Confusion and Mystery all in one package
Developer: AHA! Software Year: 1997
WOW where to begin with this one?… Uncle Julius and The Anywhere Machine is a point and click adventure game created by AHA! Software based out in Canada and are known for their educational games as well as another game similar in style in every way; Santa’s Secret Valley (More on that much later). This puzzler is simple fun but pretty straight forward. Uncle Julius is trapped in another dimension and its up to you to rescue him! That’s the story…yup not much to it.
The puzzles are for the most part simple and engaging and do require a little bit of mind power but its nothing that kid couldn’t solve except for some of them. After you find the anywhere machine and locate Uncle Julius is where the game’s difficulty somewhat ramps up. Some of the question asked in later levels become increasingly difficult and the use of encyclopedias are a must. Wait did I say that? I meant the Internet… Some of the questions range from; How far of a distance is the earth from the sun? Really? Name the three laws of thermodynamics. I am not joking! Don’t get me wrong, general knowledge questions aren’t my forte and I did have a difficult time answering some of them. If you get any of these questions wrong then you have to start from the beginning of the quest. This gets really frustrating real fast and no same questions either.
The currency of the game is ducats and I have no idea why they are named that and apparently that is the correct spelling for them. You will need them in order to buy certain objects for Uncle Julius as well for other characters but how you obtain them is a whole different story. While finding them in random locations is one thing, reading newspaper articles and solving the puzzle in it is the true way to receive money.
The graphics are not the best but they do display very bright colors. Most of the characters are very goofy looking and say some of the weirdest stuff and some even look like they do not fit the time period (Here is looking at you Desert Level) While this game can seem boring at times, AHA! does try to throw in general knowledge to the player in the forms of futuristic computers and articles but this dosen’t make the game any more fun. What does seem to shine is the witty and often off beat humor the game has in the form signs and post throughout towns and enviroments. The Music for the most part is completly void apart from the main menu and sound effects throughout the game.
It is a point and click with very simple puzzles. The game can be beaten is under an hour assuming you know all the answers to the puzzles. I remember playing it as a kid and only having the shareware version after it was over with I went on to the next game I had. It is a fun game but there is limited appeal for anyone who even likes the most basic point and clicks and the steep price for $39 is too much in the year 2018. No joke go to AHA!’s website and its still there to purchase.