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Reviewed: RHEM 2
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: October 31st, 2005
Page: 2
Getting the gory details out of the way, like the original RHEM, RHEM 2 is programmed in a combination of Macromedia Flash and Quicktime technologies. While there's nothing wrong with the process, it does have its disadvantages - there's no way to change the visual settings from their default 800x600x32-bit mode, no way to adjust the brightness (which I found to be very low) except with your monitor, and the only "options" elsewhere in the title are to adjust the transitioning between visual slides.

Since it's quicktime, the icons are pretty much standard library stuff - variations on a hand which indicate if movement is possible, objects are interactable, or even able to be picked up. Inventory is kept in a box on the bottom left of the screen, a compass in the bottom center always indicates north, and the options screen to save the game or leave it or reload is a crank-wheel on the bottom right. There are no options for interacting with objects or examining them, just clicking on them to see what they do.

In short, RHEM 2, like RHEM, is an exercise in flailing around until you have a good understanding of what does what, and then trying to solve the puzzle. At this time, I'm willing to say that as devious and fun as the puzzles are, that's my primary complaint with the title. It's also not helpful that the game's focus is on restoring power to various items and consoles, which means that a return to any area may unearth items that previously did not trip the "interact" cursor; inactive items show nothing, rather than an indicator that they need power.

The save system in RHEM 2 limits to 10 saves and marks them in the sequence they were saved, rather than naming them - a nice touch for a single player, but unhelpful if multiple members of a family want to play the game at differing times and keep separate save files. The game also seems to encourage multiple saves, as there are obvious "save spot" type areas with maps on the walls, indicating both a good rest spot and an easy way to get your bearings when you return.

Bottom line: if it were a console title, I'd suggest renting it. At $30, though, it may be worth grabbing off the shelf and giving a test run. Just be aware of the pitfalls if you're an easily aggravated player who doesn't like games that have a certain amount of flailing around. If there were a bigger team involved to program it in something other than Flash/Quicktime, the RHEM series could easily be turned into something spectacular.

Added:  Monday, October 31, 2005
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/3

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