Rude awakening

Barely awake from suspended animation, you sense the ship is about to crash. Your other companion isn’t as lucky; you find him slumped down on the floor, lifeless. Inside the cockpit, the pilot, who also happens to be your captain, is skewered to his seat with a long steel rod, unable to move. The console for steering the ship is blown. Still a bit groggy, you work your way to the other console and try to lift the ship – but it will not cooperate. What do you do?

That is how Morningstar begins.

There’s a lot to like in Morningstar that it seems the better question would be “What’s there not to like?” The game’s graphics were very well-made and polished. There’s enough detail in each location for those who like to explore objects. Some details were also put in to keep the game realistic, which is a nice touch. For instance, most of the game is seen from inside the helmet of the remaining functional member of the team, and to this end the artists incorporated barely noticeable scratches on the helmet’s lens, as well as crosshair lines on the sides.

Yes, He's Still Alive

The introductory and ending animation scenes were spectacular. I found myself watching it over and over while I was checking out different places in the game. There is very minimal animation within the game itself, however. Apart from probably a couple of places, most of the game features static images, which is fine, since the protagonist’s goal isn’t here to fight with hordes of unknown aliens. He’s looking to get the hell out.

Most of Morningstar‘s puzzles are quite easy, but it helps sometimes to be patient especially as there are instances where one needs to figure out which item can be used with another. For those uninitiated to point-and-click games, Morningstar offers a lot of helpful clues in the form of witty dialogues between you and your captain. Of course, if you find yourself stuck somewhere along the game, the game includes a handy link to a walkthrough. It also allows the player to save and load their game from three available save slots, which can be accessed through a menu in the corner.

The music is solid, and it lends a haunting atmosphere to the game. It helped keep me on edge looking for clues what to do while I was playing the game. The voice parts for both the protagonist and the captain were decent and well-acted, but my thinking was, anything that provides clues to what you need to accomplish next has to be heard and read as well.

So what is there not to like, then? A minor bug: at the time that I played, I reached a point where, to avoid spoilers, I had to get over to another part of the land. Setting up the means to reach that part of the land triggered one of my default response soundbites to the captain to be looped over and over, which was a little irritating. When I reached that part where I needed to go, the soundbite stopped, and the problem never recurred. Still, this is a minor bug, and most likely by the time you have played the game, this might already be fixed.

Overall, Morningstar is one of those Flash games that deserve to be played. It contains most, if not all, the merits of a solid adventure game. If you like a good science fiction adventure with puzzles that are challenging enough, and with great visuals to boot, I suggest heading over to Bubblebox and play this game.

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