Maupiti Island (video game)
|Platform(s)||Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS|
Maupiti Island is a French computer game created in 1990 by Lankhor. It is a point and click adventure game similar to Mortville Manor, its predecessor. The player assumes the role of a detective attempting to solve a crime by interacting with various characters and collecting clues while further events unveil a complex plot.
In 1954, Jérôme Lange, the detective already featured in Mortville Manor is on a trip to Japan from Madagascar, when a hurricane forces his boat on anchor in a tiny colonial outpost in the Indian Ocean.
Like Mortville Manor, the game featured mostly static graphics (by Dominique Sablons) with ambient digitized sounds (by André Bescond), speech synthesis (by Béatrice Langlois) and a point and click interface with numerous menus for actions and movements.
Time was simulated, moving around the island or purposely waiting would make it pass. Events as well as the presence of the islanders in various locations occurred according to a timed script. Depending on his actions, the player could either witness bits of the ongoing plot directly, or question the characters later on about the new turn of events. The player could also occasionally find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in a virtual period of time spent unconscious, or a nasty and early end to the game.
Interaction was achieved through a large list of possible actions, both with objects found on the various scenes, and with characters whom the player had to question, threatening or bribing them if necessary, so as to learn about their whereabouts, their relations with the other inhabitants, or elements of the story. Their attitude toward Jérôme Lange would vary from friendly to hostile, sometimes forcing the hero detective out of Maupiti and causing the game to end if he would behave too rudely.
Coupled with a system that was anything but linear - the player was given complete freedom -, critical parts of the plot that were easy to miss, and with a complex story to boot, the player could easily be left wondering what to do next. Many attempts from scratch were needed to complete the game and fully understand fine details of the plot imagined by Sylvian Bruchon.
Sukiya, also by Lankhor was to be a sequel to Maupiti Island and the adventures of Jérôme Lange started in Mortville Manor. The story was to take place in Japan, and was meant to feature a playing interface similar to Maupiti Island's. However, the game was never released due to financial difficulties within the company and low sales of their latest adventure game Black Sect. Sukiya was seemingly in an advanced stage when the decision to interrupt development was made.