Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey
Wishbone, the impossibly adorable Jack Russell Terrier who stars in an educational series on PBS, makes his CD-ROM debut with Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey (Palladium Interactive – ages 6-11). The setting is ancient Greece – more specifically, the Greece of Homer’s Odyssey – with Wishbone (and, therefore, the player) assuming the role of Odysseus. The adventure game component of the program requires you to visit eight islands, negotiate puzzles and traps, win battles, and ultimately get home to Ithaca. Your weapons are typical adventure game tools – a hint function, an inventory, the ability to interact with characters you meet, and so on. Graphics are disappointingly flat (Wishbone himself comments on the stark 2D visuals, shortly after getting sucked into the computer in the opening scene) and, once you figure out what to do, the play-action is predictable. Fortunately, the voice characterizations are amusing, for a change, and the educational part of the game comes through without pounding you over the head. There’s also a library section on the disc, which is where the visuals get more elaborate (a shiny virtual lute captivates the eye) and the information gets more in-depth. Sloppy writing, unfortunately, detracts from what is otherwise strong educational content. “Travel by ship was also faster but also dangerous,” the program tells us, and that pretty much wraps up Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey – right in the places that count, but disappointingly executed throughout.
– December 1996