Touche: The Adventures of the Fifth Musketeer

Developer:  Clipper Software
Publisher:  US Gold
Year Released:  1996

Review by Gordon Aplin (February, 1997)
touche.jpgThis game slipped past us when it was first released and I don't remember it being available in any of our local software shops. It certainly didn't seem to get much publicity, which is a shame because it is an enjoyable adventure game in the style of the much loved Monkey Island.

A would-be hero
As Geoffroi Le Brun, ensign in the King's musketeers and would-be hero, you travel to the French town of Rouen to join your new company. As you arrive the unfortunate Comte d'Itee, William de Peuple, is attacked by bandits and his precious Will is stolen. You offer your assistance and pledge to find the Will (Will of de Peuple -- Will of the people -- nice pun there) but, of course, getting it back is not so easy and you still have your musketeer's duties to perform.

Geoffroi is another earnest, naive, nice guy in the mould of Guybrush Threepwood so that even his encounter with a woman of ill-repute doesn't tarnish his reputation. He wants nothing more than to join his fellow musketeers in the fight against the 'English dogs' and, perhaps, find fame, fortune and romance along the way. He certainly finds assistance and some hindrance early on in the form of Henri, an unlikely companion, who signs on as his manservant.

Deceptively simple
Touche is a humorous, third person perspective, graphic adventure that appears deceptively simple yet it is quite tough in parts. You may make rapid progress for a while then suddenly find yourself wandering around and visiting previously searched locations desperately trying to find something to do. Some of the clues are very subtle indeed and you will need to talk to everyone and pay careful attention to their responses, as well as search each location thoroughly to make sure you haven't missed anything.

The puzzles are traditional adventuring fare where you must find the right item and use it at the right place, and some things can be combined in your inventory to make a new object. New locations appear on your travel map as you learn of them, though travelling between places is a little slow even with this useful device.

Watch out for hotspots
People and objects with which you can interact are highlighted in text on the screen when you move your cursor over them. Once highlighted you must click and hold down the right mouse button to access a verb menu which allows you to choose an action to perform such as examine, talk to, take, etc. The game occupies about three quarters of the screen with the inventory bar appearing beneath the action window. Though it is not immediately clear, your inventory does scroll to reveal all that you are carrying. To do this you must left click on either end of the musketeer's tabard that forms the background. You can also give items to Henri to carry for you and you can access his inventory as well, but beware, there are times when you will be on your own so you will need to ensure that Henri isn't holding that crucial item when you need it.

In conversations, when you need specific information from another character a menu of possible responses for you to choose pops up at the bottom of the screen. At other times conversations take place automatically and usually inject a note of humour or irrelevance, or both. The game's options allow you to set both voice and text, though the introductory sequence is voice only.

The graphics, though still quite good, may not be up to the standard of the latest games and this may have contributed to its luke-warm reception when first released, but this shouldn't really deter you from having a look at it. Any good adventure game is still worth playing in my book, regardless of how it looks. Fans of Monkey Island style adventures may well find much to enjoy here, I did, and I loved the ending to the story. rating:  

Copyright © Gordon Aplin 1997. All rights reserved.

System requirements:
Minimum Requirements: IBM or 100% IBM compatible (386 or later). SVGA (VESA compliant). 8 MB Ram. Dos 5.0. 500 Kb base memory. MPC 1 single speed CD Rom Soundblaster (and 100% compatibles), Roland MIDI soundcards and Adlib