Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Global Gaming Spotlight: La Abadía del Crimen (Spain)

With each post in this mini-feature, I highlight a game from a different country around the world. Keep in mind these aren't necessarily the best or most popular games from each nation, but simply a fitting representative.

La Abadía del Crimen - Opera Soft, 1987

Most of the games I've written about so far in this series have been either modern games or well-known classic games. La abadía del crimen (The Abbey of Crime) is a bit more obscure--it was never even officially translated to English or released outside its home country. While Spain isn't a major producer of video games today, the nation went through a golden era in the 1980s when it was second only to the UK in terms of European game production.

La abadía del crimen is perhaps the most important of these Spanish titles from the '80s. Originally meant to be a direct adaptation of Italian philosopher Umberto Eco's first novel The Name of the Rose, the game is about a Franciscan monk solving murders taking place in his abbey.

The game was notable for being one of the first to exist over a specific period of time--it's split into seven days further split into Canonical hours. In addition to solving the crimes, the player must still carry out their daily routine as a monk. If they're late for services or caught wandering around at night, the abbot kicks the monk out of the abbey and ends the game.

This fleshed-out gameworld, explored with a rudimentary 3D isometric map of the abbey, was decades ahead of its time. The game wasn't given the respect it deserved until the past few years. The game's creator, Paco Menéndez, committed suicide in 1999 at the age of 34.

The Global Gaming Spotlight so far:

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