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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patience Required, February 6, 2006
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: A Quiet Weekend In Capri - PC (Video Game)
You're a tourist with a ticket to the lovely Island of Capri. You board the boat, cross the Bay of Naples and take a taxi up to the top of the Island, where a helpful News Agent directs you to your hotel. You thread your way through the noisy crowds of other tourists towards the hotel and are just about to enter when something strange happens. Suddenly, all the other tourists are gone. Your hotel sports a large "Closed" sign and the entire island seems deserted. What's happened? Well, that's what you need to find out.

_A Quiet Weekend in Capri_ is a first person point and click adventure that gives you the opportunity to sightsee on the Island of Capri while you solve numerous puzzles. It's a first effort from the developers, Silvio and Gey Savarese, and like many first efforts it has its high points and its low points.

The game is mainly comprised of a series of 4500 still photographs, through which you navigate by means of directional arrows. Although the devlopers promoted this as a selling point, I thought it was the weakest aspect of the game. As others have said, wandering around the Island was like looking at photos from someone's European tour. Every view and every street looked the same. It was extremely hard to keep track of where you were going, and the in-game map didn't help, as it was too small to read. The area you could wander around in was immense, with very few limitations. In most games, I would consider this an asset, but after having to travel back and forth across the island hunting inventory and locations several times, I was tired of it. It helped to be able to jump directly to several key locations, but not a lot.

The puzzles were a mixture of inventory and figuring out what to do next from collecting clues in conversation and reading. In some places they were really clever. But several aspects of the game made accomplishing your tasks inordinately difficult and frustrating. One difficulty was the lack of variety in the terrain. It was nearly impossible to keep track of what was where, especially in the center of town. Also, locating active areas required far too much wandering around without a clue. You might be told, for example, to find "Villa Belvedere." But without a better address or other reference, you just had to go up and down every street until you stumbled on it. Finding inventory was also difficult due to the widespread search area and the tendency of the developers towards visual overload. You didn't have to pixel hunt, exactly; but after looking at 2500 of the 4500 photographs one's eyes tend to glaze over and it becomes easy to miss stuff. Fortunately, you can turn on a help feature that highlights hotspots, so you can know at a glance whether a scene holds anything of interest. However, I think the necessity for such a feature indicates a problem with implementing the game.

Another problem with the puzzles is that solving them often depends on having or overhearing conversations--but you really have no way of knowing you should have those conversations, so unless you stumble into them you're stuck. Also, sometimes the information you receive is connected to other information in what seems an arbitrary fashion. Once you know the answer, it makes sense. But getting there seems to require reading the developers' minds.

Despite the problems with Capri, I did enjoy the game, which I did not find as irritating and frustrating as some I have played. I did have to consult a walkthrough quite often, just to find out where stuff was. If you are low on tolerance for wandering around, this might keep you from tearing out your hair. Getting through the game took me about 25 hours, most of it wandering until I went blind and had to stop. The first 2/3 of the game are extremely slow; one you begin to unravel the story and figure out what's going on, things pick up and the game becomes far more entertaining. If you have patience, you might enjoy this game. If not, it's definitely not for you.
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Location: Paonia, CO United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 67,833