Indigo Prophecy Review

You awake from a dream-like daze to find that you’ve just murdered a stranger and that you’re in imminent danger of being caught at the scene of the crime. Sounds a lot like the cult classic Dark City to me (a great movie, by the way), but in this case the opening scene is in Indigo Prophecy. The challenge in Indigo Prophecy is to find out what happened and why, while avoiding the police determined to put you behind bars. In an unusual and intriguing twist, you also play as a pair of police officers trying to find the motive (and perpetrator) of the bizarre and seemingly senseless crime. Got your attention yet? Good, because Indigo Prophecy’s strongest point is its storyline and if that doesn’t hook you then you probably won’t enjoy the game all that much.

The police discuss the crime.
Indigo Prophecy is an adventure game, but before you begin to curl up into a fetal position out of fear of slow tedious pixel hunts and endless “I can’t use that here” quotes from your character, let me point out that Indigo Prophecy does a valiant job of trying to move the adventure game into the 21st Century. Sure there are people out there who like doing old school pixel by pixel sweeps of the screen, but even this small sect has to admit that these games don’t translate well to mouse-less systems like the PS2. Indigo Prophecy departs from the traditional adventure game model in a few ways. The first is that conversations are timed. You’ll be presented with several choices of dialog or responses along the top of the screen and must use the right stick to select one of them before a time bar disappears and ends your conversation. You’ll no longer have the luxury of weighing the pros and cons of each response – you’ll just have to go with your gut instinct. I suppose this is sort of the way conversations work in real life, but at least in real life you do not need to read all of your possible responses before speaking. There are also certain action sequences that are timed as well, often when you find the police about to close in on you. These sequences do a good job of creating tension and making you feel some of the pressure from the heat bearing down on you. The problem is that the camera angles and movement controls will be a bigger adversary than the timer, but more on that later.

The game also adds action sequences that resemble games of simon says or may even evoke memories of Dragon’s Lair. At certain times in the game, say when you need to dodge a car that is bearing down on you, two squares will appear on the screen that represent the right and left sticks. Sides of the squares will flash and when they do you must move the corresponding stick in the direction of the flashing side. Complete the sequence and your character succeeds in whatever he was trying to do. Another mechanism is used for action sequences that involve pushing or pulling things. You’ll need to alternate pressing the right and left triggers rhythmically in this case. It’s not hard to do but can induce a little finger fatigue in the lengthier cases. Neither of these types of sequences will make you feel that you’re actually in an action game, but they work well enough in making you feel more involved in what is essentially an interactive movie.