Amongst the Old Fart Adventure Gamer set, Space Quest 5 usually takes something of a beating; there's some good reason for it, as when Scott Murphy left the series, he apparently took all the writing talent with him. Mark Crowe is a fantastic pixel artist, but he (and whoever else supplemented him at Sierra) delivers here what is really just a run-on Star Trek parody full of 'lowest common denominator' humor (your main rival in the game is called Captain Quirk, to give you an indication of what you're dealing with).

That said, there are things to like about it. The production values are top notch for their time, as they were for all the Space Quest games. Apparently artists from Dynamix were drafted to give the series a more 'cartoony' look; the sprites and character close-ups aren't anything really special but there are some excellent hand-painted backgrounds. The soundtrack by Tim Clarke starts off a bit slowly, but gets really good when the game gets into darker territory later on.

The puzzles during about the first half of the game or so are largely decent, actually among the best of the "point-and-click" Space Quest games (not that that's saying a whole lot), and if the game had sustained that pace throughout it would have been a really good entry in the series in spite of the turgid humor and writing. Unfortunately, the game begins to fall apart towards the end, with a needlessly slow-paced (and gratuitously inserted) game of Battleship, a frustrating semi-arcade sequence with a crane that you are given no instructions for whatsoever, and an irritating maze as well as sparse puzzles that alternate between too easy and too touchy. Was the advertising for Sprint really necessary to make ends meet, as well? Established Space Quest fans may find some things to enjoy in it, but there's not much here for everyone else.

Links :

* The Many Deaths of Roger Wilco

Videos :

* Gameplay Video

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