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Déjà vu 2 logo

Mindscape/Icom Simulations
Price: £24.99

Déjà vu 2 When the original Deja Vu was first released on the Macintosh its software technology caused quite a sensation. Two more games in the same format followed, Shadowgate and Uninvited, and now a sequel to the original has arrived.
Deja Vu II uses the full windowing capabilities of the Amiga, and play is almost 100% by mouse. Word icons are used to enter command verbs, and the picture and/or a graphical representation of a carried object is used to complete the command. Click on EXAMINE, and then click on an object in the picture, and a description of it is displayed in the text window. More common verbs like TAKE or DROP are executed by simply dragging the required object from picture into an INVENTORY window and vice versa.

The verb OPEN, used in conjunction with a container, opens up a window showing the contents of the container. So, for example, to get something out of your wallet, you first ‘open’ your trousers, revealing the wallet. Items can similarly be transferred between the various container windows that are currently open. These windows can be treated exactly like any other window – they can be sized, ‘fulled’, scrolled, and dragged to any position on the screen.
Moving about is done by clicking either on an exit shown in the picture, or on a mini plan view of the room in which exits are highlighted. If the exit is not open, the first double click on it will open it – provided it is not locked.

Déjà vu 2 If that is not enough, there is extensive animation within the picture. But, disappointingly, on the Amiga there is no sound – and the digitised sound of a railway station, with steam trains arriving and porters shouting ‘All aboard!’ is sadly absent in comparison with the Atari ST version. The Amiga picture, too, when using a TV, is of poorer quality than that on the ST, and the window titles are very indistinct.

But what of the game itself? You are Ace Harding, back again after being cleared of the murder on Joey Siegel. This time you are being chased by mobster Tony Malone over a little matter of $112,000 of his cash – cash which Siegel had not accounted for at the time of his demise. Malone suspects you have it, and gives you just one week to get hold of it and pay up, or else… And just to make sure he does not lose track on you, he assigns Stogie, one of his heavies, to keep a watchful eye on your movements.

At the start you find yourself in a dingy hotel room in Las Vegas, and soon reach the conclusion that a visit to Chicago would be a good idea. The local train service is quite frequent but unfortunately costs money. Let us hope you get lucky – or wise – in the casino!

Deja Vu II is a worthwhile but not an easy game. How can you get past the morgue attendant, for example? To what use can you put the hidden secrets you uncover in Joe’s Bar? Attention to detail and perseverance are needed to progress through the story, but will prove rewarding and result in an entertaining and enjoyable adventure.

CU Amiga, August 1989, p.67

Déjà vu 2 logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Icom/Mindscape, Amiga £24.99

Déjà vu 2 W aking up in a Las Vegas hotel with a splitting headache is guaranteed to send shivers fown the spine. Did you really bet your life savings on roulette last night? A glance in the mirror brings ugly memories flooding back: the name is Ace Harding, private dick, and mobster Tony Malone who believes you owe him $112,000. Not even you could lose that amount of money gambling, instead it has all to do with your previous adventure when you were acquitted of the murder of one of Malone’s leg men. Your splitting headache comes from a ‘friendly’ discussion with Mr Malone and his henchmen, last night. If you do not find his hundred and twelve grand within the next week he will put more perforations in you than a Tetley tea bag, letting the flavour flood out (along with your blood)

During the week you are free to wander around Vegas, but just to make sure you do not make a quick getaway Malone has ordered Stogie Martin to keep an eye on you. Stogie resembles King Kong in a suit, so it is wise not to cross him.
Leaving your room, you are unsurprised to find that the ‘Lucky Dice’ hotel has its own casino, where you can play blackjack against any of five house players or try your luck on the fruit machines. However, getting out of the hotel is not easy – the only two methods I found are to either hit someone or take off your trench coat and trousers! Once outside, you find Las Vegas has changed a bit – apart from the hotel and a railway station there is nothing but desert. Thankfully trains leave to Los Angeles, St Louis, New York and your home town – Chicago – but for Stogie there is no place like home, and he will shoot you if you go anywhere else. Travelling around Chicago is by taxi with a deaf driver who needs to be shown where you want to go. This is where the real adventuring takes place as you explore seedy underworld locations in an attempt to recover Malone’s dough.

As in the original Deja Vu, Ace Harding is controlled using a simple menu of just eight basic commands. Every location has beautifully detailed pictures which can be examined by clicking on various things. Objects are taken by simply dragging them from the picture into the inventory window. In addition, some items (coats, drawers etc.) may be opened to reveal further windows (containing their contents). Windows can be closed, moved around the screen and expanded/contracted.

Communication with other characters is limited to a simple speak command – this is the only time input is directly typed in. But most characters encountered are not exactly conversationalists and will only respond to strictly limited input.
The menu/window system is a pleasure to use, and eliminates the problems caused by obscure vocabulary in normal adventures – with a limited set of commands, all problems must be solved by lateral thinking instead of word guessing. Clues to the mystery of the missing dosh are hidden everywhere and you will have a wonderful time interpreting them. Location descriptions are brief (to fit into the smallish window) but contain plenty of acidic humour, and complement the truly excellent graphics to create a fine atmosphere, enhanced by occasional, but good, sound effects. Deja Vu II is a worthy follow-up to the excellent, innovative original.
Reviewed by The Geek, fictional nerd dreamed up by the Zzap crew)

Zzap! Issue 52, August 1989, p.p.29-30