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Gord@k is waiting. It knows that you've come. But it is not worried. Others have come before you. They failed to destroy it.

Maybe they didn't understand that Gord@k's world exists on the edge of a digital darkness so deep and impenetrable that surviving may not be an option.

The rules seem simple enough. Find it, before it finds you. But, time is running out.

Listen carefully. The sound you hear is the sound of your worst nightmares whispering to you.

And there is nowhere to hide!

This is Gord@k, an interactive 3D adventure in which you are an agent of CS Corporation sent into cyberspace to find and eradicate the inventive,  artificially intelligent and powerful computer virus, Gord@k.

Gord@k has already claimed the lives of three CS agents, and you are the last hope to put an end to the malevolent entity's reign of terror. Be vigilant; clues and obstacles abound. And remember; Gord@k is watching you!

Gord@k is a visually stunning 3D game experience created on high-end Silicon Graphics workstations using Alias software and cutting-edge QuickTime VR technology.

Enter Gord@k's virtual world and you will never be the same, assuming you survive!
  • As you explore, find objects which you will need in order to penetrate deeper into the heart of Gord@k's world.
  • Piece together clues you find in the environment and solve puzzles which bring you closer to the elusive Gord@k.
  • In Gord@k's virtual reality, the 3D space and objects are virtually real.
~ from the back of the box
What's the worst thing about adventure games? Pixel hunting? Moon logic? Goddamn mazes? Well prepare yourself, 'cos Gord@k has all of them in abundance and more. Developed and published by Hoffman and Associates, that off-kilter Canadian-based multimedia company that had a hand in some of the most obscure adventure of the mid to late 90s, Gord@k manages to consist of nothing but an adventure gamer's worst nightmare. Yet somehow, with its conceptual weirdness on full display, I kinda dig it despite itself.

You are a computer hacker, hired to break into a massive corporation's security system to rid it of a dangerous world-ending computer virus. You first have to log in by entering a username. Remember this name as it marks your saved progress and must be re-entered when you re-enter. You only get one per login though, which is a bummer. From here, you'll have access to a series of dryly presented information dumps that detail the previous hackers (or CS agents) that have died trying to do what you are about to do. It seems a bit dull until the screen begins to garble and your zapped into the virtualised digital world; a security system bizarrely portrayed as a well-kept English country garden.

Somewhere behind these trees are a pair of sunglasses. Do you see them? (left).
You need them to reveal the passwords to gain access to what could be Mines of Moria (right).

This entire backstory has no real connection to the game itself. You could paste any Alice in Wonderland type tale in there and it would make sense. Actually more. Very little of what you do has any relation to computing, digital security or corporate sabotage. Some of the puzzles do look like they were inspired by circuit boards and microchips from a visual perspective - and the live actor playing Gord@k himself has a wickedly maniacal laugh - but that's about it.

You'll get to decipher passwords that here don't require special characters but a full sentence composed from a short list of existing words. About as safe as plastic padlock from a Christmas cracker. These so-called security puzzles won't stump even the most green of adventure gamers, but the hunt for items of varying necessity will. The garden is so advanced in its security that little things like sunglasses or pocket knives are completely hidden from view. There's not so much as a tiny undefined sprite for some of them. The only indication that something it there is a minor change in the cursor's appearance.

Use the magnifying glass to find the otherwise invisible map (left).
It details the correct route through the maze, magically updating itself at each step (right).

This obscene level of pixel hunting is mostly found in the opening section where a camera, a magnifying glass and a set of keys are also found. There doesn't seem to be a written walkthrough out there that I could find so I'll tell you where they all are if only to protect your hair follicles. Skip this paragraph if you want to go in blind. The sunglasses are hidden between two trees behind the bench to the right of the bandstand. A compartment on the back of this bandstand is where the keys are found stored. The base of the bush to the right of the locked gate is where you'll find the camera but if you turn around from here, you can find the pocket knife lying on the right circular bench. Use this pocket knife on a small and specific point on the third step leading up to the bandstand to get the magnifying glass. I'll leave the rest up to you.

What all of these items have in common is that they're not hinted at whatsoever (with the exception of the keys perhaps). You will not find them represented in the panoramic visuals despite it having a neat zoom feature that would be otherwise greatly useful. In that regards, it's not really pixel hunting because there's no pixels to hunt. Just tiny hotspots. Even the maze - which morphs and changes should you go down the correct route - has an unmarked brick that will tell you the correct route to get to the other end.

They pay-per-view viewfinder reveals clues on where to go next (left).
The stakes are high in the final battle with Gord@k. Lose the game, and you lose your savegame too (right).

The more traditional single-screen puzzles fare much better. For the most part. A dexterity-based ball bouncing puzzle kept me busy for a while being more difficult to implement than to understand, but only after completion did I realise it was entirely optional. Regardless, navigating this garden world will eventually lead you to the titular computer virus personified with such gusto you wish he had more of an overall presence. It's a very brief role played by the development team's Sound Effects and VR Production Coordinator Steve Schorsch and he'll be your opponent in perhaps the worst puzzle of the lot. In concept, it's OK. You take on a on-on-one battle of wits to turn a grid of squares green by manipulation the And and Or cannons. It's notoriously difficult, giving you little time to figure out its mechanics before the bad guy wins. And I can guarantee he'll win at least the first few times. If you do, it will also delete your save forcing you to begin a new game from scratch. Whether this is a bug or by design, I commend the designers for trolling future YouTube letsplayers so we can witness their stunned comments in the final minutes of their video.

Gord@k is like The Room of videogames. A piece of media that's so odd and ill-advised I've developed a bizarre affinity towards it. Whole gameplay features, such as the camera, a coin operated viewfinder and the entire ball-bouncing puzzle are completely superfluous, yet they are neat additions all the same. They may have been there there to offer up hints but if they were, they weren't very good ones. And I've not even talked about the giant mushroom garden, the crooked house or the death-defying bicycle stunt. An absolute trip of a game. So very, very flawed yet so grotesquely fabulous.

To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox-X build of DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 299 Mb.  Install Size: 444 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ


Gord@k is © I. Hoffmann + associates Inc
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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