A rich dude with some collectables goes missing along with his daughter, and you have to suffer his friends in order to find out what happened. It's no wonder you want to get away from them by literally travelling to other worlds. That's the plot of The Cassandra Galleries. Or at least my interpretation of it.
In truth, the missing media tycoon named William Cassandra is just an excuse to solve some logic puzzles, and in this respect, The Cassandra Galleries does it very well. Released in 1997, it was one of the few actual games published by the Corel Corporation who were most well known for application software such as CorelDraw or WordPerfect. In fact, after 2 years trying to make a dent in the gaming landscape, the company gave up after this game was released, selling their assets to Hoffman + Associates.
The map of the museum comes in really useful when searching for clues (left)
If only smileys were still a thing, we may not have had the Emoji Move (right)
It's a shame it didn't sell well as it's actually very good when you're playing it. When it comes to watching it, however, it is a little dry. The string of monologuing actors that walk onscreen just grate. You cannot skip the minutes upon minutes of drab dialogue making it the most tedious aspect of the game. They just had to get a plot in there, regardless of how well written it was.
All of this is little more than an excuse to create magical worlds linked to the various themes of a private museum. There are four available from the start, with a further three being unlocked once they're done with. They are represented by vases or ornaments found in Cassandra's chic art studio located on the second floor. Each of them are modelled after a certain art style or historical moment in time and need to be placed in their correct exhibit to transport you there. If you know about this kind of stuff, this will be an easy task. If you slept through art history class, don't worry. Each exhibit and the house as a whole will provide enough visual clues on shelves and in cabinets so you can deduce what you're looking at.
Information found in the 'real world' have a direct correlation to puzzles in the 'fantasy worlds'.
The first four will transport you to an Art Deco theatre, a Victorian stately home a Medieval castle and a Yuppie apartment. Contained within each are at least seven puzzles. As you can expect, they vary in difficulty and quality, but most shouldn't strain the ol' brain cells too much. If they do, the residence itself will hold clues for them somewhere. Sometimes, you might even uncover the actual answer. For example, one puzzle has you deciphering different emojis (yes, they were a thing in 1997 but back then they were called 'smileys'). These cryptographs and their meanings can also be found if you log into the computer in the study. In my opinion, some need to make a comeback. :-E being a bucktoothed vampire and :-* meaning you just ate something sour being my favourites. I'll make sure I'll find uses for them in the future >:->.
If you've ever played The 7th Guest, you know what you're getting. A slew of entertaining puzzles taking place in an entertaining setting with (an attempt at) an entertaining story to link it all together. The Cassandra Galleries doesn't surpass that spooky classic, but it sure gives it a run for its money. I guess that's millionaire tycoons for you.
To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Tested on Windows 10.
IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.
File Size: 568 Mb. Install Size: 1.15 Gb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
The Cassandra Galleries is © Corel Corporation & Kutoka Interactive
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me