The Colonel’s Bequest is a detective-style graphic adventure mystery game that was originally written for DOS 2 sporting EGA graphics. Unfortunately, when ported to the Amiga, the graphics and sound didn’t really push the Amiga to its full potential.
You play the role of Laura Bow, a college student at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, in 1925 who has the curiosity and intellect of Tintin and wardrobe of Alice in Wonderland. Laura is invited to Colonel Dijon’s massive estate by a college friend, where the Colonel is expected to “bequest” his estate to family and friends before he dies. And then, the murders begin. It’s up to you, Laura, to try and catch the killer while avoiding death.
Unlike most Sierra games, this game is not impossible. It also focuses more on the characters rather than mind numbing “puzzles”. As such, players get to immerse themselves more into the story & characters, which proves a much more enjoyable formula. It’s as if Sierra learned a few things from Lucasfilm Games, as well as easier Infocom titles, when this game was conceived. In the Infocom vein, Sierra followed suit by adding “feelies” in the original box. Beyond the very creative copy protection scheme of providing a field of thumb prints identifiable only by using the included magnifying glass, buyers also received a monogramed Laura Bow notepad and pencil in the box, among other paper goods necessary to play the game.
The controls for moving Laura through the various scenes are pretty poor - there is no AI or object detection to help her along her way. If you want Laura to go through a door across the room, you literally have to click a very clear path around furniture or she simply gets stuck and stops walking. Pretty bad. But the story and atmosphere make up for what the controls lack if you stick it out.
The Colonel’s Bequest was written by Roberta Williams, who designed and wrote the King’s Quest series. She is considered a pioneer in the graphic adventure genre from the ‘80s and ‘90s. She and her husband, Ken Williams, founded Sierra On-Line. Many of their titles, which he was credited in also as Producer or co-Designer, had the word “quest” in them one way or the other.
Back of the Box:
The Colonel's Bequest
A Laura Bow Mystery
Why has the reclusive Colonel Dijon called his rivalrous relations together? It's a mysterious re-union at his secluded mansion, deep in the bayous of Southern Louisiana!
It is the year 1925, and the roaring '20s are well underway. As Laura Bow, young college student, you've been invited to visit the Colonel's isolated estate. Watch as the Colonel announces his intention to bequeath his millions to all present!
Immediately, you sense greed and suspicion among the Colonel's relatives and associates. The air becomes thick with anger and betrayal. As the drama unfolds you must evade the dangers that await you everywhere, and expose the killer before he or she strikes again!
Explore the gloomy estate in an attempt to discover who is murdering the Colonel's guests, and why...
Discover hidden places where secrets may lie...
Overhear intriguing conversations...
Choose your friends wisely...
Avoid the swamp at all costs...
The thrill and suspense of The Colonel's Bequest is unprecedented in animated adventure games. Never before has a plot been so complex, or characters so well developed. From the die-hard mystery fan, to the veteran 3-D adventurer, this came is not to be missed!
"Investigate the grounds, but beware--the assassin may lurk nearby!"
"Watch in horror as many fall victim to MURDER!!"