Lucas Arts - 1990
Machine: Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, PC, Apple Mac
The Mac and PC games market in the nineties was filled with point-and-click adventures, and many classics are out there like Beneath a Steel Sky and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis but LOOM was different. Although very short and also rather easy LOOM is somehow in a class above the rest.
What makes LOOM so different is the form of its puzzles. In your regular point-and-click you have an inventory of objects which you collect and combine in the right way to make them useful at a certain point in the game. This is the whole basis of the gameplay. In LOOM however, there are no objects instead there are spells which you cast by playing the right combination of notes on your musical staff. Point at an object and you staff plays a series of notes. Remember this series of notes and when you play them back yourself your staff casts the essence of that object on any other object (unless you've got a great memory you'll need a pen and paper!). For example if you play the tune you heard when you pointed at the sleeping man, in front of another person you will send that person to sleep. Most spells are also reversible so if you play the same series of notes in the opposite order you'll wake the person up again. This sounds complicated and at first it is, but once you get used to it it's absolutely brilliant.
Besides the great spell system you'll also notice the beautiful screens. It's clear that real affection has gone into the making of this game, every scene is beguiling. The story too is just as interesting as the graphics and gameplay, and as with all the classic Lucas Arts games of the time it's not overly serious. In fact it has a great sense of humour, just wait until you meet the dragon. I can't recommend LOOM enough, it's a beautiful game that's truly enthralling. Put it on your hard disk and you'll never want to delete it.
Jakey 12 Nov '02
ScummVM - ScummVM allows you to play many of the old point and click adventures from Lucas Arts and others on a variety of modern platforms.
Loom - A Computer Game Masterpiece - A great fansite including downloads of the game. Get the VGA version here and run it with ScummVM.
Wikipedia's LOOM page - Tons of good info.