The Space Bar (Boffo Games/Rocket Science, 1997)

Written by Infocom alumnus Steve Meretzky, The Space Bar, while displaying his talent and genius, is not as good as it should have been. Dealing with the a criminal investigation, the game takes on a fractured feeling during the use of its telepathy sequences (or flashbacks) in which different characters' pasts are revealed. Since these have very little to do with each other, and only some of the information is used later (and not always in sensical or imaginative ways), most of the game seems to be somewhat schizophrenic. Though there are some good puzzles in the flashbacks and some excellent ones in the bar (though there should have been more of them), and the game, once it picks up the pace toward the end, does get rather exciting, it still seems like a letdown. In addition, some production problems--generally dealing with too many sounds playing at once--do hamper the enjoyment of the game as well. For puzzle or Steve Meretzky fans, this game is a must. For a serious mystery or science fiction game, though, you should definitely look elsewhere.

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