In France, Twinsen is big. In the States, he's an obscure oddity. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Twinsen's Odyssey was a sequel to Little Big Adventure, a game picked up by EA and published as Relentless in America in 1995. Relentless was a bad name for this adventure game, which had a unique and strange cast of characters. When Activision picked up the license for developer Adeline's second game featuring Twinsen, it hoped it could get gamers and the press to see the wonderful adventure game hidden behind the strange name and unconventional graphics.
Too bad for all of us that Activision failed. Twinsen's Odyssey was a great adventure game, with great music and puzzles and lots of exploration and interaction with environments and characters, as well as all the twists and turns of the best adventure games. It had some annoying camera problems and some frustrating action sequences, but the adventure portions more than made up for those faults.
Twinsen was a fun character to portray, and his supporting cast was very interesting. Pulled from his life of domesticity with his pregnant wife, by an alien invasion, Twinsen was thrust once again into the role of hero. Throughout his adventures, he met strange people and characters and found himself confronted with some clever puzzles and sticky situations. Twinsen's Odyssey was a very smart and challenging adventure game, with the sort of unconventional surprises and animated worlds that kept you glued to your seat. As our own review stated at the time the game released in 1997, "Perhaps more than any adventure game in recent memory, Twinsen's Odyssey successfully creates the feeling that you are taking part in a living, breathing world, and an incredibly strange one at that. The attention to detail in the hundreds of characters you'll encounter is stunning, and the fantastic settings and excellent musical score make wandering around the worlds of Twinsun and Esmer a great experience."
Twinsen's Odyssey probably bombed because of several factors: the unconventional main character, the apparently cutesy characters and environments, the state of the adventure market itself, and a lack of coverage from the media. Whatever the reason, people never warmed up to him. And so they missed out on a truly rewarding adventure-gaming experience.
Ultima: Martian Dreams