Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Fascination logo

Do you fancy yourself as a sleek attractive woman with a mystery to solve? Or do you just fancy yourself? James Leach sorts out his psychoses in a French-produced, adult-orientated interactive adventure...

Fascination Y ou can tell when you're having 'one of those days'. First your tights ladder, then your high-heel snaps off as you rush to the departure gate and finally, as you're settling down with Vogue on the plane, a man dies in the next seat. What's worse, he gives you a briefcase with a vial of something incredibly secret in it. As life slips away from him before your disbelieving eyes, he croaks something like: "Take this briefcase to the President of the Quantum Unlimited Lab in Miami". Then he croaks, full stop.
Thus begins a mystery that might chill your very heart, still your blood and enlarge your liver, in which you play a gorgeous brunette called Doralice. Pronounce that 'leese' not 'lice'.

Hormone imbalance
The game itself is one of the sort where you point at things shown in the locations, and if the computer recognises them it enables you to pick them up, using them, keep them or drink them. It's called 'Interactivity'. What happens is that you slowly build up a picture of what you can use with what, and what effects this might have. Call it logic, call it common sense, call it knowing how the programmers' minds work. The result is that you slowly progress along through an adventure planned out in meticulous detail.

Monkey Island 2, you'll be thinking. Yes, it's pretty similar to that in the way it works, but doesn't have the same polished feel. The fantasy setting is obviously absent, so you end up looking at screens of not particularly interesting hotel rooms and suchlike.

OK, so you're playing a woman. How does this affect the game? Well you might hope that it redresses the imbalance in favour of males in computer software, but, er, you'd better take a look at what happens when you pop slinkily into the shower. A nude showering woman appears on the screen in several poses, all designed to start a hormonal reaction in the (male) players of the game. Yes, it's sad to say but they have to stoop to stuff like this (and quite early on in the sequence of events, too).
But isn't this what adult-orientated software is about? Maybe, but it doesn't add to the plot and it certainly doesn't make you feel at ease with the gorgeous female you're supposed to be playing.

Fascination As you progress through the game, you realise that it isn't very flexible. The route you're supposed to take is pretty clearly defined. The very nature of interactive games is such that you can't go wandering off where you please. There just isn't room for all that extraneous data. This means that all you need to do is to be persistent. Collect everything you can, try using everything you can and make the odd logical leap. For example, there's a wall-socket, an adaptor and a toothbrush with different voltage settings. How much lateral thinking is required to bring these three items together? And when you do, lo! – another item is discovered, which interacts with several other items later in the game. This is pretty much how you progress through the game that is Fascination.

The graphics are very much the same as you've seen before. Neatly drawn, with the emphasis on a slightly cartoony feel, they are clear enough to display everything you're supposed to see. The game contains plenty of small objects resting in fairly inaccessible places, and the only way to get these is to see them, then move the mouse over to them. The graphics have been drawn with this in mind, so you don't feel cheated because you haven't noticed a vital clue. Roaming the mouse around and seeing what shape it changes to is also a good way of sorting out what you can interact with this game.

The system used is pretty fool-proof, even if it does involve a disproportionate amount of clicking 'OK" when you've decided on what course of action you are going to take. Fascination has a vein of humour running through it which borders on the witty. This sits uneasily with the voyeuristic 'adult-orientation' which pervades it.

The interaction with other people in the game is a bit of a let-down. They seem only to give you the information you need, then clam up. Thus all you have to do is ask them your pressing questions once and the answers are magically revealed with little further brain-usage by the player.

Overall, Fascination is a competent attempt at a mouse-controlled adventure. The setting isn't inspiring, though and the structure is a little too rigid and formulaic. The sexism (for such it is) doesn't help either.
Up against Monkey Island 2, it crumbles into insignificance. But to compare it to the king of the genre is a little unfair, as the style is so different.

Fascination is a pretty well-presented product. It's just a little too linear and lacks the touches which would make it feel special. Jet aircraft, pool-side cocktails and disrobed females don't really cut it.
James Leach

Amiga Format, Issue 39, October 1992, p.p.90-91

Fascination
Tomahawk * £29.99
  • Plenty of well-drawn locations, packed with objects to fiddle with.
  • Everything is pretty logical, and perseverance always seems to pay off.
  • Almost non-existent manual doesn't set the scene or give you much useful info.
  • It's sometimes irritatingly slow.
  • Point and click movement is a bit wearisome, too.
verdict: 65%


Sex minus drei

Fascination logo

Immer wieder grifft der computerisierte Lustmolch voller Vorfreude zu den Softsex-Adventures von Muriel Tramis, immer wieder wird er enttäuscht. Beim dritten Anlauf nach "Emanuelle" und "Geisha" standesgemäß in dreifacher Hinsicht...

Fascination Erstens: Die liebe Muriel scheint zu glauben, daß Erotik Fans automatisch nur Schmalspur-Abenteurer sein können. Also Leute, die es gerade noch schaffen, mit der Maus sämtliche Räumen einzusammeln und anschließend auf sämtliche anderen Gegenstände und Personen anzuwenden. Sogar die Reihenfolge ist dabei ziemlich beliebig. Hauptsache, man klickt gnadenlos alles und jeden an. Dementsprechend einsteigerfreundlich sind die Rätsel gehalten, vom Handlungsablauf ganz zu schweigen.

