Anyone who has done some serious maths will tell you that it can be quite magical. Even with the most basic of operations you can do some impressive tricks with astonishing results. It is that feeling of wonder you get, when you finish a long set of calculations that end up with surprising – simple but true – answers which makes people love mathematics. Just think of the flow of solving a problem, that single moment when everything fits together and you see all the connections, and you might know what I mean. And this magic moments is exactly what Junior Arithmancer is all about.
Herbie, the lovable Volkswagen Bug whose whacky adventures everyone has been following in the 60s and 70s, is back on the big screen with 'Fully Loaded'. Haven't seen it, and don't plan to, but I guess it's bad. However, legends can't die, no matter how awful this new version might be. We'll always have the original.
This game bears no relation to Herbie, the car. It's about Herby (mind the spelling), some undefinable creature made of a huge round grinning face and two legs. For some unknown reason, Herby is stuck in some kind of labyrinth, and he (it?) has to escape with the help of the player. The rooms of the maze are rigged with traps (electric walls etc.) which, upon touch, decrease the amount of Herby's lives.
Who is Guybrush Threepwood? It is at this point we are at a crossroad. The ignorant casual player just shakes his head over the nerd, who immediately has an anecdote about his past gaming sessions with the forefather of adventure games on his lips. Because he feels bored by the praise of a pirate who cannot get close to Jack Sparrow anyway. Only exactly this hero caliber arouses the interest of the demanding casual player in the first place. The nerd is already satisfied with the unknown greats of the genre, as long as the game itself lives up to its standards. This leads to the exciting question: Does this title have what it takes to bridge the gap between playing the theme and playing the medium? In general terms: Should hobby detectives increasingly leave the book and the film DVD on the shelf and rather play a round? Or should the pale nerd put the mouse out of his hand in return and consume the performances of the "real heroes" in media of secondary importance to him?