Ben Jordan is an average american student and an average paranormal investigator (hard to be a star if you havent solved a single case). Owing his interests to grandpa, Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" and Paranormal Investigator's handbook which he found one day, he decides to become P.I., even if his mother doesnt share his optimism. Beginnings are always hard, but one day he finally receives his first call. Famous Florida park, Everglades, is terrorized by the mythical Skunk-Ape, local variation of Bigfoot. At least that's what an old ranger claims - several corpses have been found and he suspects the creature's involvement. Ben sets off to solve his first case.
BJ is a purely traditional, story-driven point'n'click adventure game. It comes in two versions - original and deluxe. The deluxe version was created much later, when further series installments have been already published and contains redesigned story, puzzles, graphics and full voice acting, absent in original. Subtitles can be turned on in setup.
Pater Alf : Thank you for telling us! I really missed that...
eMTe : Huh. I must meddle with ags setup files more often...
Scythe : Funny, I have quite a different opinion on some aspects here. For the most part, I liked the puzzles - only a few of them had me thinking a little hard though. Turning off the voices and getting text helped me solve those.
As for the voice acting, I thought it was annoying and confusing to listen to. I didn't care for it at all. Also, it seems to me that the characters in the game were mostly defined by quirky voices, without them they were quite boring. Of course, with them they were totally horrendous. Thank goodness you could turn voices off in the setup! The music was all right, but a little sparse.
I didn't find anything wrong with the graphics at all. Compared to certain other freeware adventures, I thought the graphics were well done. They were kept in a single style throughout the game, which was definitely the best choice.
While the game was short, it didn't feel too short, and the best part was the ending, which was not what you'd think when getting into the game. Surprises are the best!
Scythe : Guys, you can get around "no subtitles" by disabling the speech pack. You will miss out on the speech obviously, but I certainly didn't think it was very good. Maybe now I can actually finish the game... I'll try anyway.
Pater Alf : eMTe said everything that needs to be said: I like the story and the atmosphere as well as the voice acting and the music. The puzzles were logic in my eyes or at least there were hints (like the notepad) what you should do next.
I don't like that there were no subtitles. Even if the voice acting is great, I had problems to understand everything in the last scene (but I died a few times before I found out what to do which left me enough chances to get it all). Also I'm not fully content with the end of the game, because I expected something else and I'm not sure it was totally logical.
eMTe : Well, i played only deluxe version and like it. Story is entertaining, dialogues interesting, voice acting amazingly good for a freeware game and atmosphere very movie-like. Unfortunately, there are also some things I dont like. Graphics is too blurred, there are some illogicalities, lack of text makes the game unplayable for less skilled in English and it is a bit too short and too easy. I still like it nevertheless.
Time for version number 1.
40 minutes later...
If you want to know how big improvement was made to the first version go and play it. Youll see totally different game, different in story, puzzles and - most important - quality.
Pater Alf : I'm too tired tonight to write an own description, so I take the one of the developer instead:
"Ben Jordan, a young man from Philadelphia, is fresh out of college and has decided to become a paranormal investigator. Each case finds him traveling to a different location, investigating local legends and paranormal phenomena. Join Ben on his adventures as he discovers that there's more to being a paranormal investigator than just exploring old buildings and photographing orbs.
Ben's first case finds him in the Florida Everglades, looking for something known as "The Skunk-Ape" which is said to be a local variation on Bigfoot. The Skunk-Ape got its name because of its horrible smell, described as a mixture of moldy cheese, rotten eggs, and dung.
Several park rangers have been murdered, and so Ben is called in to investigate the possibility that the Skunk-Ape is involved. Help him survive long enough to solve his first case!"
The game is quite interesting and funny and if you like the "X-Files", you'll like "Ben Jordan" as well (even if there is no Scully).
There are two versions of "Ben Jordan: Case 1"; the normal version and the Deluxe version with improved graphics, extended storyline, and full voice acting.
This is a remake of the old Atic Atac with a little extra in the package. The game is fast and hard, but good quality like everything else in here.
You are to find the key in this very haunted and magical house, but it will not be easy as this is a huge house with lots and lots of dangers awaiting you around every bend and behind every door. Once you have crossed that threshold there is no turning back...