Y2K: The Game
Review by Jen
In an effort to capitalize on the brouhaha over the impending doom
that was to be the Y2K bug, Interplay released this game late in
December 1999 to little or no fanfare. I saw it in CompUSA, and
I bought it. It didn't hurt that it was only $20, either. Well,
the Y2K bug didn't really amount to much. Does the game?
In this third-person game, you play as Buster, Super-Nerdman, who
hits the lottery and buys a state-of-the-art, completely electronically
controlled mansion. He is all set to celebrate the new year with
his Super-Nerdwoman girlfriend, Candace, and drinks a little too
much champagne. He falls asleep and wakes up shortly before midnight
only to find that the computer that controls the mansion has taken
on a life of its own and has truly become (drum roll, please) Artificial
Intelligence. The computer and the various robots it controls have
become malevolent, and it is up to you to shut them down and restore
tranquillity and usefulness to the machinery.
The graphics are surprisingly nice. I warn you up front, though,
that you should have a 3D card. You can play the game in
software rendering mode, but the picture is wavy enough to make
you seasick, and yet it looks marvy in hardware mode. The game takes
place in various rooms of the mansion, about 10 of them, and each
has a different look and atmosphere. Attention was paid to detail;
the hardwood floors look almost photographic.
The puzzles are for the most part fairly easy. There are a lot
of inventory items, and mostly you find the item you need in the
room that you need it. Gameplay largely consists of entering a room,
getting trapped in the room by a (excuse me, but I've always wanted
to say this) lean mean fighting machine, and having to figure out
how to disable the machine. However, it is easy to miss some of
the inventory items because they are in a sea of extraneous items
that you can't use or interact with.
The music and voice acting are also surprisingly not bad. There
is an elevator ride, and always in a game with an elevator ride,
there is elevator music. (Strange ... I don't think I've ever heard
music in an elevator in real life.) The music in this elevator for
some reason acted as a child repellentboth of my sons just
hated it and would run away from my computer until the elevator
ride was over. I took a couple of extra elevator rides just to punish
them in advance for little sins not yet committed.
Sounds pretty good so far, right? Well, now for the drawbacks.
The first and foremost is that there is only one saved gameyep,
you heard right, only one saved game in this era of 30- and 40-gigabyte
hard drives. That is inexcusable in my opinion. The second is that
you can't skip through any cutscenes, even if you've seen them before,
and while they are charming, if strange, once, they are purely annoying
the second time through.
And now to the reason why there was a second time throughI
hit a gigantic bug about three-quarters of the way through the game.
Without giving anything away, suffice it to say that I needed an
inventory item from another room to retrieve an inventory item in
the room that I was in; I did not have said inventory item from
the other room; I went back to get it; and when I returned with
it to retrieve the other inventory item, the other inventory item
was gone. Completely. As if it had never existed. And yet another
inventory item that I had used to trigger the part where I needed
to retrieve the inventory item that I needed to retrieve was also
gone. (Huh?) Never to be seen again. And guess what? I had unwittingly
saved it that way in my one lone saved game. (I suspect my neighbors
wondered what all the cursing was about ... and I bet they guessed
So ... I had to start all over from the beginning. And then to
add insult to injury, the l-e-n-g-t-h-y c-r-e-d-i-t-s
that I was forced to sit through at the end of game listed about
50 or 100 play testers. (Hyperbole, certainly, but it makes my point
nicely, you must agree.) How ever did they miss this? Overall, I
had the impression that the game was rushed to market because of
the date-sensitive nature of the title, and it could have really
stood a little bit more polishing.
Having said that, I think the good outweighs the bad. Y2K is
a fun little game and cheap to boot, plus it has a surreal aspect
that appeals to me. I felt like I got $20 worth of entertainmenthad
I not hit the "Y2K bug" (hee hee) and just played the
game all the way through on my first try, it would have lasted me
about five or six hours.
Release Date: December 1999
Four Fat Chicks Links
Windows 95/98 with DirectX 6.1 or later (included)
16 MB RAM
100 MB minimum available hard drive space
DirectX certified sound and video card
8X or faster CD-ROM drive
100% Microsoft-compatible mouse
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