Loom

Magical Mystical Adventure

Loom

Title Sequence

Title Sequence

Loom is a unique Adventure game, one without the player’s character picking up any inventory objects; a typical mainstay in most Adventure Games. The player plays a predetermined character named Bobbin Threadbare. This is a game of high fantasy. Some may think that this game has no challenge, the puzzles are simple, this game is too short, overall its very easy, but one has to think on how to use musical notes to solve puzzles on things within Bobbin’s Environment. Loom is the perfect Adventure game to introduce toward non-gamers, and non-adventure gamers, because nobody can fail in the game (no dying), encourages experimentation and exploration, has a wonderful story, interesting characters, and a beautiful open ending done right. In fact this is one of the first Adventure Games, a few years before Myst not to have an inventory.

Bobbin is an awful weaver.

Bobbin is an awful weaver.

Story

The story is about Bobbin Threadbare from the Guild of the Weavers. He knows nothing about his origins or that what he knows is just fragments. Hetchel saved him from the watchful eye of the Guild, because they blame for the ills of the world because the fabric of the Loom is fraying, and it has to be destroyed.

Loom has to be destroyed.

Loom has to be destroyed.

The story is about a black sheep child; a social pariah of the guild of the weavers, and Bobbin knows nothing about his origins, and through the course of the game, he learns who he is, and who is mother is. It is a very touching moving story about finding Bobbin’s place in the world, but it is much more than that; in a way, this game is a rites of passage/coming of age story, that something that one doesn’t see much in games let alone in Adventure Games.

Loom Child sounds kind of hippie-ish!

Loom Child sounds kind of hippie-ish!

Better off with the elders.

Better off with the elders.

Gameplay

The interface is easy and simple to learn, and this is the perfect first adventure game for new gamers and new adventure gamers to play. To make Bobbin walk, the player just has to move his mouse and point the arrow cursor on the ground of the scene. It is somewhat confusing as their no arrows to indicate to the player on the screen that one can click to enter into a new scene.

Interface; and there is no picking up anything that is nailed down.

Interface; and there is no picking up anything that is nailed down.

Loom is unlike most Adventure Games in the sense that it is one of the few Adventure Games not to have an inventory (Myst comes to mind.) There is no picking up inventory objects, and then taking those items usually combining them and trying them on something that is either not nailed down in the environment or some fixable object, or doing errands for various characters such as delivering packages from one character to another. It’s a fairly linear game with little to no backtracking, which is great because it can be boring to walk throughout endless scenery, a pitfall Loom avoids.

Puzzles

The main character Bobbin has to mimic musical spells through the use of his staff; Bobbin gains the drafts through objects in the environment; the player has to write down all the music notes usually just 4 notes a piece. The player who plays this game has to make sure to write notes of all the drafts on a piece of paper, and in addition to that not to loose that piece of paper. The drafts are also randomized somewhat whenever a new game of Loom is played.

Fortunately Loom has very easy puzzles, and all of them are logical and easy for the newest gamers and Adventure Gamers, and this game was released all the way in 1990, while the graphics are not the most beautiful compared to the standard of today, this game holds up very well and stands the test of time, it is fun, relaxing to play all without the frustrations of timed sequences, and excessive dying of the protagonist as in other Adventure Games of this period.

Loom has a choice of 3 skill levels, and the player can choose between Practice, Intermediate, and Advanced. The first two levels are easy, with the staff and the musical notes indicated, the last level has no notes indicated, and has to be played by ear which would be very difficult for the non-musically incline.

The most beautiful scene in the game.

The most beautiful scene in the game.

Conclusion

When it comes to storytelling Adventure games are ahead of their times in terms of narrative, and character development, but hamper when it comes with the puzzles. Loom is one of those Adventures Games that has it all, and it doesn’t face the same pitfalls that other Adventure Games do with their puzzles. This game is short and too easy for the most experienced veteran Adventure Game player, but newbies have to start somewhere, and this is the best first Adventure Game to start off with.  Most Adventure Games are too hard, but this game is just right, and perfect for newbies.

A little bit of humor in a very serious game.

A little bit of humor in a very serious game.

Repairs costs are spiraling.

Repairs costs are spiraling.

Why Play?

Great Story

Perfect Adventure for Newbies

Short and Sweet

Superb Voice Acting (CD version only)

Why NOT Play?

This game is very short, and is too easy for veteran Adventure Gamers.

Alternatives

It would be hard to find alternatives to this game, this game is unique, if one is looking for no-inventory Adventure games then that would be Myst. Myst is very hard for those new to Adventure Games, and does not have a story anywhere near as good as Loom. This is LucasArts only fantasy Adventure game that they ever made. Perhaps Alternative Adventure games to recommend would be the Sierra Adventure games for kids. Sierra has the King’s Quest Series, but those games are much harder.

Fantasy Adventure Games

King’s Quest Series

Zork Series

Copyright © 2014 Robert Perrett

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