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  In Vitra is an adventure game available for the PC/Steam at £9.99

There are four heroes who you will play/meet in this semi-turn based graphic adventure. To begin with there is Noa. His Grandma has been stgricken by a mysterious illness, a disease that has started to run through the neat and tidy, homely little village where Noa, his parents and Grannie all live. Noa helps his Dad tend the fields behind their house and runs errands for his Mum, one of which is going out of the village to the woods to find some Red Weed/Flowers. This is easy to find as it grows in several places, so Noa, under your control - just like most other animated adventures - trots off (not point and click but Arrow led) to collect some. The idea is to bring it back to his Mother because it has some kind of healing power and hopefully will help his Gran. On the way back enemies appear; these being 2 Boars (in my case, though I believe their appearance and number is random) who arrive on the scene 2D illustrations on a flat background. A box appears that seems to give me several choices: Attack, Guard, Skills, Item, Escape, but hitting any of them other than Attack did nothing at all.

The combat system is poor to say the least. You select Attack and press the space bar. Your character, now also seen as a 2D representation in the left corner of the screen, shudders and flashes and a number appears on one of the Boars. You have no idea how strong these or any enemies are, but your character has a health bar under it. Then the Boars, one at a time, shudder, flash and you take damage in a similar manner. Eventually either you die or one of the Boars dies. If it's you then it's Game Over. If it's a Boar then the fight continues until a result is obtained.

I am not sure what genre you can fit IN VITRA into because it starts out as an animated adventure but then whenever combat arises it becomes a static bore (and I mean "bore" not "boar" in this case). There is a basic story behind the missions and tasks that Noa is set and as he/you progress you meet up with the other characvters who form your "party". The weird thing is, is that when there are two of you in a combat situation and one loses all hit points the other keeps fighting and the "dead" one is blanked out. If the other character wins the fight you then continue the adventure as two characters until another combat ensues, and then it becomes a "dead" blanked out character and a live one again.

I sort of like the game and the artwork on the characters is excellent, plus there are many polaces and buildings they can enter to explore andmany NPC's to chat to, but the combat is a really major part of the game and it gives the impression that there was a deadline to be met and the game had to be launched whether it was ready or not, and this definitely feels half completed. If the combat as is was intentional then in my opinion it was a poor plan to begin with.






© Chris Baylis 2011-2015