Monday, January 09, 2017

Donkey Island

In 1997 a rather fed up Ed Cleveland had spent many moons working on comedy adventure, Donkey Island. However, the latter end of the 90s were bitterly cold days with most of us having sold up and moved on, so it appears he got little feedback and thus decided to call it a day. Massive shame. Thankfully, later that year, he released all that he had created as shareware.

This is a graphical adventure that I admit is so very different to what I first expected and is vaguely similar in style and content to Lure Of The Temptress or a Sierra On-Line game. You are Fred, a geek who loves playing games on his Atari ST so life is obviously TOS-taSTic! However, this soon changes when he finds out that Donkey Island, a game he has been eagerly awaiting, has been disappointingly cancelled. As you can imagine, Fred is crushed and cannot accept this sad fact. Switching off his beloved Atari ST, he leaves to explore his silly tripped-out hometown to find out why it was cancelled.

Fred is controlled throughout his environment using the cursor keys which is simple and effective. The keypad is used to interact with your surrounds and also the characters who are interesting, to say the least! Each location is depicted with a great cartoon style like something from a comic book and the sound effects are pretty good too. What I really love is the interesting technique used for speech - it's superb and reminds me of Charlie Brown's teacher!

It won't be long until you find yourself in a silly situation and realise humour is the heavy ingredient throughout this game. Donkey Island had incredible potential, I imagine it would have ended up being a hugely fascinating game. It still is, albeit unfinished, and I'm sure Monkey Island fans will appreciate the humour. I feel I've seen only the tip of this incredible gaming iceberg so now I need to play more again tonight. What an utterly brilliant adventure!

LINKS

 - Demozoo features Ed Cleveland's portfolio and also that necessary download. Enjoy!