1996 - Advertising Game by Haribo, Developer: Condor Software
Review by slydos 09.02.2001
This advertising adventure by Haribo comes on one CD and is a DOS-game. Installation of the 30 MB, which are required on hard disk, worked fast and without problems under Windows 95. The original version of the game is in french language, but you can indicate within the installation procedure which language you prefer: french, english, german or spanish (always speech and text).
In the beginning you see Hariboy watching TV. Suddenly the program gets interrupted and a pirate captain appears on the screen introducing the pirate channel. A painting on the wall becomes alive and absorbes Hariboy. He reappears through a passageway of a magic tree. Some candies welcome him friendly and explain the state of Bonbonia to him. Gold bear called Hariboy, because he is the only one, who can save Bonbonia. A dragon destroyed the chest with the candy formula in the magic tree and thus the acces to the remaining world will close. There is however a copy of the formula spread on three books. These books are hidden in the three parts of Bonbonia - the medieval Bonbonia, the Wild West and the Roman Bonbonia. Hariboys mission is to find these books and put them in the chest again and replace it in the magic tree. A group of dangerous pirates is also after the formula and Hariboy must take care of them.
Hariboy's Quest is a pure point&click adventure. You use the left mouse button to control Hariboy or interact with objects or characters. The right mouse button normally invokes the inventory, but is also sometimes used for special actions, like reading or looking into something. If you press both mouse buttons simultanously, the option menu shows up. Here you can save and restore up to 5 games, change volume or quit the game.
Objects, characters or spots, with which you will be able to interact in any way are described with short texts, when you move your cursor over it.
Although the controlling the game is simple, nevertheless it often isn't made easy for the gamer to deal with it. Especially handling the inventory objects is too often nerve-racking, since you select an object by clicking the right mouse button and keep it pressed, until you are above it. However you must be very exact thereby and always set the cursor into the left lower corner of the square, small objects, otherwise the neighbour object is selected.
The objects in the inventory are very small and sometimes you really have to puzzle, what it is. A large part of the game consists of it combining objects with other objects or persons on the screen (never in the inventory). This is particularly not working well with characters, who are talking. Often you try to apply an object three or four times to an hotspot and there is no reaction at all. Just when you are desperately trying to give up, it suddenly works.
Dialogues, speech, sound
Dialogues in Hariboy's Quest run automatically. There are no multiple choice selections. However one can achieve different responses with some persons by repeated clicking.
The german dubbing and the german speakers are the worst, I ever heard - really. Until now I haven't played a game, no advertising game either, in which the speakers do such a dilettante work. I believe, there are altogether three speakers that play all roles in the game, what you naturally detect immediately. You can downright see them before your eyes, how they monotonously and unaccented read their texts down and thereby even haw. I already listened to much better pupil radio plays by 10 to 12 year old children. It is extra nerving that you cannot stop the characters talking, after listening to the same text for the 10th time. There is no music in this game, but the sound effects - creaking planks, birds twittering, murmurings etc. are suitably assigned.
In principle the puzzles consist in finding objects, using objects in the correct place and in the correct order, leading dialogues and performing actions at the correct point of time. Actually easy tasks, but here and there the developers inserted small chicaneries and one has to pixel hunt for an object in the large number of accessible places. Often the puzzles are designed in this way, that you have to visit some palces several times, in order to find someone there or to get a certain object which wasn't there before. It's a lot of walking which extends the gameplay considerably.
Other than quite a few exceptions an object is removed from the inventory after using it. However there was an item, which could be taken and stored again, after it was used. This almost drove me to abort the game, since one could only go on with the game, when not carrying this object.
Except for one or two puzzles, they were all logical and it was actually not necessary to try one inventory object after the other. However the inaccurate mouse-control described above, often played tricks on me and pretends that an object does not fit in this or that place, although it did after repeated clicking.
Unfortunately there were lots of mistakes in the German translation of the texts in the game, which also partly affected puzzle solving: Thus e.g. a stove disk is called "plane desk" or an electrical saw "millstone". One object is called by the speaker "crystal", the screen text says "rose" and in reality it looks like a star. Apparently there was no large test phase with the translated version at least.
The graphics in this comic style adventure really can show their face. The very large number (250!) of different scenes are designed with much love for the detail and imaginativeness. If you enter a new place you are fascinated by the abundance of single objects and likewise by the cute, animated supernumeraries, who usually contribute nothing to the game's process however enliven the scenes and often provoke a smile. Both, the player- and the non-player characters are presentations of the different sorts of Haribo candies, which occur e.g. as road artists or playing children. Hariboy moves flowingly and you can notice the efforts to show him also perspectively correct.
Length of game
As I wrote a walkthrough when playing Hariboy's Quest, my play time somewhat will have been longer than normal, but I would assume for the average gamer approx. 30 hours, if one does not use a walkthrough. It is to say that there is a multiplicity of objects that have to be used in a multiplicity of places and scenes. The developers made certain that you have to visit some locations again and again - that means much walking around.
At that time Hariboy's Quest cost around 50 DM - quite a high price for an advertising game, in which more or less remarkable advertising messages of the orderer are hidden. (in Hariboy's Quest they are visible in some few places , but not disturbing, e.g. there are some glasses with Haribo candies in Chinatown in the Wild West, but they also played a role in the game) However CD and manual are in a professional and stable retail box, the advertising messages are discreetly spread and the game length is quite long.
Since I like to play object-oriented adventure games, Hariboy would have actually pleased me quite well, if the inexpressible speech and the partial bad game-control when manipulating objects wouldn't have clouded my fun so much. DO there during the application of objects. Hariboy's Quest is indicated for gamers between 7 and 77 years. I think the moderate difficulty level actual makes Hariboy's Quest a game for the whole family. All of you, who like e.g. the Sierra Quest series, will enjoy this game either. As against Sierra games you cannot die in Hariboy's Quest.
I give a total rating of only 52% (sufficient (not very recommendable)) because of the problems with the mouse-control, the unprofessionel dubbing and bad translation. Without this problems it surely could habe been between 70% and 75%.
Minimum system requirements:
Rating system Adventure-Archiv: