Thursday, September 6, 2012

Let's Play: LOOM

Most adventure gamers have played the big ones from Lucas Arts and Sierra. King's Quest, Space Quest, Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle. The oldies but goodies that spawned franchises and became popular in the general public. However, a few games never gained the same sort of notoriety or love that these franchises did, and one damned good game that doesn't get brought up enough is LOOM.
Partly inspired by the ballet Swan Lake, with music to match, LOOM is a Lucas Arts classic that defies the rest of the Lucas Arts catalog. Rather than a whimsical, humorous adventure full of inventory puzzles and snarky dialogue, LOOM is actually a quite serious fantasy story. Limited by the technology of the era, it still managed to develop a rather dark fantasy with serious overtones and a threatening antagonist.
In it, Bobbin Threadbare lives among the Weavers guild. A group of mystics capable of weaving reality using musical tones, the story is set on Bobbin's 17th birthday. On that day, the guild is transformed into swans that depart through a rift in reality, forcing Bobbin to chase after them. In good adventure game fashion, there are a number of puzzles he'll have to solve along the way, but not in the traditional method.
Instead of combining inventory items, various environmental puzzles have to be solved by playing the correct notes and "weaving" reality. For instance, if you have a song to twist something and need to untwist a bottle top, you would play the song backwards. That would "untwist" the bottle top. In another instance, if you needed to paint something a certain color, you would play the notes that would dye the fabric. Playing the notes backward would undye it.

Along the way, you travel through a fantastic realm full of guilds. Glassmakers guilds, Shepherds, Guilds, Smithies guilds and Cleric Guilds all fill this wonderful world of brilliant art and fantastic characters. Though the technology limited the sort of depth you could get out of the characters you would meet, a proper, somewhat tragic story was still told in which Bobbin crossed the world looking for his lost family and answers behind his birth. Thankfully, the game is now available here on Steam, in the CD version that included full voice acting and higher definition graphics.

However, if you're just looking for a good Let's Play to see the story unfold, please feel free to check out my videos and my YouTube channel for lots of Let's Play goodness.

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