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Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.4

Nostradamus - The Last Prophecy
December 6, 2010 | Ted Bade

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Book Nook

Mac OS X: 10.4 | CPU: Intel or PowerPC G5 processor running at 1.6 Ghz | RAM: 512 MB

Coladia's Nostradamus - The Last Prophecy is a beautifully rendered and intriguing murder mystery game set in the mid 1500’s, during the time of the famous Nostradamus. You take the role of Madeleine, the daughter of Nostradamus as you take part in this adventure. Wonderful graphics, an interesting story line, and challenging puzzles all make this a game well worth the time spent playng,

The story begins with Queen Catherine de Medici visiting Nostradamus to ask his help. Members of her party are dying and it appears to be related to a curse that was foretold in one of Nostradamus' quatrains. He agrees to help her but claims to be feeling poorly, so asks if he can send his son, Cesar in his stead. The Queen agrees. Cesar is far away on a trip, so Nostradamus convinces his daughter, Madeleine, to take Cesar’s place and investigate the deaths. So, you figure out how to imitate Cesar and the story begins.

Typical of an adventure game of this genre you move about, find objects, uncover clues, and gather information related to the tale. Because the scenery is so well done, I found it fun investigating the scenery and collecting objects needed for the game. I was impressed with the “feel” the scenery images portrayed. Not static images, but images live with background activity, smoke curling from a fire, rats moving around, grasses waving in the breeze. I did notice a lack of humans roaming about the background. People only appear in the scenery when they need to or can be interacted with. You don’t see people moving in the background. An explanation for this fact is the town is going through a period of plague, so people are hiding in their homes. While this is plausible, I am sure it helped keep the game production costs down. However, the lack of background people is only a minor issue and the game is still a lot of fun.

As you proceed through the game world you are faced with many different puzzles and tasks that range from complex to simple. Some of the more complex ones require a bit of research on the Internet or a good walkthrough! Examples of this include figuring out how to organize Astrological constellations and planets for an Astrology chart, or relating constellations in a painting to their names and symbols, and then applying the information to unlock a lock. For the most part, the information you need to resolve the puzzle is provided in the game, but solving the puzzle can require a bit of thought, some historical knowledge, and an ability to piece together diverse clues. There are other less troublesome tasks, including a number of recipes for both food and potions. The recipes are either given to Madeleine, located prominently where they are needed, or easily figured out. Nostradamus’ study has a shelf stocked with a large variety of ingredients, along with the tools needed for preparing these items. Of course, there are some ingredients you will have to locate elsewhere in the world. This is all typical fare for this type of game. The Last Prophecy does a good job of providing clues and leading the player in the right direction.

Gameplay is a bit linear, in that you need to complete a set of tasks before certain events are triggered and the game progresses. However, there is no particular order the tasks in the set need to be completed to trigger the event. The game story is divided into days. You complete the tasks of the “day”, then go home and sleep. You don’t get to the end of the day scene unless you complete the necessary tasks. If you need to figure out what is still needed to be accomplished, check the journal, it includes a list of things to do for the current day, lines are drawn though the tasks as they are completed.

This game makes use of its journal to keep track of many aspects of the game. Important parts include a list of the deaths that have occurred (including important clues about these events), the text of conversations you have had, as well as the recipes and instructions you have learned. Additionally, most clues you find in the form of written notes or examinations of dead bodies, are kept in the journal, usually a diagram and some text. More involved tasks like horoscopes and deciphered texts are also kept in the journal. This is useful in case you need to (and your probably will), refer back to things you did earlier in the game. The journal also includes access to your inventory.


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