Free Lunch Studios

Tom Gordon

Play "Sphere!"

Screen Shot

Here's another Shockwave game (about 580K) from a few years ago... one of my very FIRST projects with Macromedia Director that set a ridiculously high standard for subsequent stuff. Yes, I truly AM a masochist. Of course, you'll need the Shockwave Plug-In (for Netscape or Explorer) to play... download one from Macromedia's FTP site if you don't have it. The Shockwave window will come in at 640 by 480 pixels, so be sure to inflate your browser or else make use of the scroll bars. Unlike my much newer shoot-em-up game "Shepherd" however, THIS jammie WILL run on '030 Macintoshes and 386 Windozers... I know because it was actually CREATED on one of those machines!

High Voltage"Sphere" is an first-person prespective game filled with problem-solving puzzles (in the tradition of the Sierra On-Line and Infocom text/graphical adventures of the past, before the market became flooded with Doom clones) You assume the role of a young scientist in the near future, who has invented a machine that "catches" and converts raw electrical energy (i.e. lightning bolts) to practical use. Unfortunately, as her "electromagnetic collection unit" is publicized, the small, otherwise sleepy town of Lantern is suddenly struck by an inexplicable and extremely powerful thunderstorm that will not cease. Now you have been contracted to build an ECU in Lantern to stem this menace. But as you eventually discover, there is something ELSE causing the storm besides abnormal meterological patterns and colliding temperature fronts: an embittered, forgotten remnant from humanity's prescientific past!

The interface for "Sphere" is very straightforward; there's a textual window that describes what you're seeing or what somebody is saying to you, a point-of-view window full of animation that actually SHOWS what you're looking at, an "inventory" window that fills up as you pick up objects, and a control pad to move you north, south, east, west and fire weapons (if you HAVE them, of course.) But here's some helpful tips when you begin playing:

1. This is super, ultra important! When the game starts, do NOT walk north into the storm-ravaged wastelands! You will immediately get lost and probably be killed by a powerful lightning bolt in miserably short order. Even if you take appropriate "precautions" they'll be ineffective against the electrical death residing outside the town. Yes, there IS another way out of Lantern... but you better make sure you're "prepared" when you go!

2. Search anything noteworthy in the point-of-view window or the inventory window by clicking with the pointer. Doing so with people will usually make them talk. Read the text descriptions for any clues. There may be things that you can pick up or other information you may discover.

3. Keep in mind that certain events will NOT occur unless you have something that corresponds to that particular function (i.e. you can't hit fire a gun without having a bullet, etc.) Above all, stick around and WATCH things. "Sphere" has a few little "Easter eggs" that serve no real purpose, but make the gameplay a little more interesting by fomenting an "atmosphere."

Have fun!