Doomsday - Lost Echoes.

The Amstrad/Schneider CPC passed me by back in the day because I was a classic German player and had fallen for the C64. In the last few years I noticed that there’s still an active development scene around the device with the crispy yellow-blue UI. Last year, the text adventure Doomsday: Lost Echoes by the homebrew studio Doomsday Productions, which consists of the developer Alberto Riera and the pixel artist Daniel Castaño, was published to much praise. I probably read about it for the first time in Boris Kretzinger’s wonderful Kilobyte magazine, but I forgot it once again. Only a few weeks ago I came across news again, downloaded the free download and played it on WinAPE 2.

The game starts with the story of our alter ego named Mike, who as a roving deserter, accepts the dubious task of uncovering the disappearance of a crew member on the deserted space station Regus. So we fly to the station and meet them orphaned as expected.

Lost Echoes is controlled via a very capable text parser, which is a simplified and forgiving entry system, so that players are less likely to get stuck on an exact entry. Example: “cutter” instead of “discharged laser cutter” or to “get cutter and use it on wall“.

The upper part of the screen is occupied by an atmospheric pixel view of the current location. Color-reduced, structured, stylish. Due to the reduced representation, one feels like their in a threatening situation after a very short time with one’s own imagination on board the Regus.

We get straight into it shortly after arrival, because now we are inside of the station, we’re quickly trapped there in a damaged space suit. Emergency power is on, most of the doors are closed and locked. The search for clues begins.

In many respects, Lost Echoes is a fair game. The puzzles for the most part are logical and can be solved with a little thought and perseverance. But in a few of them my toenails curled up. At least for me it took a while until I realized that you should push and pull on almost everything you read in the text. Like the entire presentation, the texts remain short and concise. The game is based on the principle: ”A picture says more than a thousand words.”

As we progress we also encounter monsters and cyborgs, but most of them do not pose much of a threat to us. Most of the time we spend solving puzzles, searching for objects and running from A to B. The game doesn’t have a realtime component like in some of the classic big Infocom titles. You will not miss anything if you are not present in a particular room at step 50. This leads to a more linear gaming experience, but takes some complexity out of the game.

All in all, I can only warmly recommend the excursion to the Regus to anyone with a taste for a classic text-adventure experience. The pixel graphics clearly loosen up the texts and the atmosphere fits right up to the end. At least I’m hoping for a sequel.

Available from Polyplay

  • 7/10
    Gameplay - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
7/10

Summary

All in all, I can only warmly recommend the excursion to the Regus to anyone with a taste for a classic text-adventure experience. The pixel graphics clearly loosen up the texts and the atmosphere fits right up to the end. At least I’m hoping for a sequel.

RETURN Magazine Writer; Retrogame-Enthusiast on Pico-8, C64, CPC, Amiga, DOS; personal Retrogaming-Blog

Daniel Cloutier

RETURN Magazine Writer; Retrogame-Enthusiast on Pico-8, C64, CPC, Amiga, DOS; personal Retrogaming-Blog