I have fond memories of playing Titanic Adventure Out of Time from my childhood. Released back in 1996, this point and click adventure developed by CyberFlix thrusts you back in time to the night of her tragic sinking where you race against time to change the course of history whilst ensuring your own survival. I was thrilled when I stumbled across it on the GOG store but is it as good fun now as it was twenty-two years a go?
All aboard the Titanic
You play a British secret agent who wakes up aboard the Titanic after his flat is bombed during the London blitz. He has a chance to redeem himself after failing a mission on the Titanic some thirty years previously. As soon as the basic gameplay is explained to you by your steward he hands you a map of the ship and away you go.
The Titanic has been accurately recreated by the developers and is easily one of the highlights of the game. As you explore your surroundings you can easily appreciate how large and pioneering the ship was for her time. There is an option in the main menu to go on a guided tour of the ship. This allows you to explore the ship and have the characters from the main game talk to you at various landmarks with information about the ship and the sinking. The first class lounge, grand staircase and turkish baths showcase the luxuries available to the upper classes and are in contrast to the rather plain third class cabins. It is easy to get lost as you wonder around trying to get from one part of the ship to the other, even with the map you are provided with at the start of the game. One of the benefits of this map is that you can click on certain parts of the map and jump to that area without having to manually trek through the labyrinth of corridors and stairwells.
Navigating this vast ship is done with the keyboard while the mouse is used to interact with the environment, as per other point and click games. At times it can be a bit cumbersome moving around, especially if there’s a specific area you want to move to. You are unable to move freely around an area and are restricted to set points. As a result you might find yourself having to retrace your steps in order to move to where you want to go because of the pathway designs. However this is more of a minor annoyance and does not make the game unplayable. If anything it is just another charm that comes with playing old games. Modern game mechanics are so well polished now that when you go back and play older games you realise by how much things have improved.
Iceberg, right ahead
Most of the game can be played at your own pace up until the Titanic hits the fatal iceberg. From then on it is a race against time to complete your mission and escape the Titanic before she sinks. This time restriction adds to the tension and urgency of the situation. The game has multiple endings depending on how many of your objectives you manage to complete before the ship sinks. There are different ways these objectives can be achieved which means you can restart the game and play it differently to how you did before. In doing so you can unlock alternative paths in the story which adds to its replay value. However it is a good idea to save regularly as time to time I would unexpectantly find myself in sticky situations that I would fail to come out from. If you have played any of the old Sierra adventure games you will understand the frustration of unexpectantly dying and then realising you last saved the game many moons ago. There is no auto save here!
If you missed this game when it first came out and are a fan of point and click adventures I would definitely recommend giving this a try. Am I looking at this game through rose-tinted nostalgia glasses? Maybe a little bit, mainly due to the animations and one or two of the voice actors, but it does not detract from the game itself and it is great fun to play. If you are interested in the Titanic even just exploring the ship is enjoyable due to the amount of work that was put into recreating the ship accurately. You cannot explore every part of the ship but you can still wander around and get lost by going around in circles. Titanic Adventure Out of Time is less than £5 to purchase on GOG/Steam so it won’t be breaking the bank either.