Commodore User1st July 1989
Published in Commodore User #71
Deja Vu II: Lost In Las Vegas
When the original Deja Vu was first released on the Macintosh, its software technology caused quite a sensation. Two more games in the same format followed, Shadowgate and Uninvited, and now a sequel to the original has arrived.
Deja Vu II uses the full windowing capabilities of the Amiga, and play is almost 100% by mouse. Word icons are used to enter command verbs, and the picture and/or a graphical representation of a carried object is used to complete the command. Click on EXAMINE, and then click on an object in the picture, and a description of it is displayed in the text window. More common verbs like TAKE or DROP are executed by simply dragging the required object from picture into an INVENTORY window and vice versa.
The verb OPEN, used in conjunction with a container, opens up a window showing the contents of the container. So, for example, to get something out of your wallet, you first 'open' your trousers, revealing the wallet, and then open the wallet. Items can similarly be transferred between the various container windows that are currently open. These windows can be treated exactly like any other window - they can be sized, 'fulled', scrolled and dragged to any position on the screen.
Moving about is done by double clicking either on an exit shown in the picture, or on a mini plan view of the room in which exits are highlighted. If the exit isn't open, the first double click on it will open it - provided that it isn't locked.
If that isn't enough, there is extensive animation within the picture. But, disappointingly, on the Amiga there is n sound - and the digitised sound of a railway station, with steam trains arriving, and porters shouting 'all aboard!' is sadly absent in comparison with the Atari ST version. The Amiga picture, too, when using a TV, is of poorer quality than that on the ST, and the window titles are very indistinct.
But what of the game itself? You're Ace Harding, back again after being cleared of the murder of Joey Siegel. This time you're being chased by mobster Tony Malone over a little matter of $112,000 of his cash - cash which Siegel hasn't accounted for at the time of his demise. Malone suspects you have it, and gives you just one week to get hold of it and pay up, or else... And just to make sure he doesn't lose track of you, he assigns Stogie, one of his heavies, to keep a watchful eye on your movements.
At the start you find yourself in a dingy hotel room in Las Vegas, and soon reach the conclusion that a visit to Chicago would be a good idea. The local train service is quite frequent but unfortunately costs money. Let's hope you get lucky - or wise - in the casino!
Deja Vu II is a worthwhile but not an easy game. How can you get past the morgue attendant, for example? To what use can you put the hidden secrets you uncover in Joe's Bar? Attention to detail and perseverance are needed to progress through the story, but will prove rewarding and result in an entertaining and enjoyable adventure.