Sep 6, 2011

The Syberia Collection Review

With the advent and admitted affordability of downloadable games one can easily forget just how lovely a properly packaged offering can actually feel. Yes, even by today's meager standards, the physicality of a box, a modest manual, a sleeve and an actual DVD can be rather satisfying. Especially when sporting a most affordable price tag, which, oh so conveniently, happens to be the case of the Syberia Collection.

Said collection of the almost classic and definitely well known Syberia, Syberia II and Amerzone adventures, you see, is much cheaper to grab in a DVD-case than its online/download only equivalents, which does indeed confuse my vaguely economological mind, but definitely sounds great. Being thus confused and all, I do also believe the thing should have been called The Benoit Sokal Collection, as Amerzone most emphatically is not a Syberia game.

Now, as most adventurers know, all three games are fine point-and-click specimens that managed to make an impression during the darkest period of the genre and are still absolutely worth playing and owning. Especially if one is into this sort of thing (i.e. considers oneself an adventure gamer), as all three have been designed with the traditonal point-and-click gamer in mind. The re-mastered versions included in the collection seem pretty much identical to the original ones, though I must admit I haven't played those since their respective releases and can't be absolutely sure whether minor enhancements have been included or not. What does matter though is that everything runs lovely and glitch-free under both Windows 7 and Vista, meaning that these are indeed the versions to own.

As for the misguided souls that haven't tried any of the games on offer yet, let me just say they all feature excellent art -Mr. Sokal is after all a most talented comic artist- classic gameplay mechanics, great soundtracks, mostly easy but well-integrated puzzles, traditional interfaces, brilliant settings and pretty decent plots. The two Syberias in particular are played from a third person perspective and take place in a whimsical clockwork-operated world, whereas the first-person Amerzone is set in a fantastical version of a thinly disguised Amazon rainforest.

What's more and judging by the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed replaying all three of the games on offer, I must admit they have all aged gracefully. Might even have to accept the fact they are, despite their flaws, great adventures I would probably had appreciated more weren't I comparing them to Grim Fandango and Gabriel Knight III

Verdict: A collection of three classic and traditional adventures at an excellent price. Genre lovers shouldn't miss it.

Related @ Gnome's Lair:


  1. Amerzone is not part of the Syberia series, but it is set in the same world which I am sure is why it is included in the package.

    But someone should publish a Benoit Sokal Collection.

  2. That would be lovely, though I admittedly do prefer his first three games...

  3. Does it have the DVD version of Amerzone?

  4. I do believe so dear Igor.

  5. Everyone except Sinking Island was a instant classic as far as I am concerned.

  6. Well, I suppose I could give Paradise another try...

  7. You guys like the Syberia games so much more than I do... !

    Actually that reminds me, I still have to play Syberia 2...

  8. Well, if you didn't enjoy the original Syberia I'm afraid you wont quite like what's on offer in its sequel dear Captain.

  9. (enters wearing an "I love Myst badge"...)

    drools....!! I've never played Siberia, hand't even heard of Amerzone...

    (sits down despondently...)

    Where am I going to find the time.... I think I'm going to cry....

    ...or leave work :)

  10. "Well, if you didn't enjoy the original Syberia I'm afraid you wont quite like what's on offer in its sequel dear Captain."

    Yeah, that's probably why I haven't actually played it yet... but I must, on my honour as a reviewer!! :-D

  11. Best games ever. Loved playing them as my son helped me along. SI and SII are on the Xbox as well, which is where I played them. We have the original Amerzone but it ran a bit wonky on Win7 64bit and my modern graphics card.

  12. @ Elderly: Nice badge dear, but please, don't you cryyyyyyyyyy tonight. We'll soon all be unemployed and have all the time in the world to play around. See, it's not that bad.

    @ Captain D: Yes, well, I see what you mean. Guess you'd better soldier on then my friend...

    @ CPBelt: On the Xbox you say? Well, I must admit I'm not indifferent to try pointing-and-clicking from the couch you know. Oh, and it's a fantastic blog you got there too!

  13. :) you know you've got a point... I can see it now.. parks full of homeless console and pc gamers, together as one... collecting our food stamps and heading back to our tin shacks to spend hours lost in the joy of gaming.... blissful... (hugs gnome..)

  14. And I'm sure each and every wish of ours will immediately be fulfilled by the benevolent EU; long may it stand and spread happiness the world over.

    Ah, yes, yes...

    (hugs Elderly, while a tear appears)

  15. Yes, yes, and surely the beautiful people of the EU will cater to our every need with a benign smile. Oooh, how I love the EU. Simply adore it. They are so democratic, fair and anti-imperialist. And the euro, ah the lure of the euro...


    Yes, it will be beautiful. And touching. And hugworthy.

    (hugs Elderly)

  16. :) the endless cues for soup and sandwiches, and the armed guards, dogs and police everywhere to protect us... Oh Gnome it will be joyous!!!

    (hugs Gnome...)

    It's just incredible how complete incompetence, compliance and naked greed has led us to this Utopia...

    Prais the EU...

    (lights an incence stick in for of star spangled blue flag)

    erm!! you want to set fire to this or will I?

  17. Set fire to the EU? But they love us.

    Oh, I see.

    The stick thingy you meant. Right. Let me get my flamethrower. It's utopian, it is.

  18. (holds incence stick next to flag, puts on firemans helmet....)

    ..okay... ready when you are!

  19. (shouts...)

    Ready when you are!
    hurry my arms getting cramps :(

  20. Sorry, sorry, ready!

    Don't shake.



  21. Is Gabriel Knight III any good, actually?

    Loved the first one for the setting and story (it was awesome to then arrive in New Orleans for real and walk the same square as Gabriel), reviews of the second one suggested it was rather crap, didn't even read anything 'bout the third installment.

  22. All I know of it is that it is infamous for illogical puzzles (

  23. (heads off to ER, smoke trailing behind him)

    "fwhoooosh" indeed! :(

  24. @ Barts: Actually Gabriel Knight III is incredibly good, despite a few silly puzzles that mostly appear early on. It has a great story, excellent setting, good writing, fantastic 3D mechanics and the best puzzle ever. GK 2 is also very good - yes, despite being an FMV thing.

    @ Jonathon: And that is a great analysis of the first and really silly first puzzle of the game. Thankfully it's the only one that really doesn't work.

    @ Elderly: Say hi to nurse Edna. She's great with fire injuries too you know! (waves)

  25. (..turns in opposite direction to hospital... heads off to vet's surgery..)

  26. In which case to say hi to Jacob the Kitten.

  27. ...what? one of the kittens is sick? why didn't you tell me earlier, how is he? what happened, did we get him flowers? when's visiting hours?

    poor jacob... :(

  28. Weeeell, he sort of okayish really. Didn't want to alarm, but, yes, I did get him flowers. Vampirism they say can be a nasty bastard...

  29. Only slightly dear, only slightly.