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Driving out to the house in a thunderstorm, you are run off the road by a shimmering apparition and are sent crashing into a lake. In short order, you discover other things have gone wrong--Roxy is in the garage, apparently dead. It's up to you to save yourself and the overzealous scientist from the forces lurking in the house.
Patience and close attention to detail are musts for playing Amber: Journeys Beyond. Critical items are sometimes hard to spot, and one or two of the scenes take place in very dark locales. When you can see, the graphics are crisp and drawn with a faint gothic sensibility, surrounding the player in a milieu of creepy sounds and ghost-catching gadgets.
The game is especially suited to beginning or younger gamers, as the problem-solving challenges are on the simple side. Even so, Amber: Journeys Beyond is spooky and engaging, a worthy electronic heir to campfire stories everywhere. Alyx Dellamonica
Set in a house in the North Carolina mountains, Amber is a modern-day ghost hunt where merely observing poltergeist activity has expanded to include interacting with it. Amber gives players an intriguing paranormal experience. What begins as a response to a friend's concern develops into a journey to rescue souls.
As you explore the house and the surrounding property seeking clues to your friend's plight, you realize quickly that you are not alone. Strange things are happening and as you figure out how to use your basic equipment, things get stranger. Without giving too much away, I can say that you will learn the history of the souls haunting the house from an up-close-and-personal point of view. Each died a tragic death and is trapped in a purgatory-like state. To help them move into the afterlife, you must solve a series of well-integrated and moderately challenging puzzles. The souls in and of themselves are plenty intriguing - watching the gardener's lifeless body swinging slowly from the rafters, all because he couldn't get a date, makes your life seem a whole lot better.
While it may look like a Myst-ical experience, Amber's graphics and sound effects transcend the typical point-and-click static screens encountered in so many adventure games. The richly textured environment is sprinkled with eerie video segments of supernatural activities, like objects flying around in the house and talking bees. It all combines into an engrossing, captivatingly wicked time.
Sadly, the game is not without disappointments. It's simply not long enough. With a few more spiritual encounters and puzzles, Amber could have been a great game, not just a good one. Worse still, the final sequence is pathetically anticlimactic compared to the rest of the game. Even so, if you're looking for a few hours of torturous fun, Amber is definitely worth considering. If anything, it'll keep you wondering what really does go bump in the night. --Rebecca B. Anderson
--Copyright ©1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review
Top Customer Reviews
Amber: Journeys Beyond is a first person adventure game with somewhat simple graphics and animation... but at the same time the plot and story hold your interest. The premise is that you are 'checking up as a favor to a friend' on a woman who bought a haunted house so she could study the paranormal. She uses a headset called the Amber device so she can observe the ghosts and actually travel in the spirit realm. When you find her she's in a catatonic state, trapped outside of her body with no way of geting back.
Your job is to help your friend by guiding the other spirits in the house to their final rewards by either helping them realize that they're dead, finding an item that they lost, or helping them finish something they never completed in life. There's three people you need to aid before you can help your friend, and no particular order in which to do it.
Although the game is only on one CD, and the graphics are simplistic Amber is still an impressive game for the value. It has enough ambiance to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up more than once (imagine walking into the bathroom and seeing words write themselves on the mirror). Amber can scare you, but it does it in a subtle way instead of shoving a bucketload of gore in your face. The gameplay is a bit short, but still much more than you'd normally expect in a single CD game.
If you want an inexpensive yet interesting adventure this is the game for you.
Foremost, the puzzles are actually integrated into the storyline. In fact, the stories actually advance the story. In Myst, the puzzles were wonderful, but abstract and unconnected to the story.
Another area where AMBER excelled was the music and sound. The sound effects were wonderful and remarkably restrained. At one point, the subtle sounds of footsteps creaking on floorboards, were amazingly effective at making my hair stand on end. And the music -- particularly the jazzy hip guitar riffs in Brice's world -- were fantastic; likewise, the big band music in Margaret's world was perfect. I only wish I could find the soundtrack to this game.
