Review: MacVenture Series (PC)

Review: MacVenture Series (PC)
Review Score:

Literally resurrected from the ashes of classic gaming, the MacVenture Series brings back the ICOM Simulation games we all enjoyed playing during the early 1980s. This brilliant collection of  point-and-click adventures includes Uninvited, Shadowgate and both Deja Vu games.

Complete in all their classic glory, the MacVenture Series offers both the Apple II GS and the black-and-white Macintosh versions. As far as this reviewer is concerned, the most notable release in the collection is Shadowgate. Most gamers may be familiar with the Shadowgate Reboot that was released last year by developer Zojoi. Now is your chance to experience the original, long before it appeared on Nintendo’s NES.

What makes this release so appealing – especially for classic  gamers – are the retro graphics and the Graphical User Interface that ICOM Simulations created for their games. I remember playing all these adventure games on the Commodore Amiga many years ago. The truly remarkable thing for games of this age is that the GUI is customizable; the text, inventory and exit windows can be resized to fit your environment. This was considered a revolutionary feature back when these games first debuted.

Unlike the Shadogate Reboot from last year, these ICOM Simulation games do not include music; they only include a handful of sound effects for dramatic effect. But what they lack in audio, they make up for in story. You’ll be glued to your computer until the end of each adventure. The MacVenture Series is sort of like the 1980s version of an eBook, long before the idea was conceived and mass marketed. For those of you that haven’t played any of ICOM’s games — you will find that each story is worthy of your attention, as they provide a perplexing amount of depth for games of that era.

I am partial to the Apple IIGS versions provided in the collection because they closely resemble the Commodore Amiga versions in both graphics and sound. The original Mac versions are present, and they play identical to the Apple IIGS versions, but the blocky, black and white graphics make it difficult to see items in the environment.

Some gamers may look at this collection and see nothing more than aging point-and-click adventures, but I see masterpieces that can provide hours of entertainment.

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What the MacVenture Series does is revive classic point-and-click adventures on Steam. Sure, you can find other point-and-click adventure games on Steam, but none of them are like ICOM’s stable of games. This collection has been long overdue, and it’s about time it appeared. All we need now is for Zojoi to reboot Uninvited and Deja VU; who else shares in my sentiment?

James Pittaro
Platform: PC (Available on Steam)
Developer: Zojoi
Publisher: Reverb Triple XP
ESRB: N/A
Price: $8.99

Zojoi’s Official Website

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