Cure for Madness

It is really surprising how Francisco Gonzalez managed to recover from the piece of shit that was Ben Jordan Case 1: In Search for the Skunk-Ape with the follow-up title in the series, Ben Jordan Case 2: The Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea. The game is funny and the plot, even though a bit boring, lacks the stupidity of the predecessor.

Case 2 looks exactly like the original release of the Case 1. It has the same ugly thick gray frames around all the dialogue messages (I don't understand why the frames used for character portraits were not utilized for dialogues as well, they look very neat) and the same horrible blue game menu which is not harmonic with the rest of the game looks. Nonetheless, the game is visually appealing, but what is most important, the story is tenable.

The sad part is that the length of Ben Jordan's second case is only moderate at best. Without a doubt, it is much longer than that of the Skunk-Ape case, but still is very humble, considering all the game puzzles to be extremely easy. I haven't found a single puzzle which I didn't know how to solve right away. This also brings me to another matter.

This title, like all the games in the series, makes use of the scoring system. Depending on the puzzle, it is possible to get from 2 up to 8 points, if I am not mistaken (not including the final puzzle, which gives 20 points). What makes me wonder is how exactly were the puzzles appraised. They all extremely easy to solve and I couldn't say some solution was harder to come up with than the other. In my opinion it would have been much realistic to give every action advancing the plot a single point instead of assigning, what looked like, random values.

If I wouldn't recommend Ben Jordan's first adventure to anyone, Ben Jordan Case 2: The Lost Galleon of the Salton Sea is a game that every adventure game lover would probably enjoy. Even though you will have to spend almost half of the game making moonshine vodka, the game still introduces a pretty solid plot and even can provide you with a couple of good laughs. There is a reference to Sean Connery (well, his character in the Medicine Man movie), a mockery of the Starbucks chain and some other funny stuff.

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