1998 Shine Studio
Designed by Kyle Choi
Reviewed 1999 November 11

Rating -4 Linearity wide, segmented
Reasonability deductive Connectivity minimal
Difficulty challenging Relevance weak
Interface 1st paned simple Real-time none

There are epochs in time where one species is dominant. Then suddenly that species goes extinct and another takes its place as the master of the world. Soon it will be Man's turn to go extinct. You are the 28th Comer to a strange place. It's up to you to stop our replacement.

Comer makes the same mistakes as many other Myst wannabes. It thinks that immersion is solely a function of pretty graphics and haunting sounds and music. True immersion is done by creating a believable world, one that people live in, one that obeys some kind of physical laws. Comer is pretty, although sterile, with great music, but there's no sense to the place. All the lovely architecture has no purpose other than to hold puzzles. Who built these things, and why? Furthermore, those puzzles often don't work within the world presented: wave the cursor in one direction, and magic happens; music (not just the score) suddenly appears out of nowhere.

Furthermore, you are never given a reason for doing the puzzles. There is no ultimate goal within the story, it's simply that if you don't solve the challenges, your way onward will be magically blocked. There is a purpose that you, as Comer, are there to perform, but there's no connection between doing these and the desired outcome. The next generation just goes away for no reason.

While they might not have any story purpose, there are some good challenges here. They are fair and logical, a few are difficult, and most are original. They are mostly the find clue then pull lever kind of challenge, and the only inventory is a single item in hand, used in only one problem. There are no characters to interact with. There is one especially difficult tone matching puzzle -- unless you're a musician, you'll probably need help to get past it.

The interface is basic, very like Myst. The cursor changes for some actions, but it doesn't change for going forward out of scene, and it sometimes doesn't change when over something you can interact with. The former is annoying. The latter is inconsistent; it wouldn't be annoying if it never changed for action objects, or if it always did. There are some parts where you have to recross through many scenes, but there is no way to zip through them. Finally, when you restore a saved game, you always start at the same place in that area, not where you actually were when you saved, although the state of the world is correctly saved.

Comer has plenty to offer with its beautiful music, graphic design, and original challenges. However, with its irrelevance and haphazard story, it fails as an adventure. Also note that, despite 4 CDs, it is a very short game. If you like Myst and clones like TimeLapse, or other puzzle oriented games like The 7th Guest, you'll enjoy Comer.

Comer is only available via on-line purchase from
Beware! Here are some spoiler-ridden notes on the game. They're only recommended for people who have played the game and want to see some of my rationale for my evaluations.
David Tanguay's Game Reviews
Here's a description of all the gobbledygook in these reviews. It's also a bit of an essay on the nature of adventure games.