I recently enjoyed playing J.U.L.I.A. Among the Stars, a computer game designed by a two man Indie team who trade as CBE Software.
As I have grown bored with playing the ho hum, not another supernatural themed adventure game, J.U.L.I.A. was a refreshing change of scene and is a Science Fiction adventure set aboard a Space Probe circling a distant solar system.
When the game opens, only one member of the original extensive crew remains. This is Rachel Manners, a young astrobiologist, who is wakened from cryo sleep by the probe’s onboard AI, named Julia, to assist in repairing the craft after it had been severely damaged in a meteoroid storm.
After repairing the Probe, it is time to wonder what happened to the rest of crew and this involves sending the third character, a huge reconnaissance robot called Mobot, to explore the various planets in the solar system.
Gradually the fate of the missing crew members is revealed as each planet is explored.
It’s an engaging, fun game with unusual puzzles that involve building circuit boards to upgrade Mobot’s capabilities, and hacking into the data pads of the missing crew.
Rachel Manners I found to be somewhat naive, and slightly annoying, the AI Julia being a far wiser being than she.
Julia’s influence and independence of mind becomes clear as the game progresses. In some ways she has a sharper moral conscience than the human Rachel.
I’ve just started on another game called Goetia, where you play a confused ghost roaming around a large mansion. The graphics are gorgeous and the game so far is quite intriguing. It’s available on Steam for a reasonable price.
At least, playing computer games is one way of whiling away the time during the – yawn – election campaign and a distraction from the winter chill.