Ecoquest 2: Lost Secret of the Rainforest
A combination of education, learning, entertainment and saving the rainforest
I played Ecoquest 2: Lost Secret of the Rainforest many years ago when I was a young kid. I am now replaying it as an adult, and this game holds up very well to this present day because of the environmental themes. Lost Secret of the Rainforest is the sequel to the original Ecoquest: The Search for Cetus taking the under the sea setting and moving it toward the rainforest in the sequel. I played this game when I was very much into the rainforest. This was an important topic that was taught to me in grade school, learning about all the animals, the tropical weather, never ending rain, and people cutting down the rainforest, thus hurting the poor animals, because people were cutting down and burning the trees, and ruining the environment, but it is not as simple as that now looking back as an adult.
Lost Secret of the Rainforest starts off right after the original Ecoquest. Instead of being underwater, this game takes place in a Rainforest setting, and Adam’s father is helping to save the rainforest. A strange sequence of events happens once Adam gets there. This is a great Adventure game to introduce newbies to the genre because of it’s easy puzzles, easy to learn interface, no dying, and short length. In many ways, this game is better than some of Sierra’s Adventure games for big kids that is for adults.
This game is a typical Sierra multi-icon interface from the early 90’s. It also includes a special inventory item known as the Ecorder. The Ecorder is useless except to get extra points. All the Ecorder does is to scan animals, and find out what they are. In a way, the Ecorder is ahead of it’s time, it is the first smart phone or tablet device back in the early 90’s when this game was released. Who knew that something like the Ecorder would be getting married to a telephone along with the internet which was barely thought of when I was 9 years old.
Look at the picture above, this is the typical interface of most Sierra Adventure Games in the early 90’s. The Walk, Look, Pick Up, Talk, Facts, Inventory Item, Inventory, Recycle, Options, and Question Mark at the end to figure out which button does what and how to interactive with the environment. The trickiness about this game may have to deal with a bit of pixel hunting, but this game is better than most Adventure Games in that department. It is a fairly linear game, so there is little to no backtracking which is a good thing even though the scenery is beautiful, who wants to go back to see the same boring scenery, we only want to move forward.
The story is about Adam and his Dad going to the rainforest to save it. Yep, Adam has to save the Rainforest, just like he saved the Kingdom of Eluria in the original Ecoquest. There is a very mean and rude man when Adam and his Dad are checking in with customs. This very mean and extremely rude man runs the Cibola Corporation. Another game about an evil corporation, I am so scared. He pays a bribe to the customs officer just so that he won’t ask too many questions. Adam will find out what the Cibola Corporation does later, but one thing that Adam knows for sure that he doesn’t care about the environment at all. It would had been nice if the game added more depth to the villain than just that he hates the environment because he is an evil corporation that wants to make money, and hurt the cute little animals in the rainforest.
Adam explores a little bit, while his Dad talks, then someone steals Adam’s Dad’s suitcase extremely unwise on his Dad’s part not to watch it. Adam’s father leaves him there, so that he can get his papers in order. A bit unwise on his Dad’s part to leave his son there when his stuff was stolen, but this is how the story is, so let’s roll with it. Adam then gets into the boat, and falls asleep, two talking Otters find Adam and take his boat and move him, they talk to him, and surprisingly Adam is not shocked, I guess with his past friendship with Delphineus, Adam is not surprised at talking animals any more. Adam is a junior Doctor Doolittle. It would had been nice he had a funny comeback line and said, “Why do all these animals talk to me. What am I? Do I need to see a shrink?” These two Otters tell Adam that he is on mission to save Forest Heart. This is the beginning of Adam’s goal.
The puzzles are pick up everything, and try everything on an object or on a scene. Adam helps out the Grove People by solving the various problems happening in the village. I like that Sierra’s Adventure games were about helping the non-player characters, which moves the plot and the story further along, albeit the story grinds to a halt, if you cannot get past an obstacle. I appreciated that I was making a difference in the game world through Adam by helping people, Adam not only helps the Grove People out, but also the bats in the bat cave to get where he is suppose to be by moving the story further. This bat cave puzzle is clever because you have to match the leaves with the right bat which are passes, so that they can get out of the cave, but it is also educational to learn about the different types of bats. Who knew there are so many different types of bats.
Lost Secret of the Rainforest is a good follow up to Ecoquest. The start of the game is the weakest part because Adam’s Dad has to do stupid things in order to have a story. Fortunately, it gets much better after that, but one wonders if Adam’s Dad is ever worried about him. There are never any meanwhile sequences, so only one can speculate about that one. Adam doesn’t seem to be worried about his Dad not knowing where he is. Fortunately, the ending is very beautiful and rewarding. By playing this game, Adam gets to meet interesting characters, help people, save Forest Heart, and finding the Lost Secret of the Rainforest without all without being didactic. I won’t tell you, because you have to play the game to find out.
Who doesn’t want to save the rainforest?
Easy to Play.
Learn about the importance of saving the rainforest.
Why Not Play?
Story and Situations are a bit weak in the beginning undermining the intelligence of the characters.
For some veterans, not much of a challenge.
Useless Ecorder that doesn’t add much to the game; which is a very special inventory item in the game mainly to scan animals in the rainforest to learn about animals and get points.
Ecoquest 1: The Search for Cetus
Pepper’s Adventure in Time