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PC Game Review

Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals


Format: PC
Lighthouse Interactive
RRP: £19.99
8 717662 270895
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 21 November 2008

Alcide Nikopol, is a resident of a dystopian Paris, living under an oppressive and totalitarian government. Scratching to make ends meet, you work out of your run down apartment as a painter, whilst at the same time doing what you can to help the resistance. Stranger still, the year 2023 sees the landing of a large pyramid spaceship, full of Egyptian gods who need fuel from the French government. However, one of their numbers, Horus has plans of his own and takes over Nikopol’s father’s body, leading the others to seek out Nikopol’s help in stopping him...

Nikopol: Secrets of the Immortals is a graphic, first person, science fiction adventure game inspired by the artwork of Enki Bilal, a  French graphic novelist. The game follows closely the plot of his first book in the Nikopol trilogy, La Foire aux Immortels.

You play Nikopol and, for the most part, you play the game from his perspective. As a point and click adventure you explore your environment examining objects, some useful, some not so, using your mouse. Nikopol talks to himself quite a lot and these descriptions and musings are often clues of variable worth. The game play is puzzle-based, however unlike a lot of these games very often there is a time limit to adhere to, and failure to do so will often result in death.

The level of puzzles varies from the relatively obvious to the downright infuriating; oddly enough, the inclusion of a time limit adds a layer of excitement not often seen in this genre - of course sometimes you will die. Thankfully the game resets to the start of that particular sequence and not the start of the game. Trial and error play a part here, just getting out of the apartment was arduous enough. Even though I had to concede that the puzzle made sense, I did experience some frustration with the linear nature of the game. The initial apartment sequence introduces you nicely to the type of puzzles you will encounter, if you can get out of the apartment then, with a bit of thought, the rest of the game should be challenging rather than impossible. I'm looking at you Myst.

The games scores highly for its visual flair and obviously a lot of work has gone into the look of the game, which is rich and detailed. The overall visual style is distinctive with the cut scenes taking on the look of an original comic book. The audio track is atmospheric, never overpowering with some good vocal acting. Like a lot of recent games the ambience is further enhanced with various background sounds.

Although linear in nature the story of Alcide’s attempt to save his father and unravel the mystery of the pyramid ship is engrossing enough to keep you going till the end. Combine the story with the great visuals and we're looking at a very desirable purchase of fans of puzzle games.


Charles Packer

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