Another World. Fireup DOSBOX and click Run.
For those who remember Another World was released on many platforms but being a PC review site, lets focus on running this on a PC Clone, with a 286 processor, and EGA 15″ screen. Another World didn’t take much to run compared to today’s standards. But for this review, I can play it on my Lenvo Thinkpad with no fuss at all!
Another World is set in the present, where a scientist accidentally beams himself into another universe while running experiments in his underground lab; this universe is seamingly parallel to ours except there are some nasties at every turn. Initially, the game immediately starts with the user’s input as the protagonist (Lester Knight Chaykin) is beamed into a pool of water in which you have to swim up otherwise you sink and get pulled down by black tenticles. Admitidely, I died the first time in this scenario simply because I was getting my bearings. Be rest assured, it didn’t happen again.
Once on the surface, you have the opportunity to look around – and take in the alien landscape. The graphics are a little washed out compared to today’s high-resolution and super-detailed older brothers, but spare a thought it was released on PC way way back in 1992. (notice the nice touches of the mushroom in the foreground?)
The controls are little tricky to get used, left, right, jump, squat, walk, kick, left (or right)+space will run – these all seem straight forward? Wrong! This isn’t like any other platform game out there, if you run into the next screen (that’s right, no rolling, continuous levels here – its one-screen-at-a-time based) you might die at the hands of an alien slug, humanoid guard or a vicous dog-like creatue that wants to eat your face. I moved right to the next screen, its worth noting that the game gradually gets you familiar with the controls like an early tutorial – here, the learning curve is killing some evil black slugs with a massive sharp tooth equipped with deadly poison – much like Madonna(??)
Anyhoo, you kill the slugs, get chased by a black dog and eventually get captured but the guards who throw you in a prison cell. Your cell mate, who you help throughout the game is your companion and will be with you some of the way and other times you’ll be on your own as you explore the alient city you’ve been placed in. What the purpose of the game? Well, to escape from the prison and save your companion silly! You do get a funky hand-gun which is like a fancy laser pistol. It can generate force fields, throw massive bolts of energy at foes and blast the shit out of walls and doors! Becareful, it needs recharging at special stations.
Another World is very hard to master, and caused me to rage-quite a few times and look for cheats. It can get frustrating but leave it and come back to it. Its still a fun game to play even today, not just for nostalgia purposes. Its simplicity and appealing colour palette leaves you satisfied after beating the game. The gameplay relies on thought and skill, and best of all patience. If you blast your way through you’re in for a shock. I still enjoyed playing this game, it still seems “fresh” even by todays standards. I’ve marked it down a little as some levels are ridiculously hard – when a game gets too frustrating and your rage quit, it’s time to walk away. Did I mention checkpoint saving? Yup, there’s no “save” button here, baby – you progress, you get a checkpoint “code” and the distance between checkpoints have seem like an eternity! Once you do clock the game, you will be become flush with Another World goodnes …. try it and see!
There has been many “anniversary” releases of AW, notably in 2011 when it released on iOS devices but I tested running the original V1.0 of the game, true to the 1992 release.
Download DOSBox – for DosBox questions running this game, check out the forums.
Forget it, just use DosBox on anything above PIII and you should be fine!
For a classic, this was the epitome of creative gaming. Gameplay is still fun, the graphics are still enjoyable and interesting. The storyline still engaging and keeps you interested but the difficulty can be frustrating and I was tempted to scour the ‘net for cheat codes (sshhh). If you’ve got a spare hour, go on, get your hands on Another World; for nostalgia sake at least.
Pulled from old 3.5″ floppies – I think it cost around $30 from Myer at the time??