Zweitens: Auch die Story wirkt nur auf den ersten Blick faszinierend. Die Piloten Dolarice May ist durch eine Verkettung unglücklicher Umstände in den Besitz einer Ampulle mit hochbrisanten "Liebestropfen" gelangt, die sie unbedingt an den Mann bringen will - und zwar an einen ganz bestimmten. Bloß ist der äußerst schlecht erreichbar, dafür interessiert sich jede Menge andere (böse) Männer brennend für das kleine Röhrchen.

Drittens: Die Präsentation hält leider nicht, was sich der Molch verspricht. Zwar ist die Grafik recht hübsch anzusehen, aber nicht besonderes umfangreich. Schlimmer noch, sie ist ziemlich jugendfrei! Dazu wiederholt sich andauernd die gleiche Begleitmusik. Effekte sind zwar vorhanden, aber rar und kaum spektakulär. Was hier wirklich befriedigt wird, ist das Verlangen nach einer vernünftigen Maussteuerung - anders geartete Gelüste bleiben eher unerfüllt. (od)

Amiga Joker, March 1992, p.103

Amiga Joker
Fascination
Grafik: 67%
Sound: 26%
Handhabung: 69%
Spielidee: 41%
Dauerspass: 46%
Preis/Leistung: 50%

Red. Urteil: 48%
Für Anfänger
Preis: ca. 89,- DM
Hersteller: Coktel Vision/Bomico
Genre: Abenteuer

Spezialität: Zwei Disks, Zweitlaufwerk wird unterstützt. Komplett in mäßigen Deutsch.


Fascination logo

An adventure game that can only be played by those over sixteen? Tony Dillon is intrigued...

Fascination MIAMI VICE
In this, the latest game from those cunning French chaps at Coktel Vision, you play the part of a beautiful female pilot, who has just landed in Miami after your regular Paris-Miami flight. Whilst on the plane, a passenger died in your arms from a heart attack, but not before telling you of a vial of highly-important solution hidden in his briefcase that has to be returned to the Director a top lab. Returning to your hotel with the dead man's briefcase, you are determined to do as he asks – especially since he stressed that the future of all mankind depend on it. From that point on you are dragged further and further into the mystery...

Fascination is a graphic detective story, in a similar vein to that old Infogrames' classic, Vera Cruz. unlike the recent spate of new-age adventures, the whole game is viewed from a pseudo first-person perspective, with each location laid out in front of you. Solving the game involves putting any objects you may find to good use and keeping an eye out for the assorted clues along the way.

The game is entirely mouse-controlled and, as you move the pointer around each location, the names of important objects appear at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on them will then either bring a close-up view, show descriptive text, or pick them up and place them in the inventory. From here, you have to figure out how to use them.

Fascination ICE, ICE, BABY
Let's take the hotel room our nubile pilot starts in as an example. Moving the mouse around, you find that the fridge is highlighted when you move the mouse over it. Clicking on it opens the door to reveal an empty ice-tray. Nearby is a jug of water so, picking up the jug with the mouse you pour some water into the tray and close the door. After a minute of two you open the door again to find that nothing has happened. Looking at the back of the fridge you find the cable resting uselessly on the floor. Picking up the plug and sticking it in the socket you are greeted with the message 'Now I can have some ice cubes'.

It's a very simple system to use, but that doesn't automatically make the adventure an easy one to complete. Each screen is packed with things to do, but sometimes the objects you are looking for are so small that the only thing to do is to scan the room completely, moving the mouse very slowly around the screen until it finally rests upon whatever it is you are looking for.

LOTS TO DO
A bad point about such object-filled rooms, though, is that it is sometimes too easy to overlook something important, resulting in several dead-ends. Thankfully, the game always offers a clue as to why you died to aid you next time round. For example, somewhere in the game there is a guard dog who won't let you take a key hanging on the wall. Trying to take it results in a Rottweiller attack the tabloids would revel in. If you die here, you are told that something sweet might have saved your life. Next time you play it, you remember to take a lump of sugar when offered a coffee.

Fascination is a very interesting game, if only because it's something that hasn't been done in quite a while. An enjoyable plot, linked with some well thought out and logical puzzles makes for a playable adventure. Ignore the rubbish about the game's '16' classification – it's just a gimmick on a game that doesn't really need one. It won't be easy completing it, but give it a go – you'll be hooked.

CU Amiga, September 1992, p.67

OO-ER! One of the most unusual aspects of Fascination is the large number of cheap thrills thrown in. From some quick topless shots of the main character to the Mad Scientist's hideout (below a Lingerie shop), everywhere you look there's a cheap excuse for a bikini or a bout of nudity. Even in the hotel foyer there's a soft-porn mag hidden underneath a newspaper. This kind of attraction has been used by French programmers before – anyone remember Emmannuelle (actually, this is written by the same programming team, so that explains it)? And while it makes no difference at all to the game, it should give the moral majority something to shout about – especially since Coktel's aim for a 16 certificate for the game could bolster sales due to the novelty value...

buyers guide
release date:
genre:
team:
controls:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
memory:
 
August 1992
Graphic adventure
In-house
Mouse
2
1
No
Any machine

 

COKTEL VISION £25.99
Good genre example. Entertaining stuff...
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
83%
73%
81%
85%
OVERALL 80%