Produced by NEO Software
Today is the day of the Hero but unfortunately not for Rodrigo, who runs a Princess Rescue Service on the island Tol Andar. His success as an independent agency owner has been very poor. But Rodrigo has big dreams: of riches, honor and still more riches. However, for the time being, his job has degraded him to the level of being only an assistant Hero. So how wonderful it is that suddenly pirates appear and the islanders panic.
Because of magic stones, called Gloomstones, the inhabitants of Tol Andar are able to fly through the air as well as make use of other properties of these stones. But now the pirates seem to have discovered the Gloomstone's secret and they are attacking the surrounding cities and islands with flying ships. That leads to a deficit in professional Heroes so Rodrigo's hour has finally come.
The hour for German game developers has also come: during the last few months a large number of excellent German games have flooded into the colorful International Pixel World. NEO, the Austrian Developers of Rent-A-Hero, have not only conformed to International Standards, they try to go them one better. And so it was not without reason that they won the esteemed 1998 ANIMAGO Award (1st place for Computer Animation). The graphics were produced primarily on SGI computers and are warm, lifelike and atmospheric....even downright cute and pretty.
But the game is not just in the graphics. During installation you are introduced to the simple basic handling of navigation (unfortunately there isn't detailed documentation in the handbook). But navigation of Rodrigo during his journey against the pirates is very intuitive and there's nothing to criticize about how the game handles. When the player stays in one place too long, the program even registers that and places a discreet game Help at the player's disposal. The interface is typical for adventure games: point-and-click with the left and right mouse buttons and shouldn't cause any problems for beginners.
But, for more advanced players, there are some problems. For example, all of the running around which slows the game flow. Lots of the sequences, once started, can't be stopped and loose their fun factor after about 4 times. Also the low skill level of the puzzles, even though it has been artificially increased by the linear action. But if you can put up with that, you'll discover that the dialogues and the little gimmicks are very amusing. You will even find some black humor in the game, as when Rodrigo meets old friends or goes to new worlds.
All in all Rent-A-Hero leaves a conflicting impression: the technique is excellent and the dialogues are first class, but the already mentioned minor items disturb. However anyone who has a little patience and doesn't mind a few boorish remarks can just start his next adventure here after playing Grim Fandango. Exciting entertainment is guaranteed and, if NEO avoids these little mistakes in the sequel, you can expect a top-of-the-line International product next time.
Pentium 133 MHz
Windows 95 / 98
16 MB RAM
6X CD ROM Drive
2 MB Graphics Card