Cambridge Dictionaries defines an assassin as ‘someone who kills a famous or important person, usually for political reasons or in exchange for money’. It therefore am left perplexed by the conclusion of Space Assassin in that my character appears to leave his target alive, we drag an unconscious Cyrus from the Waldo and then that’s it. Unless there is a very dark inference that we then kill an unconscious man before making our escape, I think we’ve not exactly fulfilled our contract. It should also not go without mention that we’ve ended our adventure with what has to be the lamest ended of the series so far, two sentences and a single word, I’d be amazed if it can be topped in it’s ”will-this-do?‘-ness’!
Suffice to say that this was the weakest book I have played so far. It is a toss-up with Scorpion Swamp if I’m honest, but even though that book made some bizarre and infuriating decisions based around a non-linear structure that didn’t quite work, it at least tried something new. Space Assassin didn’t even feel like I’d been on an adventure. One long straight corridor after another, another meaninglessly easy piece of combat, no real obstacles to overcome, I had it finished in a single sitting that left me thinking ‘is that it?’.
Setting and story I quite liked, a Josef Mengele style sci-fi villain certainly has legs, it just didn’t use them. In-fact, he actually turned out to be an absolute pussy. Perhaps some of the padding that was added to the original script by the publishers helped make the experience feel so empty, I guess we will never know. My play-through did miss a few additional sections that were added by the publisher though, one being this puzzle from page 332 where you have to pick a path across the room and add up the numbers on the tiles along your path to give you a page reference. I have no desire to figure that one out!
Also missed was some sort of future video-game which pitted you in tank combat against an AI across a grid system, the point of which I’m not entirely sure of!
Less than spectacular illustrations seemed to pepper my route, but some better stuff was hidden away. Had I chosen to kill the small rodent scientists early on I would have been rewarded with this picture of my victims.
And I can only imagine this interesting little scene would have greeted me if I’d somehow made my way to the surface of the surreal ‘outdoors’ section? Actually reminds me of the style we saw in the Sorcery series.
Similarly crazy looking were these fellows…
….and this guy who maybe failed the cut for Destiny.
I was also glad to have avoided this monster, which may have been even more deadly opponent than the dreaded cleaners.
One more illustration stood out to me as being particularly poor though, apparently this is supposed to be some sort of plant thing. To me it just looks like a mess.
Anyway, Space Assassin is not a book I will remember with affection, as Bernard Black might put it, ‘Enjoy. It’s dreadful but quite short.’