Remember all the fun you had with Chronoquest some two years ago, clicking your magnifying glass on every single pixel of every single screen just in case you missed examining something vital to the completion of the adventure? Well, it's a pixel-clicking time again with the release of the (well overdue) Chronoquest II.
After the fun and frolics you've had travelling through a spatio-temporal universe in your dad's time machine (Explora), all you want to do now is get some kip. Unfortunately, as you attempt to travel back to your own time, a disorder in the temporal turbines of Explora disturbs the teleportation phase and you're catapultedd to an era not of your choosing.
In fact you end up on the deck of a ship. Explora is with you and her reactor is devoid of the necessary metal to fuel her, rendering her unable to take you anywhere. You soon realise your task is to find sufficient metal to enable a safe passage back to your own time.
You can only go one way from the ship's deck and that's to the shore. But a bit of beachcombing soon reveals an anchor (the things these sailors leave behind!) which looks like yummy food for a hungry time machine. Unfortunately (again), the anchor is only sufficient to take you so far forward in time... the plot thickens.
Chronoquest II is fully icon-driven and is claimed to be very user-friendly... it is. All actions involve pointing and clicking which, until you begin to progress in the game, gets a little tedious. However, once you get into the swing of things the game's technicalities become secondary to the well-thought-out plot.
The screen basically comprises two windows: a large upper window displays location graphics while the lower one features acton icons and text messages. Icons include get, drop, give, examine, listen - vocal synthesis of non-player characters is featured but may be turned off to reduce disk swapping - advance and retreat. Graphics are excellent, especially the full-screen pictures which herald different time zones, rendering barely adequate FX and music dull by comparison.
There are one or two oddities such as the inclusion of an obect described as 'a anchor' and the reply 'But what did he says' when you try an incorrect action. And it's a good job text accompanies the vocal synthesis of characters because they're difficult to understand at times, especially the Musketeers.
During my first half an hour with Chronoquest I have to admit I had my doubts, it all seemed very odd and I managed to get nowhere very quickly. But slowly (I'm not the man I was!) - pennies dropped and the game opened out to show itself to be at least as good as its predecessor.