LOST IN TIME by Sierra On-Line

Reviewed by Bruce Herzog, M.D.

There are two versions of this game - Disk and CD-ROM. I played from the CD-ROM.

Computer     Graphics     Memory    Disk Space
 386 or        VGA        68,320K     18 MB minimum

Sound: All popular cards supported

Control: Mouse

Accepts all memory managers and gives hints on creating boot disk. I played on a Stacked HDD Version 3.1

When I was asked to review this marvelous game from the people who brought us Inca, (Coktel Vision) I was taken aback. Why would Game Bytes want a doctors opinion about a game? I decided to give it a try, as you can see.

Lost in Time threw me at first, in that it gives you no choice as to whom you play the game as. It starts you off in the dank and musty hold of a ship in 1840. Like it or not you are female, DORALICE PRUNELIER ships captain and inveterate gambler, throughout the game. As a male I found this a bit disconcerting at first. Once into it, however, this became a moot point. The player is rapt within the intricacies of the interesting plot of the game.

You have been chosen by the Central Computer of the Space-Time Police because of obscure ties with the Villain of this adventure, Jarlath Equs. Old Jarlath has stolen a sample of Americium 1492, hiding it the past, because of it's radioactive half life. He is from the future and needs to bring it back in time to be able to use it in his time as the half life of the Americium is 3000 years.

The manual that accompanies the game explains all this in vivid detail. You have to find him and the sample before he destroys the time continuum.

The adventure takes place in three locations and two time periods.

The music and graphics of this game are as good as that in Inca, and if you are not familiar with Inca, they were sensational. This game has no arcade action, just intricate and sometimes MJnearly impossible and video sequences are very enjoyable. The CD-ROM version gives one the choice of installing 41 MB of the game onto the hard drive which speeds it up immensely. There is a smaller install option too. The installation routine went very smoothly and placed no difficulties in the game playing out of the box. I didn't have to tweak anything in my boot up files. I use MS-DOS 6.2, QEMM386 v7.03. My system is a 486 DX2-66MHz with Stacker 3.1 running. I have 629K conventional free memory, using Stealth F: My Sound card is a Sound Blaster 16 SCSI, CD-ROM: Toshiba 3401B Double Speed.

There are online hints (called Jokers) of which you get three. Once they are used up, you get no more throughout the game. Use them prudently or be prepared to reinstall the game and start from the beginning often. The point and click interface is typical Sierra with icons to help you make your choices. The game manual explains how to use one object with another, something that you must do often to succeed.

I especially enjoy puzzles in which you have to combine things in your inventory in order to make a completely different object. I like games who's puzzles are intuitive. For the most part this one qualifies. Sometimes, however, the solution to a few of the puzzles were from left field. This can account for a lot of hair loss when pulling it out in frustration.

If you watch MacGiver on TV you'll know what I mean. If you can't do something in the level of the game you are in after about 5 minutes of trying, you aren't ready to do it on this level. This is one part of the game that could have been improved. It should make you aware of what one still needs to do in order to proceed to the next level.

The scope of the game is vast, taking the player into various eras in time from 1840 to the present.

You awaken in the Hold of an old sailing vessel in the year 1840.......

You will solve the 1st level puzzles quickly, if you look at, in, above, around, into and under everything. Saving frequently isn't needed in the early parts of the game. It's important only in the final phase of the game.

Lost in Time took me about 2 weeks to finish, playing about 1-2 hours a night, every night. The game is fiendishly intricate and will provide you with unending enjoyment for many, many hours. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I highly recommend the CD-ROM version if you have a CD-ROM player. A good excuse to get one if you don't. Don't overlook the disk version if you don't.

This review is Copyright (C) 1994 by Bruce Herzog, M.D. for Game Bytes Magazine. All rights reserved.