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"Star Wars" - or Japanese Car - fans can play with this Toy Yoda.

LucasArts’ Yoda Stories

Whiling away a few aimless hours with a Jedi Master

by Johnny Bray

If you liked "Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures", and you are a Star Wars fan, this is definitely a game for you. It's the same kind of game as "Indiana," and many of the qualities are exactly alike.

As Luke Skywalker, you roam the galaxy in search of some twenty different items. Though many quests are quite similar, LucasArts sets the game up in a way that no two are exactly the same. As in "Indiana Jones," you start out being told the nature of your quest, then must locate several different items to help you find ‘the big one’.

You start the game out on the planet Dagobah, where you first find R2-D2, who joins you in your quest. He can also help you with the game if you are having trouble. You must look around several screens on Dagobah, until you encounter Yoda - who could be hiding near a swamp, or at home in his living room. Yoda outlines each quest, telling you exactly what needs to be done, and giving you an item that will help you complete your mission. In one story, Yoda himself is the goal of your quest, after he is kidnapped by Boba Fett.

Many of the items in this game, are just "Star Wars-y" versions of the same items in "Indiana Jones." For instance, you use a ‘terrain locator’instead of a map. And as with "I.J.," you start out with a close-range weapon, but instead of a whip, it is a lightsaber. You can also encounter Obi-Wan Kenobi, who will give you the Force, which is necessary in several missions.

Bogged down on DagobahThe game may not be a new idea, but it is certainly attractive to the Star Wars fans out there. It has everything in the Star Wars universe: from Ewoks to Jawas, from the forests of Endor, to the deserts of Tatooine. You can even encounter some of the infamous ‘bad guys’, like Stormtroopers, Scout Troopers, and even Darth Vader himself.

You can also come face to face with some old friends from the movie: you can help Chewbacca repair the Millennium Falcon, rescue C-3PO from the Jawas, or even, like the movie, save the Carbonited Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt.

Indiana Jones came on a single floppy disk, which was very good for the quality of game. But Yoda Stories comes on as single CD-ROM, and you get some extra multimedia ‘shows’ with it.

Of particular interest is a feature on the re-issue of the "Star Wars" special editions (with their special additions). It would have been nice to have had more video clips of the special effects enhancements - but then again, even if they'd filled the disk with such great shots it wouldn't have been enough...

"Yoda Stories" is a pleasant diversion for those who want a quick and enjoyable game they can wrap up in an hour or so. It doesn't really break much new ground, but it isn't designed to either. But it accomplishes its goal, and that's fine.


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January 31, 2006