Classic Game Review: The Alpine Encounter

The Alpine Encounter is a graphic adventure game, the first in the IBIDS VODAC Adventure series. Some background information, as well as a telegram from his boss, Freedman, awaits him as he opens the box.

He learns that, at the Imperial Museum in Beijing, two people broke in and stole a vase dating from the first Ming dynasty. Meanwhile, six thousand miles away at a military installation in the Rocky Mountains, a second pair of men sneaked into a secure part of the base, opened a large military safe, and produced a large blue envelope, engraved with “Stealth Missile “. The men escaped from the facility room in a helicopter.

Then he returns to the present with the next message from his boss. You, Agent 456, must immediately fly to ALPENBERG and register at the ski resort. You must then contact Agent 487 regarding VODAC’s involvement in a conspiracy that would give VODAC world domination. Agent 487 is operating undercover as an exchange student at the resort. You have only twelve hours to complete your mission.

When he starts his disk, he is standing in front of the ski resort. First check in at the reception. Otherwise, you won’t be able to wander around the hotel looking for clues (hotel facilities are only available to paying guests). At various points throughout the game, you will come into contact with the main characters. When you meet them, be nice and ask questions. Because, only by interviewing the characters can you hope to find the clues, solve the mystery, and thwart VODAC. For more information, you may want to go to the hotels newsstand and buy a newspaper.

After searching (map) for the hotel, you will probably want to test your skill in the animated ski sequence (you need to ski to complete the game). There is one track for beginners and one for experts (you can choose either at the beginning of the race). This was a nice change of pace that was made more interesting by the fact that you get shot while skiing down the slope.

A short distance down the ski slope, you will reach the ski chalet. You can ski there or be taken there for medical services like I did (I didn’t get too far down the mountain before crashing into a tree). Search the ski chalet and pay special attention to the radio room.

An interesting feature of this game is that your interaction with the characters will affect the plot in some way. The changes seem subtle and tend to change the timing of certain events, but they give the story a bit of the uncertainty found in real life.

An intermediate level game, The Alpine Encounter has detailed graphics similar to other current adventure adventure games. The animated ski sequence fits the plot well. I especially liked the interaction of the characters and the ability for you or the characters to follow each other. Sometimes it felt like there was more than just a computer behind the scenes controlling the action.

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