If anybody here's played Syberia and gotten hooked on the gameplay, graphics, story line (and maybe main character) like I have, they might be interested to know that GameStop.com has just released the sequel Syberia 2. Since the story line picks up where Syberia (the first one) left off, you REALLY should play the first game first. Both games have the same excellent look and feel and challenging, but not frustrating, puzzles to work through to advance the game.
If you want to try before you buy, there are free demos for both games that let you play far enough into either game to get a good feel of the game play style and puzzle difficulty. These are NOT battle shoot-em-ups, wargames, online subscribtion games, or sports games so those of you who've gotten sick of seeing only that type of games being offered, this will be a huge relief. Each game should be good for days of single user play and, unlike Myst, these games DO have talking characters to interact with. For those of you who haven;t got the latest CPU and video card, the Syberia 1 box says "Windows 98/ME/2000/XP with 350Mhz PII or equivalent processor64MB RAM, 16X cd-rom, and 16MB video card, and a DirectX 7 compatible sound card". Both demos and the first full game run just fine on my PC with an 850Mhz PIII, XP Pro, 448MB ram, an old ATI Rage Fury 32mb AGP card and a SoundBlaster Audigy card. I also have DirectX 9.0a installed. The game is having no problems, glitches or lags during either game play or animations.
Tip: save the game just before activating an animation - you might want to watch it again a few times 'cause they're really well done.
Tip: 2 To make Kate Walker move faster when replaying parts you've been through, simply double-click and she jogs instead of walking.
Graphics and character animation in the game is almost at the level of the movie Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within. The animations are even better than Myst and Riven. Plus, the game has PEOPLE in it with whom you can interact, which Myst and Riven never really did. If you like this KIND of game, you will DEFINITELY love these two games.
Now I gotta log out of the forums so I can get back to playing Syberia. I've been playing it about 10-12 hours (I think - you definitely lose track of time) and only gotten to the third of about 6 cities in the progress. I ordered Syberia 2 this morning and they're overnighting it.
Important: Play Syberia 1 before Syberia 2 even if you've already played both demos. The main character undergoes significant personal transformation during the game play and it'll feel more comfortable experiencing the changes in proper chronological sequence rather than second-half-first.
Also: If you are the type who feels the need to sometimes cheat, but doesn't want the story completely ruined by a stupid walkthrough, I'd like to recommend the UHS Reader for Windows. I forget the link, but you can google for it. The demo version lets you go part way through the helps for up to 60 days after installing. The full version costs about $20 if I remember correctly - I haven't gotten past the limits on the demo yet. Only Syberia has a UHS help file available. Syberia 2 hasn't got one yet, but by the time I finish Syberia 1, I hope to have gotten more used to the kinds of puzzles the games have. (I was happy to find a hint file for Dungeon Siege is also available) When playing Syberia, I especially like that, when you solve the puzzles through to fairly frequent levels, you get rewarded with another of the cool animations. Syberia 1 contains over 1.1GB of data on the two CD's that came with it. I'll let you know how big Syberia 2 is when I get my copy. By the way, "Syberia" is not a misspelling - it's referring to a semi-mythical (in the story) island north of the Siberia that we know of in real life. Also, it has the added advantage of getting far few irrelevant hits on Google than the normal spelling.
PLEASE: Anybody else out there who comes across other games like these two, that are NOT sports or war or racing oriented and not simulations, please post here and let me know what they are! I haven't had a game like this since I played through Critical Mission.