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Deja vu


perihelion has written 6 additional reviews

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Written by perihelion

October 17, 2003


This is one of the big three, as far as I was concerned. The other two being Uninvited and Shadowgate. Three graphical adventure games that felt really good and cool, each one with it’s own strength. In retrospect though, all three pretty much suck, however not compared to other adventure games of their times. Does it show I’m not all that fond of adventure games? I’ll try to be fair.

When ICOM made this for the IBM, it was in a way a milestone. At the time most adventures were text driven, Sierra had just released King’s Quest 1, and we all know what that game is like (if you don’t know, play it; it’s part of common knowledge). Déjà Vu however featured mouse support (some poor IBM user’s didn’t even use mouse back then), a graphical interface with multiple windows and drag ‘n drop way before Windows ever got there. On the Atari however, this had already been done so the game wasn’t all that revolutionary.


Pixel painting in it’s earlier days. Each scene features a static picture, there is no animation whatsoever, frame rate depending on how fast you click. The graphics does the job of putting a face to the world though, the pictures are meant more as a support to the text rather than to tell the story on their own (something for Cryo to think about).


No music, only occasional sound effects, not bad ones though. This is more the game were you sit late at night and click away at stuff getting involved in the story line rather than turn up your surround sound.


There are lots of objects to interact with, you can look and touch most of the stuff you see, usually to little effect unfortunately. The whole game engine is really good though, with powerful interaction capability and the coolest thing I ever saw; an auto clean up for your inventory!


The game is driven entirely by story; you wake up with no memory whatsoever. During the game you’ll encounter bits and pieces of what’s happening all told through pretty cool flashbacks. The only problem with this is that the game becomes almost an interactive movie, there are hardly any puzzles and when I played it through I felt that all I did was collect items and read story text. It may be that I remembered too much of it from when I played it as a kid. Perhaps discovering the story is itself a puzzle, and a rather enjoyable ride if you’re into these sort of things.

The game suffers from some horrible things like a certain area that just gets you killed and servers no other purpose, time that runs out, money that runs out (I think there’s a way to solve that problem, but had to replay the game and skip certain areas because my tax money ran out). Still, all in all, it’s worth trying, you’ll pretty soon figure out if you like it or not. This one is an undying classic and classics are classics for a reason!

  • Graphics: 3
  • Sound: 3
  • Gameplay: 8
  • Overall: 4

Review Comments

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Zone Warrior

February 12, 2023 by AtariCrypt

Once again, pesky aliens are giving us Earthlings lots of grief. We previously fought them off but they managed to pinch a time machine so are using that to alter history and wreak havoc by taking crucial hostages from each period in an attempt to halt their influence. From the invention of the wheel in prehistoric times to England's King Arthur uniting Britain! And where would any of us be today without Japan and its technical wizardry? Yep, we cannot allow this - the fight is on!

Son Shu Shi

March 21, 2021 by ST Graveyard

What an accomplishment this game is. Created with such a small team, the result is really amazing. The game oozes creative passion. While the gameplay is really well balanced, it is a tough cookie, very hard from time to time with its moments of sheer frustration. As of level 3, timing becomes key. You will need to practice and learn the levels to complete this game, there are so many bad guys on screen it sometimes gets a bit hard to take.

Blood Money

April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

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