GD Star Rating
Well, whaddya know. The Aztecs had it right all along. You die, take the money you’re buried with, and start out on your four-year trek through the land of the dead. Our hero, Manuel Calavera, is a travel agent for the dead, selling the best travel packages a dead soul qualifies for; after all, why spend four years on a dangerous journey when the Number 9 Express train can get you there in four minutes? Manny’s been in a bit of a slump lately, though, with all the good clients going to his competition. There’s trouble in paradise and Manny needs to untangle himself from a conspiracy that threatens his very salvation. That’s where you come in.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
I liked the game interface. LucasArts chose to keep player interaction with the world pretty simple. In a quick reward for reading the booklet, they even tell you outright that you will not be able to combine inventory items (making it much easier to brute-force a solution if you get desperate). As you approach something with which you can interact, Manny’s head moves to focus on the object. You can then examine it, use it (i.e. pick it up or talk with it) or use an inventory object with it. Pretty basic. There are one or two tight spots where the angle of approach can make it tricky to get from one area to another, and another area where you do have to combine two objects you can pick up (prop item one where you found it, use an inventory item with it, and then pick it up), but all in all, things went pretty smoothly. I particularly liked the option of choosing your frame of reference—either character-relative or camera-relative. I got to love controlling things relative to the character so that I didn’t have to change buttons when my camera angle changed.