(Cross-posted from my personal journal
, because I'm just that excited about this game's new availability. *laugh*)
I very much enjoy seeing several different companies republishing old computer games. Those games, I mean, that were made before everything had to have an online component to them. Creative works had to be complete within themselves. I miss those days.
Among my favorites is one game called "Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura
". It's dated by the low resolution and lack of windowed mode, but I still pop in the virtual disc and play this game every once in a while.
It was a wonderful steampunk
game. The game had no character types
, so you were not limited by anyone else's ideas of what profession you should become. You could mix-and-match any set of skills available in the game. Your character, however, did need to choose between emphasizing skills of magic or technology. Each interfered with the efficacy of the other. You could, if you wanted, try hard to stay in the middle ground between each extreme.
There was lots of crafting
(either technological or magical) and lots of skills
(also either technological or magical). Choices affected later outcomes. If you were a mage, for instance, the railroad forced you to sit in the caboose to put you as far away from the technological steam engine as possible. If you were a really powerful mage, you might be denied a ticket altogether. In which case, it was advantageous to learn the skill tree that would give you teleportation.
There were companions
that could join your party, including a dog. Again, because of the interplay between magic and tech, it was better to build your party using the same focus that your own character followed.
One of the best things about the game, however, is the music
. The title score is hands down the best mood piece for a game that I have ever heard. Don't believe me? Listen for yourself at a fansite's soundtrack webpage
. Choose the first song, titled "Arcanum". (Although the Sierra link seems broken at the moment.) That's the music you hear as you wander the landscape within the game. It evokes a wonderful, eerie longing. The author, Ben Hogue
, even spent some time here in Minnesota. He went to St. Olaf college in the mid 1990's.
Arcanum, I think, was not a big money maker. Very disappointing. But now, you too, can enjoy Arcanum for only $6 at Good Old Games