It Came from the Desert

DOS game, 1990

1st-person, Top-down
Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Detective / Mystery

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It Came From The Desert is a riveting action-adventure game released in 1990, drawing inspiration from the 1950s B movie craze, particularly the 1954 mutant-ant film Them!. Developed by Cinemaware, the game is recognized as one of their most outstanding creations, skillfully blending strategic thinking with intense action sequences.

In the game, players step into the shoes of the town's geologist in Lizard Breath, charged with the daunting task of uncovering the mysterious occurrences unsettling the town. The gameplay is structured around making decisions through a multiple-choice interface, presenting players with various actions and locations to explore, including town buildings, farms, mines, an airport, and even a drive-in theatre. With time rapidly ticking away, players must make swift and strategic choices to progress.

As the investigation unfolds, players encounter the formidable threat of large, mutant ants lurking on the town's outskirts. Combat is inevitable, and players must arm themselves with a handgun, an inexhaustible supply of grenades, and bug spray for aerial assaults. Familiarity with the movie Them! proves advantageous in battling the ants, but even newcomers to the genre can rely on valuable hints gathered from interactions with Lizard Breath's townsfolk.

While the game may initially appear straightforward, it boasts a wealth of variations based on the player's decisions. The narrative unfolds dynamically, offering numerous confrontations beyond the ant encounters. Players might find themselves in a knife fight, fleeing across the desert from a swarm of giant ants, or engaging in a high-stakes game of chicken on the highway against local troublemakers.

It Came From The Desert excels in its presentation, featuring impressive graphics, a dynamic soundtrack, and an immersive atmosphere that truly captures the essence of action-adventure gaming. The game is a testament to Cinemaware's innovative approach to game development and stands as a must-play title for fans of the genre.

In a generous move, Cinemaware released It Came From The Desert as freeware in 2001, inviting a new generation of players to experience this classic game. This gesture not only cements the game's legacy but also pays tribute to one of the most innovative developers of the time. For those seeking a blend of strategy, action, and cinematic storytelling, It Came From The Desert is a compelling and unforgettable adventure.

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