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   PlanetDreamcast | Features | Previews | Stupid Invaders

Stupid Invaders
Our not so stupid preview of a very stupid game. - by Tren

Stupid Invaders Logo

Ubi-Soft's Stupid Invaders is a new point-and-click adventure game for the Dreamcast. Quite a rare type of console game that's for sure, and definitely the first of its kind on the Dreamcast. Usually point-and-click adventure games aren't given console releases due to the fact the niche PC market of people who love them usually don't own consoles. Thankfully the titles are getting more popular among console owners, with PlayStation titles such as Broken Sword and its sequel contributing to this considerably. Stupid Invaders has the chance to further increase the popularity of the genre, and with the game's combination of graphics, humor, and good ol' adventure gameplay rolled into one, this could be a real winner for Ubi-Soft!

The game takes its premise from a French cartoon called Space Goofs, the original French script for which had to be painstakingly translated into English for the game. The game's stars are five aliens who crash landed onto Earth some years ago. Since crashing they have kept themselves hidden in a mansion while fixing their broken spaceship.

As the spaceship's maintenance nears completion, the aliens hope they'll soon be returning to their homeworld. Unfortunately, an evil scientist called Dr. Sakarine has other plans. Dr. Sakarine collects aliens and performs all kind of weird medical experiments on them. Upon discovering our alien heroes' existence on Earth, he decides he must capture the aliens for his own evil plans. Thus, he sends out his assistant Bolok to capture and return the aliens.

It's up to you to help the five aliens return to their homeworld, while avoiding the evil clutches of Bolok. This takes place through a point-and-click puzzle adventure game set in an amazing looking cartoon world, full of very bizarre humor and equally bizarre puzzles and characters.

Those wacky French, making themselves look all Spanish and such.

Interesting lighting and obtuse objects make the environments anything but typical.

During the early 90's LucasArts, then known as LucasFilm Games, set the benchmark for point-and-click adventure games offering a whole range of titles in the genre. From film licenses such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, to original comic adventure series like Monkey Island, as well as straight out wackiness such as Manic Mansion, the company ruled all aspects of the genre. The company's wackiest but most loved two games of this era are arguably Sam N Max Hit the Road and Manic Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, the latter seems to have been some inspiration for Stupid Invaders' graphic style.

Using a very simplified interface, the basis of Stupid Invaders' gameplay is to solve puzzles either by interacting directly with items on screen in a correct order, by combining items together, or by performing the correct type of action where necessary. The game certainly does not take itself very seriously, and this is mirrored in the puzzles which range from bizarre to very bizarre!

Control in the game is done through pointing and clicking and support for the Dreamcast mouse is included, making the game a much easier to control (it was originally designed for the PC). You take control of each of the five aliens throughout the course of the game: Etno, Gorgeous, Stereo, Bud, and Candy. Each alien has its own distinct character and type of puzzles, which offers varied gameplay from start to finish and also draws further links with Day of the Tentacle, in which the player took control of multiple characters. Unlike Sam N Max, also mentioned previously, Stupid Invaders does not include between character interaction, instead it merely follows each character's individual path to the end of the game.

Haw haw. Lookit the big headed little man!

No, your Dreamcast hasn't had a brown out. This scene is supposed to be mostly black-and-white.

The PC version, now out, is four compact discs in size, so it seems highly likely the Dreamcast release will come on two GD-ROMs. The main advantage the Dreamcast version will have over the PC version is in the installation stakes. Using the Dreamcast's 12X GD-ROM, data can be spooled off the drive very quickly. In order to achieve identical fluidity and speed of loading on a PC a full install of the game is required, which takes up a whopping two gigabytes of hard drive space! As mentioned, thanks to the Dreamcast's reading capabilities, the game allows quick transition between your selection of actions and them taking place on screen. The game also makes good use of cut-scenes to tell the story, and this further increases immersion and the sense of being part of an "interactive cartoon."

The graphics in Stupid Invaders are without a doubt high quality. Ubi-Soft's "Making Of" site on the game shows just how meticulous the process of creating the pre-rendered backgrounds was. Each character's personalities are portrayed through the 3-D animation and the whole game world looks alive. Overall the graphics deserve a heap of praise, and running them through a Dreamcast VGA box boosts the clarity even more!

The oddball sounds, effects, voice and music all help to bring together the zany world of Stupid Invaders. As an audio-visual treat, it does not fail to totally immerse you in its crazy environment, meaning while you may get stuck on a puzzle you certainly won't get bored by the surroundings!

If you are a fan of point-and-click adventure games as well as crazy French humor, this could be just the game for you. Look out for its imminent Dreamcast release and the definitive review here on PlanetDreamcast.

Next: More screenshots!

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