with Padmini Multimedia Limited of New Delhi, India.  I found the game in a local dollar store last week.

I wasn't actually able to get the game running on a current PC -- it falls right into the ugly valley between what DOSBox can handle and what Windows Vista will tolerate.  It's designed to run under Windows 3.1 or Mac OS 7, with Apple QuickTime 2.0 as the core media player on either platform.  So the images, narration clips and movies are all in QuickTime format, and even without the actual interactive interface running, it's possible to dissect the disc with Apple's current software and see just what this game was all about.  

This correctly implies that there's very little actual game afoot here -- the entire story plays out in badly-animated CG clips of a talking skull, except when he's a live-action badly-synched talking skull; audio narration over still images; and low-budget full motion video clips with the dialogue dubbed in later.  In many of the live-action sequences it appears that the acquired footage was damaged, or the script was changed, or (most likely) there just wasn't enough footage to cover the dialogue.  So much of the story is told using still frames or repeated clips to support the post-dubbed dialogue.

Oh, the drama! The low-budget production values!   The cheesy video effects!

(Actually, I was talking about the game... yes.  Yes, I know.  Thank you for the feedback.)

No comments:

Post a Comment