Introduction: Remember those good old parser games like King's Quest 1, Police Quest 1 Leisure Suit Larry, and so forth? Counted among the above games, Space Quest was a very special game that took adventure games to a unique level never attempted before; with humour. What games now-a-days can you name that can make you laugh as much as Space Quest did? Or for that matter, how many games today can make you laugh at all? Space Quest is both clever and funny, and for this it deserves praise. Naturally, this explains the love of its fans.
Space Quest 0: Replicated is a fan-made prequel to the hit title Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter. Space Quest 0: Replicated is one of two fully realized Space Quest Fan Games. Together both games have helped to set a high standard for Fan Adventure Games.
Premise: You start off on the Labion Orbital Station 10 cloning facility. The alarm goes off and you are awoken from your daily closet nap. After a bit of poking around, you find out that you’re the only one left alive on the station. The only one, that is, except for a strange and beautiful woman you find leaving the ship. Naturally, after a few Wilcoesque deaths... er... encounters, you follow her and...
I don’t want to reveal or spoil the game any further if you haven’t played it.
Interface: SQ0 features a parser interface like SQ1EGA, SQ2 and SQ3. The parser is more sophisticated than that in the other parser Space Quest games, allowing more word choices than the older parsers normally would allow. Guessing the word is the only drag with parser, although its potential is otherwise limitless. SQ0 has tons of responses and does not let a player down.
Engine: SQ0 uses the Adventure Game Interpreter (AGI). AGI is available online and can be used to make games similar to those that Sierra did back in the 80s. It’s a simple engine to use and if you have patiance to learn it, fan games like SQ0 and Space Quest 2.5: the Lost Chapter are easily within the realm of possibility. It's used to good effect here.
Graphics: The graphics resolution is 160x200, supporting 16 colours. The graphics in SQ0 meet Space Quest II's standards, and, though old, are quite good for EGA graphics. SQ0 certainly uses all the colours on its pallet to create the lush scenes throughout the game. They are especially good for a game that was made in just a couple of months.
Puzzles: The puzzles in this game get an A. With puzzles that are neither too complex or too easy, SQ0 does an amazing job using creative and interesting puzzles to advance the story. It even offers alternate solutions to some them; something which compliment re-playability.
Plot: Though SQ0 features a semi-unique plot you will see a lot of mirrored scenes from SQ1 and SQ2, such as masquerading as one of the bad guys. That said, the plot is still very new and clever overall. Various tie-ins with SQ2 (such as the real reason Vohaul wanted to take over Xenon with insurance salesmen clones) are great fun and quite humorous. Other plot details have already been mentioned in the introduction.
Characters: The characters used in this game are hysterical (need I mention the Fester look-a-like)? The character personalities were nailed down well with excellent portrait art to compliment them.
Overall: This game gets an 80%; a truly a good game. It's a breath of fresh air for those Space Quest and non Space Quest fans out there. If you haven’t played it, what are you waiting for? SQ0 is freeware and available at the Virtual Broomcloset & Spacequest.net.
(This review is a SQ Omnipedia collaborative effort.)