The graphics in Myst were gorgeous, but in a fantasy sort of way. AMBER's graphics are so realistic and "normal" that I was able to completely forget I was playing a computer gamer.
And finally, the story. This is an area where AMBER *really* excels. If you're at all interested in the supernatural, you owe it to yourself to play this game. The theories presented about ghosts in this game are extremely compelling. This game offers some of the most lucid and believable theories about the paranormal that I've ever seen in a work of fiction.
Kudos to Hue Forest for this modern classic. I can't wait to try out their future efforts.
Mysteries. Mysteries. Why is Roxy unconscious wearing the Amber head gear in the garage, of all places? Should you experiment with the equipment? Sure. Beware as you follow in your friend's footsteps while trying to figure what happened to her. This PC game is fun. It takes you through portals of time to uncover the secret of the hauntings. I found the game to be quite thrilling. Things really do go bump in the night!
So why only three stars? While the idea of mystery puzzles vs. physical ones seems original and fun, the game is easy. A young high schooler could figure the "moves" out. You are given a place, a circumstance, and an enviroment with tools. Everything you need to solve the mystery is staring you in the face. Go ahead and give it a go. The plot, first-person scenario, and all the truly frightening hauntings make this an easy going game. A perfect breather to play in between the usual brain-frying choices.
To have the best experience with this game, you really need to be patient and pay more attention to exploring your surroundings rather than just want to get through it. There were several times that I missed necessary items or possibilitites for interaction the first time through a room. But there are no really difficult puzzles, so rather than run to a walkthrough if you can't find something it's a good idea to just keep looking. Everything is pretty much in the open. Also, there are a number of optional activities that a walkthrough might not tell you about, but that it would be a shame to miss. This is one of those games where the rule is, pick up everything you can and interact with everything you can. Doing so can only heighten your experience.
The first half of the game is truly spooky, with numerous close encounters of the ectoplasmic kind and lots of paranormal activity showing up on your equipment. One such encounter actually made my heart stop for a minute, even though I was expecting it. Another that I wasn't expecting made me afraid to go back to the game for a minute. The atmosphere of weirdness is aided by the sound effects which are used subtly and with great skill. You're always thinking you're about to stumble on something unexpected and sometimes you do. Nothing is very grotesque or frightening in and of itself, but the atmosphere of suspense makes even the ordinary seem hair-raising.
The second half of the game is much quieter. Entering the three actual ghost "worlds" is almost mundane and somewhat anticlimactic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amber: Journeys Beyond is a point and click adventure title, similar to games like Myst. You are presented with going up to check up on a friend that you work with, at her house,... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Timothy Smith
Amber: Journeys Beyond is a ghostly game, loaded with creepy sounds and plenty of creepy moments that will haunt your memory for years. Read morePublished on June 4, 2013 by Dip Myself
This is a heart throbbing experience and I keep yearning for more and you have to fix the puzzels on the way but its well worth the money and time to play.Published on March 11, 2013 by MELissa DAWN
I've wanted to play Amber:Journey's Beyond for years, and finally bought a copy here at Amazon. I also had a hard time running this on XP. Read morePublished on August 16, 2012 by Jose Equis
IF YOU CAN'T PLAY IT, THERE IS HELP!!!
This is an update. I found the patch! It's not perfect but a little working at it should get the game to play. Read more
Someone finally made a patch/installer for the game!! [...] Use the test3 download, use it as an installer, and then play off the original CD! The errors are no longer a problem. Read morePublished on September 14, 2008 by hansolo0
I just wanted to STRONGLY second the warnings already posted about Windows XP incompatibility. I love the game, and tried to reinstall it on my new Windows XP machine. Read morePublished on August 22, 2008 by D. Powell
Do not buy this game unless you have a computer with a pre-XP operating system cause it simply will not work. I don't think it works with ME either. Read morePublished on January 23, 2007 by OnlineShopper
I've really loved A.M.B.E.R. for a long time and will play it now & then just because I like the 'feel' of the game. It's quite unusual. The only catch is it needs an XP patch. Read morePublished on September 20, 2006 by W. L. Anderson Jr.