Rob Blanc 3: The Temporal Terrorists review
Never mess with Time
Rob Blanc is your average guy who was chosen to save the universe from Armageddon. Now, one year after the second game, Rob is a well-known hero, along with his sidekick from Bergurath III, Paul. But strange sightings are happening: people can see their future self. It will a matter of time before a mortal accident. So, Rob and Paul must investigate, build a Remman Time Drive and... Stop it! The temporal problem is secondary. For now, Rob has promised to destroy the Space Varmints currently invading his ship...
RB III: The Temporal Terrorists is the last game in RB trilogy, made by Ben Croshaw, a famous independent developer, with one of the first versions of the AGS engine, used for making adventure games with the old gameplay.
Gameplay hasn't changed, it's still the "select-an-action-and-click", well, the old-fashion gameplay. You still have four possibilities: "walk", "observe", "talk" and "use/interact". When speaking with someone or a droid, you have a dialog box who will open for letting you choose the next sentence. You just have to click on the chosen one for progressing in the conversation. "Observe" will let you know more about the things surrounding you. For example, you will understand that looking to the memorial in Paul's quest is necessary if you want to continue the story. "Walk" is simply used for moving your character, an action who can be confusing if you're used to the actual "walk", in other words, clicking where you want to go without having the action selected previously. For "use/interact", you'll interacting with your environment. You can also open your inventory, select an object and use it or combine it with another one. The only thing that changes is the representation of the actions: no more little man, magnifying glass or hand for the action, now, it's just legs, eyes and finger. Also, the menu has been redone, with Rob appearing.
Graphics are still made with MS Paint as the game is also copyrighted in 2000 like Rob Blanc I but there are more areas to explore and who said more areas said also various details. You will have to visit your own ship, the vilain's lair, Tarabis 6 for Rob and Bergurath III for Paul, who is coming home. Graphics are nicely colored but the game is playing in full screen, without having an option to be windowed, so sometimes, it's hurting eyes. Note also that you have more grey in this game.
Soundtrack, as usual, is non-playing despite being present - reading reviews or user comments are always useful. I'm not the only one to have the problem and playing without having a music in the background seems so strange that I nearly fell asleep this day, when I was playing it again for some more screenshots.
Lifetime is longer, story is more elaborated with a promise of 6 acts (intro, search for the four pieces of the RTD and the final). But play with temporal matters and suddenly, you go from act 3 to 6 directly because your future self and Paul's have already searched Remus 3 and the Asteroïds belt for you. You know that only after Paul's part. And then, you have a sixth act very confusing at first. Rob is taken prisoner you don't know how, Paul has a knife in his first part in this act and then, take it only in his second part, etc.. In fact, the actions, due to a temporal bug dixit the heroes, were happening in the wrong way. For continuing with Paul, the real first part is to take the knife (and do something else, important for Rob) and then to cut a rope, not the inverse. It could be frustrating for people not to know what to do but if you have in mind that the sequence you're playing has the solution to the next one who should happen before, you will solve things faster.
Rob Blanc III is a good end for this trilogy who began with a very short game, without real plot and not a lot to explore. Yes, the story is confusing at the end, yes, it's MS Paint, yes, there is no music despite being present but don't let these difficulties take you away from a downloadable and free game who can be indicated when you're doing a break from work. Trying Rob Blanc, it's like trying Ben Jordan (made with the same engine), that means that you'll adopt it.