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The Experiment

Score: 75%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: The Adventure Company
Developer: Lexis Numerique
Media: CD/2
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Developers Lexis Numerique (Missing) continue to bring about non-typical adventure games with their latest offering, The Experiment.

Besides the HUD, there isn't anything remarkable about The Experiment's visual representation. The rooms and models all look pretty good and have plenty of detail. The various environments from the labs to the lush jungle around your ship all really feel right, but like I said, this is fairly par on most good adventure games. Where The Experiment's visual style really shines is in the way it presents the world to you.

Instead of being a first-person or third-person adventure where you are either looking at the world from the perspective of the main character, or floating around in the same room as the main character, you are viewing the character's actions from a security room somewhere on the ship that the game takes place on. You watch Lea as she moves from room to room as you indirectly influence her actions. This game portrays this feeling by showing you the desktop of a security computer. You can have up to three camera windows open to view Lea or the surrounding areas, as well as windows for accessing personnel files, controlling robots and maps of the area Lea is in.

Audio wise, there isn't a whole lot here. Lea's dialogue is pretty fair and the sound effects get the job done, but ultimately, it is forgettable and doesn't really help or hurt the overall feel of the game all that much.


Like I said above, The Experiment is really different from most games (much less adventure games) in that I believe it is the first time I've ever played a game that, if it wasn't second-person, seriously made me wonder if it was.

The game opens with you looking down at the female lead, Lea Nichols, who wakes up on a cot and starts examining the room she finds herself in. She quickly notices that there is someone controlling the security camera in her room and asks for your help to figure out what has gone wrong on this vessel and the two of you start exploring the world together (sort of).

While you don't control Lea, you can guide her and indirectly tell her what to do. You cannot talk to her, so besides a few nods with the camera, the only way to let her know what you need her to do is to open doors, turn off security systems and turn on lights to get her attention. It really is an interesting system that takes a little getting used to, but is a nice change of pace when compared to the standard adventure game that comes out.

But you aren't completely limited to indirect play in this game. There are many occasions where Lea will prove unable to control robots and you will have to take over. Unfortunately, your view is still restricted to the cameras, so while you will actually be moving these mechanicals manually, you won't be seeing things from their perspective, but still have to mess with the camera system. The other action you will be doing a lot of is digging through personnel files and uncovering the events that led up to this game's mysterious opening.


The Experiment's different style of gameplay takes a good bit of getting used to, but besides this bit of learning curve, the game is very standard as far as difficulty when compared to most other adventure games. I found that there was a good mix of puzzles that were uniquely The Experiment and would only come about because of the style of gameplay it presents. Very early in the game, Lea will find a door that she cannot open, and you have no control over from your security desk. Where most games might have you search for a key or some way to pry it open, here, you can scout ahead for her and turn on a camera in the next room. You will find a man blocking the door. By turning on the camera, he gets scared and runs away - while the puzzle itself isn't that different from most adventure games, the solution to it just wouldn't work out the same in those other titles.

Game Mechanics:

The biggest game mechanic that The Experiment presents is this second-person style gameplay and how it affects the way you actually solve problems. Besides the manual control over the various robots and the need to hack into security files, you are more or less restricted to the sidelines in this game, but because you have semi-control of the buildings Lea is in, you can tell her what you want her to do by turning on lights in a hall for her to walk down, opening doors you want her to go though and so on. If you want her to notice a particular item in a room, flip on the lights over it so she will go up to it and examine them. In a sense, when compared to other adventure titles, you are playing the role of the game and not the character. In those other titles, lights turning on and doors becoming unlocked are things you notice and act upon and are triggered by the game, while the tables are turned in The Experiment.

I had a lot of fun playing this game, and while the story was pretty interesting, it wasn't what kept me going back to it. Unfortunately the novelty of the gameplay style does eventually run low, so I would only recommend this game to the most hardcore of adventure fans.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 800 MHz Pentium 3, 64 MB of RAM, 64 MB Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c, DirectX 9.0 Compatible Sound Card

Test System:

Alienware Aurora m9700 Laptop, Windows XP Professional, AMD Turion 64 Mobile 2.41 GHz, 2 GB Ram, Duel NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS 256MB Video Cards, DirectX 9.0c

Windows Ghost in the Sheet Nintendo Wii Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors

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