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Stupid Invaders Review

publisher: Ubisoft
developer: Xilam
genre: RPG

PII-266, 16MB RAM, 400MB HDD
ESRB rating: T

release date: Feb 21, 01
» All About Stupid Invaders on ActionTrip

Is there a better way to meet the new millennia than looking at your screen and playing a good classical 2D adventure? Er, well OK, apart from the ways that would include a naked open-minded girl, and her naked open-minded girlfriend, or better still, girlfriends... Anyway, even a password for a good XXX site might do, but let's stick to the topic...

I think you already heard the story of the game loosely based on the French Space Goofs TV series (Les Zinzins de l'Espace) --- The evil Dr. Sakarine heard that five aliens crash-landed on Earth, and decided to run a series of (less than gentle) experiments on them in order to find out more about the alien UFO technology, with some help from his assistant Igor. He also hired a dangerous terminator-like henchman named Bolok to catch the five silly invaders, and, he almost made it. He froze the four invaders with his freezing gun, but the last, the I-just-blew-a-fat-pound-of-grass-looking one managed to escape the freezing beam, and now he has to rescue his friends in distress...

As the time passes and you progress through the game, you'll get to play with each of them. Unfortunately, the only real difference between them is in their appearance. Well, OK, one of them likes to eat a lot, one of them is female, but as for their features and capabilities - they're all the same. My years of playing Commandos and Goblins made me expect that each of them would have specific abilities.

As I already said, the graphics have nothing to do with 3D acceleration. All scenes have been pre-rendered in 640x480. This resolution might seem funny nowadays, but I had no complaint about the graphics even though I played the game on a 17" screen. Should I mention that this is one of the least demanding games in quite some time? The only important piece of hardware in this game is the CD player, which will have a hard time reading all those animations.

Graphic artists and level designers obviously did their best and all locations look absolutely perfect. The whole thing reminded me a lot of the Day of the Tentacle, especially the intro, and the house at the beginning of the game. At first, I presumed that the entire game takes place in that house, which turned out to be quite wrong, as the game really has a great number of locations. The number of useless locations in the game also surprised me. The very quality of the graphics was the main reason why I considered the 27 save slots not to be sufficient. I simply wanted to take screen-shots of almost half of the in game screens! The lack of the partial 3D engine (a'la Escape from Monkey Island, The Longest Journey, Grim Fandango...) would occasionally (rarely) cause character pixelization.

The playability is not too good. I do prefer simple P&C controls, but I somehow didn't feel too comfortable about this game. I got so bored with it after the first couple of hours that I almost fell asleep. I expected a lot more brainteasers, especially after I just finished resting from the Escape from Monkey Island. Stupid Invaders simply do not have enough interactive objects. And do not get confused like I and spend hours clicking on some objects, which don't have tool tips with names... it won't work. Once you give up, you'll realize that this game will present no trouble even if you are as thick as an omelet, as you will have no trouble in trying all the combinations of objects with objects in your inventory (maximum six of them). You'll have to combine objects, which are both in your inventory only a couple of times. I said at one point that the game slightly resembles Goblins. In fact, it is in a way opposite: in Goblins, you had to do a hundred things on one screen, and here, you'll have to do one thing on a hundred screens.

Poor mouse support was the worst problem with playability. I felt somehow confined; I couldn't click just anywhere because the game would ignore it. That first part was the most difficult, as I didn't figure out at first how many different locations I was able to access. The game will give you options like 'go there', 'walk here' and so on, but I suggest you do not rely on those as they seldom do what they should, and just click where you want to go. Try to explore all sides of each location, and do not give up, even if your hero seems to ignore your incessant clicking.

There aren't too many dialogues, as there are not many living creatures to talk to. I think I only had some three or five decent conversations in the entire game (don't make me remember details, I still haven't recovered from the new year's eve). The dialogues sound great, and the background music is pretty good too.

Humor was a crucial element of this game. The developers kept saying that they adored Monty Python's Flying Circus, and that they would implement that type of humor in this game. To be quite honest, I expected to see much more absurd jokes and surreal situations... though, I'd say that the big factory with cows hanging from the walls producing... (no, not milk)... er... whatever does well represent the Monty Python style. The game is also abundant with dirty jokes and humor like in Sam'n'Max Hit the Road.

Well, all in all I had a nice time playing the Stupid Invaders. Still, if you are a serious adventure player, it won't take you more than a day or two to complete all four disks...


7.9   Good

Great graphics, sound and humor;

Few interactive objects, not too playable, short;



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