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I just finished another "Space Quest " fan game. "Vohaul Strikes Back" is a game made be the same people who made "Incinerations." It's not as good as "Incinerations", but still good. The good about this game is that the backgrounds is beautiful. The pictures for the ice planet are just gorgeous. Most of the music is great; I especially loved that they did "Space Quest 3" music over the end credits with upgraded technology. Most of the puzzles are really good. There are some enjoyable characters in this game, whether they be new friends you make or stupid enemies. There's also some emotional moments, when some of your new firneds get captured and forced to work for their (and your enemy).

The negatives: The storyline. Specifically bringing back Vohaul a 3rd time. Vohaul's been done. Come up with new villains for crying out loud. I'd be more interested in a crappy new villain than a 3rd Vohaul game. Although "Incincerations" brought back Vohaul a 4th time, he wasn't the main villain of that game so they get a pass for that.

The character sprites. The sprites for Roger and Beatrice were pretty bad. The sprite for Vohaul was REALLY bad. "Incincerations" had better sprites for all of them. The "Incinerations" sprite for Roger was possibly my favorite sprite ever for him.

A couple of Guide Dang it puzzles. I know I said most of the puzzles were great, but a couple of them were stupid. There's a puzzle where you have to make a ghost out of a vaccuum cleaner and flashlight (and there's not even a hint anywhere that you have to do this silly thing). There's another puzzle where you have to use a penguin as a snowboard. "Incinerations" had no Guide Dang it Puzzles.

No points. "Incineration" had a point system. Not only that, but it had achievements and gave you incetives to get all the points. It even gave you an inecntive to do a playthrough where you get as few points as possible. VSB does none of these things, and thus lacks the replayability that Incinerations had. Adventure games are low on replayability, so they should have done more with this.

Overall though, a very good game. 8/10.

But if you have to pick one fan-game of Space Quest, I'd recommend Incinerations.
Post edited March 12, 2017 by cbingham
I played Vohaul Strikes Back when it was released in 2012 and I haven't had the chance of replaying it a second time, so memories of that game have kind of faded away, and I haven't had the chance to play more than the first chapter of Incinerations so I can't really compare both.

That being said, I remember having a blast with it, the game was hilarious, not the same kind of humor as that of Space Quest IV, but I recall several moments that had me laughing to tears, and by the end of the game I was going out of my way to use every icons on every little things in every screens and doing all the wrong actions in the wrong order because those led to so many funny moments.

I don't recall having problems with the sprites, nor problems with the puzzles because at some point I started to use everything on everything, not in hope that it would solve puzzles but because I loved the writing and hoped it would result in funny moments, and I probably preemptively solved some puzzles that way. I didn't have problems with the lack of replayability because adventure games aren't really known for their replayability anyway, nor problems with them reusing Vohaul because the premise of the game was not so much "serious business", nor attempting to create a love letter to the Sierra games of the golden years, but just going for humor and poking fun at itself and the series, kind of like Austin Powers or Monkey Island.

I also liked the multiple endings, the Paragon ending with an additional chapter with more puzzles to wrap up the game and the series with more funnies, but also the simple, serious Renegade ending that segue into Chris Ushko's (their background and sprite artist) solo fan sequel, Space Quest Incinerations, I thought it was ways cool that they included an ending to fit with Incinerations, when those two games got released in the same month, it felt like waiting for the release of a fan made Space Quest VII to happen and get both Space Quest VII and VIII at the same time, plus the remake of Space Quest II.

But yeah, definitively a great game and a must play for any Space Quest fans, I'll probably end up playing it a second time when I'll be ready to give Space Quest Incinerations another go.
Post edited March 12, 2017 by blueskirt42
I just learned about the other ending. The first time I played, I got the bad ending. I figured Vohaul had spent 3 whole games trying to kill Roger and four whole games trying to destroy the universe (he hired the Sariens for SQ1) so why would you want to redeem him? Oh yeah, and I figured he'd kill you if you tried to redeem him. I didn't know that I had gotten the bad ending or that there was another ending.

But I turns out there's a whole 'nother set of puzzles if you try to redeem him and a better ending that segues well into Incinerations. So it turns out there IS some replayability. That's enough to bump my overall rating of the game to a 9/10. I still think Incinerations is better, but I highly recommend both games.

I do think these games would make a worthy SQ7 and SQ8 and both deserve the titles. I didn't realize the SQ2 remake came out at the same time. What a treat for Space Quest fans.

I hope Chris Ushko and company make more games. I must say I don't get how they got the rights to use Roger Wilco and other SQ characters when Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy didn't.
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cbingham: I hope Chris Ushko and company make more games. I must say I don't get how they got the rights to use Roger Wilco and other SQ characters when Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy didn't.
Just found this thread. Thanks for the kind words! We didn't get any rights, that's mainly why we gave it away free.

Chris has been making his own games as well and he, Frederik and I are working together making games at No More For Today. I'm also separately working with the original Guys from Andromeda on their SpaceVenture. So a lot of (mostly unrelated) games in the pipeline.
Post edited June 22, 2017 by pcjsq
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pcjsq: I'm also separately working with the original Guys from Andromeda on their SpaceVenture.
Not to derail this thread, and I surely don't mean to pester you, but since you revealed yourself to be on the SpaceVenture team, may I ask if a finished product is on the horizon?
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cbingham: I hope Chris Ushko and company make more games. I must say I don't get how they got the rights to use Roger Wilco and other SQ characters when Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy didn't.
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pcjsq: Just found this thread. Thanks for the kind words! We didn't get any rights, that's mainly why we gave it away free.

Chris has been making his own games as well and he, Frederik and I are working together making games at No More For Today. I'm also separately working with the original Guys from Andromeda on their SpaceVenture. So a lot of (mostly unrelated) games in the pipeline.
Oh cool! I did not know that anyone from the team was going to read this. I'll have to check those games out, except I've never heard of any word of the final episode of The Silver Lining being released. Has that been done? I'll say that what I've seen of that game looks great. I'm particularly impressed with the voice actor of Graham. I didn't think anyone could do that voice other than Josh Mandel, but that voice in that game sure sounds a lot like him. Either the actor did a great Josh Mandel impersonation or their voices just sound alike.

Also, I hope I'm not too annoying, but Akago said during his LP of Vohaul Strikes Back and Drakus79 said during his SQ5 LP that there was going to be a voice version of those games and they both said they were going to do at least one of the voices. Is that still happening? For what it's worth Akago did some very good voice work during his LP of the game, and I especially loved his voice for Never Kenezer.