NiBiRu: Age of Secrets (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Monday, September 26, 2005

Graphics: 8.00
Sound: 6.50
Gameplay: 7.50
Replays: 7.00

NiBiRu is a new adventure game from the makers of The Black Mirror, Future Games. You play as Martin Nolan, who is sent to investigate a mysterious World War II era mine. This leads to a thrilling tale of murder, mysterious Nazi secrets, as well as the secrets of the Mayan civilization. While the game isn’t perfect, it is still a fun and atmospheric adventure nonetheless.

One thing that you may notice is that this game does resemble The Black Mirror. This is because both games do use a similar graphics engine, which has been built to allow for lower minimum system requirements, allowing more players to get into the game. All of the pre-rendered environments look great, whether you are exploring a dark mine or going through one of the other various locales. If there is one complaint though, it would be that the environments don’t have enough motion to them when compared to some of the other recent adventure games. However, what’s here does look fairly nice. Another complaint would have to be the subtitles, it becomes apparent that they could’ve used another week or two grammar and spell checking them.

Background music definitely helps with the atmosphere, as it is typically very light except at relatively tense moments or during moments of major plot lines. However, the voice acting doesn’t really help the atmosphere that much. I understand that the developers were trying to replicate the accents of each particular area, but it isn’t always convincing. In general, the voice acting ranges from average to bad, and while it doesn’t always pull you out of the experience, it doesn’t exactly help it either.

One thing that the game has going for it are the puzzles. Most of them involve inventory combination and simple logic, which I happen to like. Although you may get stuck on some of the later puzzles, none of them feel out of place with the particular event happening at that time. Everything flows cohesive and makes sense, which is exactly how the puzzles in any good adventure game should be.

All of the locales in NiBiRu are interesting, and you will visit quite a few of them throughout the course of the game. Martin will start out in Prague, and end up traveling through parts of France, Mexico, and many other places. Each location is absolutely stunning and contains a lot to see. Although some parts are more exciting than others (after all, some parts are more or less fetch quests for certain people), but they all build up the overall story.

If you can put up with the mediocre voice acting, NiBiRu is an intriguing adventure that has a lot more than meets the eye. The story is interesting and the puzzles are logical, and even though the game isn’t all that long compared to other genre favorites, it’s a good game nevertheless. While it isn’t perfect, it certainly is memorable.

Overall Rating: 7.50

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