Lance Stone: Trouble and the Woz
From PC Comix, Inc. comes Lance Stone: Trouble and the Woz and Lance Stone: Lifeforce. These are billed as “Hypercomics,” which means that they’re like regular comics (with the panels appearing sequentially on your computer screen) with the addition of audio and a few animations. You also have the option, at different times, of choosing various plot paths to follow. There’s a lot to recommend this approach to putting comics on CD-ROM; the frills are all so simple that they don’t detract from the ‘reading’ experience, and the narrative flows smoothly. The story itself, however, is not terribly satisfying. Lance Stone, a “shy, handsome computer programmer” who can also throw a punch, strives mightily to keep a hold on his lifeforce. Evil people strive mightily to take it away. Weirdness, future technologies, and melodrama abound, as do irritating sound effects. There’s enough wit and artistic talent to keep the proceedings from getting tedious too quickly, but there’s nothing here of exceptional quality – in short, nothing that would appeal to people outside a regular comic book audience.
– January 1996
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