Engineering Jones and The Time Thieves of DSPea
for PC (DOS)

Mr Creosote:
Company: Prentice Associates / Harris Semiconductor
Year: 1991
Genre: Puzzle
Theme: Promotional / Science Fiction
Language: English
Licence: Freeware
Views: 9167
Review by Mr Creosote (2016-07-31)

Archaeology is the search for fact […] So forget any ideas you've got about lost cities, exotic travel, and digging up the world. We do not follow maps to buried treasure, and “X” never, ever, marks the spot. Seventy percent of all archaeology is done in the library. Research. Reading.

Indiana Jones put it like this to his students, of course only to prove at least to the audience in front of the silver screen that none of it is true in the 100 minutes that followed. Engineering Jones could be interpreted as a similar attempt to make another line of work which traditionally isn't regarded as particularly adventurous more appealing.

The interesting twist: unlike most promotional games, this one explicitely aims at an audience of people who are already engineers. Apparently, it was Harris Semiconductor's attempt to make technical decision makers in other companies aware of their products, which isn't even such a bad move if your product is not directly intended for the consumer market. 25 years later, this aspect should be rather irrelevant; the legendary product features advertised in the game don't sound all that impressive anymore for obvious reasons. Well, in any case, I am an electrical engineer, just like the protagonist, so this should qualify me at least a bit to evaluate this game.

Engineering Jones is set in a dark future, in which Harris' products have been pirated and driven from the market. Of course, this caused the world to tumble into chaos. Time cop Engineering Jones (it's actually supposed to be a name…) has to set things right again.

Gameplay-wise, it presents itself as a rather generic three-dimensional maze game. Since locations all look rather samey, be ready to draw a map. That drawing, however, is rather the only activity really akin to real engineering work found in the game. Locations of interest will either reveal some clues about the thieves (presented in technobabble which isn't quite as unfounded as usual, but still rather comical) or trigger a small arcadey puzzle challenge.

This is all not too badly made, but also not too interesting, either. Certainly, there are much worse ways to waste your work time, but also much better ones. And E. Jones (the character) will get on your nerves soon enough with his pseudo coolness…

Comments (4) [Post comment]

I'm sure at this pace you will nail the rest of it in a week :)